Will Esports be the New Norm in Post-Covid World?
With several countries around the world implementing isolation measures and issuing stay-at-home mandates everything has pretty much come to a freez
21:12 10 May 2020
With mainstream sports and live events on hold, people are now turning to new forms of entertainment like gaming to fill the void created in this coronavirus hiatus. A lot of people are now spending time online playing video games but what’s more interesting though is that watching eSports on live streaming platforms is seeing a huge uptick.
At a time when there’s a massive vacuum in live action, several popular sporting organisations are just not going to sit down and rue about their misfortune. They’re looking to make the most out of this extraordinary surge in interest in Esports by putting up some exciting virtual world fixtures themselves. A few weeks ago, Motor Sports led the way by having several top athletes from different sporting disciplines compete against each other in a virtual F1 Grand Prix with some big names taking part including Mclaren driver Lando Norris, record-breaking Olympian Sir Chris Hoy and famous golfer Ian Poulter. The NBA made its intention clear about riding the Esports wave by bringing on the 3rd edition of the NBA 2K games, a fiercely contested virtual basketball league, which will see 23 professional teams lock horns with each other on virtual courts over the next six weeks. As a result, viewership stats are already on the upper trajectory after creating new weekly and monthly records. For example, a recent study done by an influencer marketing platform claims that Esports viewership on Twitch (a live streaming platform) in the first few weeks of quarantine has shot up significantly - a clear indication that the lockdown has breathed a new life into Esports which was already growing at a fair clip.
Esports betting has never had it so good, too. With no live sports to bet their money on, a large number of sport bettors are now turning to Esports in order to keep up with their betting habits. Although wagering on video games is not an entirely novel concept, one could trip up and lose an awful lot of money if they don’t know what they are doing or sign up with one of the several shady websites out there run illegally by some malicious operators overseas. Sites like GGBet are a great place to begin with if you’re just tip-toeing in the world of Esports betting. In addition to sign up bonuses and welcome deposits, you get to place all sorts of bets on a variety of sports from football to basketball to multiplayer online arena games like Counter Strike, League of Legends etc.
This shift to the virtual world from popular sporting organisations, clubs and brands doesn’t look one bit surprising. This is certainly not a knee jerk reaction fueled by the tantalizing prospects of jumping on the bandwagon or the fear of missing out. For many sporting brands and clubs, getting into Esports looks a viable investment option and perhaps a way to create a new revenue stream for the future. It’s also indicative of the genuine interest that sporting organisations show in order to engage with their audience and create a community online. It’s still unclear how long it will take for us to free ourselves from the clutch of this unprecedented pandemic and for normal live events and sporting action to resume in this virus crisis. Until the mystery around all this clears, these companies need a solid format to pin their hopes on and safeguard themselves against freezing revenues. And that’s exactly what Esports is proving to be for them.
Esports has all the makings to be the new norm. It’s going to be huge for the sporting brands and for the fans. As far as the brands are concerned, Esports have offered welcome relief not just as a new temporary mode of keeping in touch with the audience but as a viable alternative in the Post-Covid world. As for the fans, Esports is shaping up to be the ultimate destination to entertain themselves after this virus crisis.