Game on: With traditional sports on hold, it’s esports’ time to shine

The coronavirus pandemic has shut down traditional sporting events across the world, allowing esports athletes to thrive.

News 12 Staff

Apr 1, 2020, 12:58 AM

Updated 1,474 days ago

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The coronavirus pandemic has shut down traditional sporting events across the world, allowing esports athletes to thrive.
Competitive video game competitions have been growing over the past few years with multimillion-dollar prize pools and competitions filling arenas. While the pandemic has put a hold on in-person events, users can still log on from home to compete and watch the events.
“There’s tons of games out there, especially now, that are free and more available than ever,” says Stockton University e-athlete Vincent Nelson.
Nelson helped Stockton take second place in the Collegiate Rocket League Conference Playoffs earlier this month.
“It’s really great that we always have that ability to play competitively, even in these kinds of times where in traditional times you really can’t,” he says.
Related: Your Coronavirus Photos
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With social distancing regulations, competitive esports and video gaming in general have seen a surge. Online gaming platform Steam has seen a record number of users in March and the video game streaming service Twitch has had its average number of views increase every month since December.
Members of the Rutgers University Esports organization say that it is great to see so many people playing and watching games online.
“It’s similar to when people watch professional sports, in that not everyone is a football star,” says Rutgers junior Seth Santos. “People find just as much entertainment to watch the games happening.”
Whether one needs to scratch that competitive itch, try something new or just want to socially connect, gamers say that online games can serve as a great escape.
“In these trying times, I think it can be really beneficial to sit down, play a game and just kind of chill,” says Rutgers freshman Addison Waitz.
Players say there are plenty of games for beginners and to just log on to any online gaming platform to find one that most interests you.


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