League of Legends, a game launched just last year in October 2009, scooped five of nine game awards at the 2010 Game Developers Choice Online Awards in Austin, Texas on Thursday, October 7. In all, 23 titles were nominated, highlighting the best online games in the fields of design, sound, visual, live experiences, and community support.

Winning in four of the five categories it was nominated in (Game Design, Visual Arts, Online Technology, New Game), the Warcraft-inspired League of Legends also clinched an Audience Award, decided by a two-week public vote in September.

In common with other GDC Online nominees such as Free Realms, Papermint, and the slew of social network games, League of Legends is free to play, with optional in-game purchases providing revenue for the developers.

Subscription-based World of Warcraft won Best Community Relations, Social City on Facebook was the Best Social Network Game, Aion was given the award for Best Audio, and EVE Online was declared to be the Best Live Game.

Other games with multiple nominations included We Rule, a social empire-building game for Apple iOS devices such as the iPhone, iPod and iPad, the Facebook-based entreprenurialism of Nightclub City, and PC action titles Champions Online and Dungeon Fighter Online.

Aion, EVE Online, World of Warcraft and Love all picked up two nominations, with Aion and WoW winning one apiece, while the four of them together represent very different experiences found within Massively Multiplayer Online gaming.

Aion and World of Warcraft are both set in magical fantasy, EVE explores the dangers of space trade, and Love's distinctive impressionist graphics open up a world of co-operative survivalism.

Most games up for a GDC Online award were made for Windows PCs, but a good number are Facebook games, with Apple Macs, iPhones, iPods and iPads also represented.

Winners and nominees of the 2010 Game Developers Choice Online Awards:

Best Online Game Design: League Of Legends (Windows PCs)
We Rule (iOS), Champions Online (Win PC), Zoo Kingdom (Facebook), Dungeon Fighter Online (Win PC)
Best Online Visual Arts: League Of Legends (Win PC)
GodFinger (Facebook), Papermint (Internet), Star Trek Online (Win PC), Love (Win PC)
Best Community Relations: World of Warcraft (Mac, Win PC)
Wizard101 (Win PC), Free Realms (Win PC), EVE Online (Mac, Win PC), Guild Wars (Win PC)
Best Online Technology: League of Legends (Win PC)
Global Agenda (Win PC), Aion (Win PC), Love (Win PC), Champions Online (Win PC)
Best Social Network Game: Social City (Facebook)
Nightclub City , NanoStar Siege , FIFA Superstars , Treasure Isle (all Facebook)
Best Audio for an Online Game: Aion (Win PC)
Nightclub City (Facebook), Champions Online (Win PC), We Rule (iOS), Music Pets (Facebook)
Best New Online Game: League of Legends (Win PC)
Dungeon Fighter Online (Win PC), We Rule (iOS), FIFA Superstars (Facebook), Nightclub City (Facebook)
Best Live Game: EVE Online (Mac, Win PC)
World Of WarCraft (Mac, Win PC), Dungeon Fighter Online (Win PC), Farmville (Internet, iOS, Facebook), League Of Legends (Win PC)
Audience Award: League of Legends (Win PC)
Online Game Legend Award: Dr. Richard Bartle (Visiting Professor, Essex University)
Hall of Fame: Ultima Online (Win PC, Linux)
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