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5.28.20
This Is Sports Now

Goddamn, I Guess We Need to Get Into eSports Now

March 27th 20__Dan Robitzski__Filed Under: Future Society
Philipp Keller/Pexels

Online Matchmaking

Thanks to the global pandemic, sports leagues seem to be shut down across the board. Even gathering in a New York City park for some casual kickball has been banned — and would be extremely dumb even if it hadn’t been. So, what’s left?

Get hyped, folks: We’re all getting into eSports now. With gatherings banned, many major video game competitions are going online, according to The Verge. While there are still challenges inherent to bringing eSports totally online, the industry is far better positioned to do so than just about any other sport, so it may be the best way to scratch that competitive itch for the time being.

Welcome!

For the uninitiated: competitive video gaming has been a major spectacle among fans for years. It’s no Super Bowl, but some games and championships can fill stadiums. There are huge pots of prize money for professional teams, the celebrities of the eSports ecosystem. Commentators keep the crowd riled while tightly-controlled tournaments happen on-stage.

So while moving video game tournaments online sounds trivial at first, it actually requires a massive logistical restructuring, The Verge reports.

No Peeking

Remember playing Halo with your siblings? How they’d peek at your corner of the split-screen display and know exactly where to go to kill you? Well, that’s actually a problem for competitive gamers too — unscrupulous players could tune in to livestreams and get an advantage.

That’s why there are still challenges to sort out, The Verge reports, like broadcasting tournaments at a delay to make sure players can’t watch. But compared to organizing a physical sport, eSports still has an advantage for continuing in quarantine.

READ MORE: How the biggest gaming leagues are adapting to an online-only world [The Verge]

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