Sports competitions are stopped. There is no Tokyo Olympics, there is no football league, there are no tennis matches, there are no Formula 1 races… The world of sporting events is on hiatus because of the coronavirus, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t a sport to watch. The difference is that you don’t sweat the same way and you don’t have to run too much because sports competitions now they are online.
And we’re not talking about amateur or casual players, but professional athletes who drop the racket, keep the ball or hook the shoes. take control of the console or computer to participate online. Below, we’ll go over some of the initiatives the sports world has taken to continue delivering performance to fans.
An NBA 2K20 tournament and a H.OR.SE, all at home
The NBA has not been officially canceled, but it was suspended in mid-March for 30 days. There are no face-to-face parties in the large stadiums accompanied by light, music and dance shows, but there have been online tournaments and some challenges organized by professional players.
On the one hand, 16 NBA players played an online game through the “NBA 2K20” video game. The tournament lasted 10 days and was broadcast on ESPN. The featured players were Kevin Durant or Trae Young. The award was finished by Phoenix Suns player Devin Booker, and it was nothing more $ 100,000 to be shared between two NGOs.
🏀 NBA HORSE Challenge 🏀
👀 @ 1MrBigShot beats @TheTraeYoung in Round 1 of the NBA Horse Challenge presented by State Farm on ESPN! pic.twitter.com/myWrJoNVXs
– NBA (@NBA) April 13, 2020
In contrast, some NBA players with home baskets played a streaming “HORSE”. It is a game which consists of placing baskets and in which the one who fails takes an H, then an O and so on until the end of the word. Whoever receives all the letters loses. The winner was Mike Conley Jr of Utah Jazz.
Auto racing switches to video games
Formula 1 being suspended, the organization announced the “F1 Grand Prix Esports Virtual Series”, an online ‘F1 2019’ championship for PC in which several Formula 1 drivers compete in the corresponding race each day, but online. The first race was on Bahrain Grand Prix of March 22, which lasted an hour and a half and consisted of 28 laps, half of the head-to-head race.
Something similar happens with the Formulas e (electric car). The drivers raced every Saturday from April 18 in the rFactor 2 simulator in a competition called “ABB Formula E Race at Home Challenge”. The tournament will last for nine weeks and professional drivers and players who pass certain tests can participate. Profits will go to UNICEF.
Another important tournament was the MotoGP World Championship. The World Cup was delayed, so riders like Valentino Rosi, Danilo Petrucci, Michele Pirro and the Marquez brothers met (well, not exactly) in the “Stay At Home GP” tournament. The race was contested in the official MotoGP game and was broadcast on DAZN and via the MotoGP website.
Finally we have to talk about NASCAR, the famous race which consists in transforming an oval. The competition, whose name is e «NASCAR iRacing Pro Invitational Series», it entered the online world thanks to the video game “iRacing”, and it will compete with professional pilots and simulation players.
There is no Mutua Madrid Open, but there is a match in the ‘Tennis World Tour’
Another competition that has been canceled is the Mutua Madrid Open, the tennis tournament which was to take place from May 1 to 10. In its place, ATP Masters 1000 and WTA Premier Mandatory have announced the creation of the “Mutua Madrid Open Virtual Pro”, an online tournament that will take place from April 27 to 30 in the game ‘Tennis World Tour’ and in which they will participate the big tennis stars. The first match will take place at the Manolo Santana stadium.
The tournament will include a prize of 150,000 euros in both competitions (ATP and WTA) that tennis players will have to give to tennis players who are in a bad financial situation. 50,000 euros will be added to this price which will be used to fight against the virus. In addition to the official competitions, there will be charity matches in which they will participate content creators and professional players raise funds to help those affected by the virus.
A FIFA tournament organized by Ibai
There is no football on Sunday either, but Ibai Llanos, the famous Esports commentator and now content creator at club G2 Esports, has decided to have a “FIFA 20” tournament. They faced it 20 players from 20 professional Spanish teams parmi eux Marco Asensio (Real Madrid), Marcos Llorente (Atlético de Madrid) or Borja Iglesias (Betis).
The tournament was held a few weeks ago and their goal was to raise funds to donate to the fight against the coronavirus. In total, the tournament generated 180,000 euros including 100,000 were donated by LaLiga Santander. By the way, Marco Asensio won.
The esport will have to be done online, paradoxically
#LEC is back this Friday!
Due to the ongoing developments in the coronavirus pandemic, we have decided to play the rest of the 100% LEC Spring Split 2020 distance online, with matches resuming on Friday March 20.
More information: https://t.co/Ewe5oZExfR pic.twitter.com/fZOcS2Zoid
– LEC (@LEC) 17 mars 2020
Despite the fact that Esports are eminently online, big games are usually played in person. However, this year the League of Legends European Championship (LEC) will be fully online, with every player at home. The same happened with Orange Superliga, also from “League of Legends”, whose final was to take place on April 4 in Vistalegre. Finally, the date had to be lifted in the early morning hours of April 2 and put online.
Another electronic sport that has come online, at least in its final stages, is the Overwatch League, which, as the name suggests, is the professional league of “Overtwatch”. The final was supposed to be held in Vistalegre, but it will eventually be live. It’s the same for FLASHPOINT, le concours «Counter Strike: Global Offensive», which could only be played in person for a few days, and ended up going live.
Chess is played by computer
Chess has been a very face-to-face sport, but in recent years it has reached platforms like Twitch with relative strength. The last tournament that took place, the Candidates tournament, which hosts the top eight players in the FIDE ranking, was finally canceled after seven days. The players went home and Magnus Carlsen had an interesting idea: the Magnus Carlsen Invitational, a online chess tournament which started on April 18 with Chess24. $ 250,000 in prize, there is nothing.
However, the FIDE (International Chess Federation) has announced a Nations Cup online which will take place May 5-10. Six teams from China, India, Russia, United States and Europe will participate, and prominent names include Kasparov and 16-year-old Iranian chess prodigy Alireza Firouzja. The prize will be $ 180,000.
And even darts
A legendary sport: darts competitions. The Professional Darts Corporation created a few days ago the “Home Tour”, a tournament in which professional players participate, each from their home and using their own goals. So far everything has been fine, but there is one problem: eSports players have good connections at home, but darts players don’t.
– Gary Anderson (@ GaryAnderson180) 17 avril 2020
So much so that Gary Anderson, one of the most famous players, had to leave the tournament because his connection was 4.60 Mbps and 0.97 Mbps download, a speed too low to broadcast your match in a professional tournament.