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eSports Gets National Attention as Covid-19 Shuts Down Most Sports

Written by:
Alistair Prescott
Published on:
Apr/19/2020

"Covid-19 is showing us how resilient [esports] is, the fact that it can be operated from anywhere," said Ben Lenihan, the president of the New Zealand Esports Federation (NZESF).

When the video game Call of Duty released an update on 27 March, data passing through Vodafone's American service provider doubled, the telecommunications company said.

Players are also taking to the new travel restrictions.

David Gore, a competitor in the computer strategy title StarCraft II, said he was playing more while under lockdown at his parent's home in Upper Hutt than before. "Since I haven't left my house for two weeks, I've played every day, like probably four hours a day at least."

Still, esports is not without its challenges.

Lenihan said the lockdown was a double-edged sword, because although the industry was enjoying more activity, many of its major sponsors had shut down. "As with any sport, you are restricted in what you can do by your resources."

- Alistair Prescott, Gambling911.com

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