COVID-19 and the future of esports
Esports! Still esports in the midst of… whatever?
It is amazing to see the adaptability of esports within the entertainment industry. It all started with LAN tournaments. People grew interest in them, and organizations then proceeded to invest serious money in their teams. Developers got involved and created platforms to facilitate competitive gaming to the casual gamer. Investors then poured money for facility development and stadiums were created. But now, now that we were there, filling up the Esports Stadium in Arlington for CSGO finals, now that Philadelphia is creating an incredible gaming-only stadium, now that 10,000 people celebrated G2 winning Six Invitational in Place Bell, now what? Is it all gone? The magic of esports is washed away because of COVID-19?
It is May 11th of 2020, and more than 80,000 people have died of COVID-19 in the US. All professional and recreational sports activities are shut down. The new Rangers ball game stadium was set to open this season, yet here we are in what would be the end of the first quarter of the games, and the magnificent 40,000 people, indoor/outdoor stadium remains closed. The MLS played one game and had to shut down. The NHL did not make it to the season. And March Madness is nothing but what is happening on the streets, emptiness, and sadness. So, surely, the esports industry is on the downwards as well, right?
Well, not so much! Twitch (online streaming gaming platform) grew a third of its audience in March alone. ESPN decided to transmit 12 hrs of esports gaming for racing games. Nintendo hosted a $1 MILLION prize pool tournament for charity in Mario Tennis connecting tennis professionals with celebrities. Across the globe in Australia, two professional rugby teams squared off in a great Fortnite battle. The UK hosted the Grand National digitally with upwards of 5 million viewers. And so much more!
So, the question reminds, is esports affected by global crisis? The real answer is yes. The stadiums are empty, the events and conventions are canceled, and the fans are having to stay at home. But, no matter what, esports is still esports, and it is thriving in its own way. The world can keep throwing things to esports, but there is no sign of anything stopping it.
At Skullz we pride ourselves in having the opportunity to grow the industry, while still participating in helping to fight COVID to the ground. During this season, we proudly sponsored the Social Distancing Cup. A tournament organized by Generation Esports in its efforts of pushing esports competition while providing the safety of playing at home. We are all in this together, and we can proudly say that the esports world will do whatever it takes to keep consumers happy… in the midst of whatever!
VP of Operations