It’s always the same. Regardless who you’re going to ask everybody got his or her own idea of what an actual sport is and what isn’t. But between 2019 and 2020 a tiny little incident happened that changed a lot of peoples mind: the coronavirus or COVID-19. Whether Asian or European regions – everyone’s life is – in a way – influenced by the new lung virus. In the last couple of months, any kind of physical sport was put on hold- only a selected few continued. In 2019 people used to say esports isn’t a sport but now in 2020 esports is basically the only sport happening right now.
Basically, this is all a big chance for our industry and community right now. Esports titles regardless if its League of Legends, Dota 2 or Counter-Strike – all these games have a big advantage over physical sports: they don’t need any special place or have to be performed outside. People can stay at their homes – in case of esports organisations team houses and sorts – and play their favourite games. The only thing that must be given is an internet connection and the mentioned games – but yeah, most of them free 2 play anyway.
We have a couple of possibilities to stay in contact with our friends, tools like Discord, Teamspeak and yes, even Skype helps us to communicate with each other and makes it possible to act as a team within the mentioned games. Even though that some esports events – especially those who were planned as offline experiences – have to be cancelled or postponed, lots of leagues and tournaments put all their effort in creating an online experience for its players and viewers.
The best example is the Chinese League of Legends league. The LPL (League of Legends Pro League) had to pause for a long time until it returned on screen. But this time the players stayed at home or at the team house and played their league matches over the internet. So does the LCK (League of Legends Champions Korea) in South-Korea, the LEC (League of Legends European Championship) in Europe and the LCS in Northamerica (League of Legends Championship Series). But not only did Riot Games and League of Legends pick up an online-only tournament style, so did the ESL as well. All the matches of the ESL Pro League are being handled online with only a few people working within a studio environment.
It can bring people together in a time where social distancing is necessary to keep everyone healthyFlorian Merz
So even if we all want esports to become more popular in general, we all wished for a better situation like the one we have to deal with right now. But it’s also a big chance for esports in general – it can bring people together in a time where social distancing is necessary to keep everyone healthy.
So stay home, stay calm and play some video games.