Netflix's hit dystopian drama "Squid Game" bagged the award for Breakthrough Series – Long Format at the 31st Annual Gotham Awards held in New York City on Monday.

The hit Korean series bested other title contenders, including "The Good Lord Bird," "It's a Sin," "Small Axe," "The Underground Railroad" and "The White Lotus."

Lead actor Lee Jung-jae failed to get the award for Outstanding Performance in a New Series, which went to Ethan Hawke of "The Good Lord Bird" and Thuso Mbedu of "The Underground Railroad."

Despite this, the "Squid Game" team rejoiced as it was the first-ever Korean show that received recognition from the award-giving body.

Its delegation, which included Lee, series creator and director Hwang Dong-hyuk, lead actress Jung Ho-yeon and Siren Pictures CEO Kim Ji-yeon gathered on stage to receive the award for the drama which premiered in September and became Netflix's biggest series launch.

On stage, Kim said, "Since the show was released on September 17th, so many miracles have happened, and among them, the most miraculous thing is that it was made in Korea. It was a huge support from all over the world for a small show. I don't think I can thank you more than this, but I want to send the best possible thanks to the fans of the 'Squid Game' around the world."

Hwang then revealed that when he made the script for "Squid Game" in 2009, nobody liked it because it was "unrealistic."

"But now, it took less than 12 days to become the No. 1 show on the planet," he said. "If there is a miracle, this is a miracle. It happened to me. The only thing I can say is, thank you. Thank you for watching it, and thank you for loving it."

Gotham Awards recognize makers of independent films and series including their writers, directors, producers and actors. Winners are selected by distinguished juries. 

Gotham Awards also aim to help grow the audience for independent films and support the work of the Gotham Film and Media Institute that helps independent filmmakers bring their work closer to their audience.

Meanwhile, Netflix's "The Lost Daughter" was the night's big winner after bagging multiple awards, such as Best Feature, Best Screenplay, Breakthrough Director for Maggie Gyllenhaal and Outstanding Lead Performance for Olivia Colman.

Squid Game's dystopian vision sees hundreds of marginalised individuals pitted against each other in traditional children's games Squid Game's dystopian vision sees hundreds of marginalised individuals pitted against each other in traditional children's games Photo: Netflix / YOUNGKYU PARK