The end of 2020 had been relatively successful for major sporting events despite the rocky early year, with changes to approach that allowed many to get underway whilst avoiding as much risk as possible, the biggest story came from the NBA as the bubble approach certainly had shown that live sporting was still possible despite the ongoing pandemic. The difficulties faced by sporting organisations gave opportunities to other services, notably online – whilst online gaming saw a huge surge as many here were able to benefit from the downtime of sporting despite efforts to slow the growth through initiatives such as Gamstop, one of the big winners had been through online sporting alternatives as esports has begun to expand.
Fans of more traditional sporting have typically been less interested in esports as a whole as little crossover was available to bring a different demographic across, but throughout the pandemic there has been a growing representation in games focussed on more familiar sporting titles – with FIFA and NBA being the two biggest on the market in which both have direct support from the leagues themselves too. The development of both scenes within esports have provided an opportunity for this demographic to make the adjustment and change, and with the increasing interest it provides more opportunities for sporting games as a whole to emerge in to the esports space and be successful.
(Image from nytimes.com)
Esports as a whole has been one of the thriving industries throughout the past year – with the start of 2021 looking to face some similar issues as countries such as the UK have already gone into lockdown, some of the major US sporting events for the year could already be at risk. The NBA recently tightened their own measures following the success of the bubble approach, and after a long and difficult year the college football season was able to come to a conclusion too – but in order to succeed over the next year more adoption of the safety measures may be needed. One thing that is looking a certainty at this point however is that many games will remain closed to the public as live spectators may not return for a number of months yet, and this provides yet another opportunity for online sporting alternatives to not only grow but also become more available to an audience who have yet to make the change, particularly where these more familiar gaming options have become more available and more appealing. The next few weeks will be vital for major sporting, both in the US and across the world, but answers will certainly follow shortly and a clearer picture around what can be expected will follow too.