The current COVID-19 outbreak is prohibiting the world from acting as it normally would. Non-essential business have been temporary shut down, the main streets that usually have traffic jams are bare of cars, and a main entertainment for most Americans and people around the world, sports, has stopped completely. But while everyone is stuck at home trying to find something to do, or watch, a rising community has seen a surge.
Competitive eSports have seen a rise in viewership and popularity during these dark times. eSports has been around as long as multiplayer games have been played, and have been on a steady rise up to this date. But now, it’s growth has skyrocketed. The world at large needed something to keep them glued down and indoors while the pandemic rolls over, and eSports has filled that role extremely well.
The opinions are endless when it comes to watching or playing competitive eSports, and in some cases, it has filled in for live sports during this time. Top-tier competitive racing championships, such as Formula 1 and NASCAR have postponed their seasons because of the large crowds that would be there to watch the races in person, but Formula 1 and NASCAR have found ways around this, such as holding races online between the drivers and celebrities and then broadcasting them live to millions of people around the world.
The most recent Formula 1 Virtual Grand Prix, mocked the would-be Australian Grand Prix and was broadcasted on ESPN2. The NASCAR Cup Series would have taken place in Bristol, Tennessee, last weekend, but instead the drivers raced virtually, which was broadcasted live on Fox.
It’s not just racing that has found a creative way to continue but also football.
The Checkdown and Madden NFL 20, in conjunction with EA Sports, hosted a Madden Tournament among current players that aired on Twitch, YouTube, and NFL.com and saw thousands of people tuning in. This saw a bunch of star players in the game going against one another, such as Tyreek Hill, DeSean Jackson, Derwin James, Denzel Ward, and Jarvis Landry. And the best part about it was James, the eventual tournament winner, had a $20,000 donation to COVID-19 relief made in his name.
So while the main world is shut down and people are kept indoors, eSports are doing a great job of keeping people entertained and are taking the placesof sports that can’t be played at this time.