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How the Pandemic Has Led to the Rise of eSports

Written by:
Don Shapiro
Published on:
Apr/12/2020

Without live sports, esports gain more audience. Also, sponsors took notice of the trend. Big bosses of traditional sports organizations are now talking to esports groups for possible tie-ups. With most people staying at home, online games become more popular than ever before.  Sportsbooks have shifted their focus to eSports and simulations and even the Pay Per Head platforms have begun pushing eSports offerings hard.


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Esports became the last man standing in the world of sports and entertainment. With no merchandise sales, tickets, or broadcast revenue, organizations are bleeding money out. One way to stop the bleeding is through esports.

They want to be involved not just in sports simulations, but in significant esports games as well. Some games eyed by major corporations include League of Legends and DOTA.

The playing of video games is up – Verizon reported that US domestic peak-hour usage was up 75% in the first week of quarantine – but tellingly gaming as a spectator sport is also through the roof. Twitch, one the world’s biggest streaming platforms for gamers, is estimated to have grown its audience by up to a third in March alone. “With more stay-at-home mandates being issued around the world and the entertainment industry finding new ways to migrate their offerings to livestreaming platforms, we expect to see these numbers rise,” says Doron Nir, the chief executive of StreamElements.

Globally, gaming is also riding the crest of a wave brought about by celebrity endorsement. With sport’s best-known athletes temporarily not doing what they do best, digital pursuits are filling the void. Motor racing has led with way, with Formula 1 hosting virtual Grands Prix in place of its scheduled events. Last weekend, Ferrari driver Charles Leclerc won on debut for the FDA Hublot Esports Team. The race was broadcast live on ESPN2 among 12 hours of esports programming. Nascar and Supercars have also migrated online in this time of hiatus, the latter backed by Jamie Whincup and shown on Kayo and Fox Sports.

More eSports News:

- Don Shapiro, Gambling911.com

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