The world of eSports has been able to spread its wings and showcase exactly what it can offer recently, due to the Covid-19 pandemic halting the sporting world.
This has been unprecedented times, and while many sports have seen huge break ups to their service, that hasn’t been the case with eSports.
One event we have seen take place so far for the very first time was the virtual Tour de France, with riders taking place from their homes around the world rather than congregating in France for the action.
What Made the Virtual Tour de France Different?
There were many difference from the gruelling test we usually see take place in and around France. Firstly this was a team race, with riders taking it in their turn during the race to go through different stages.
Secondly, it was a lot shorter and of course it involved the riders sitting at home on the Zwift cycling system and riding from home.
Audiences watched the action unfold on YouTube, but the action was so dramatic and realistic that you could have been forgiven for thinking it was an actual road race taking place. Even commentators got in on the act to bring realism to the event.
Why Virtual Sports are Virtually the Same
The Covid-19 pandemic has accelerated the world of virtual sports by a couple of years at least. With few other sports to bet on, these became front and centre of the betting offerings for many bookmakers. We have even seen betting promotions UK players can use, specifically for eSports and the many events that are being run.
Not too long after lockdown began, we saw a range of sports racing virtually, some involving the real-life stars we know and love and some involving professional players.
One of the first was the F1 ‘not the Australian Grand Prix’ after the original race was cancelled due to the pandemic. Real drivers, celebrities and gamers all took part in the contest, which was very well received and watched.
We have seen tennis played on the Tennis World Tour video game, with the big names taking part. In April we saw another running of the virtual Grand National, taking place for the fourth time in its history. This is live on TV, showing the appeal that virtual sport has at the moment.
Racing fans, gamblers and anyone else casually interested could watch the race take place instead of the real-life race this year, rather than accompanying it.
If we have learnt anything over the past few months it is that there is a genuine appetite for virtual sports. Whether this is something like a one-off car race or a full series like we see with gamers who play Dota2, CS:GO and other big eSports titles.
If you are already excited about eSports and virtual games, be prepared for more to appear, if you aren’t hooked you, you could well be in the very near future.