Regional sports networks nationwide are scrambling to figure out what to do with “no sports available.” In NBC Sports Washington’s case, they are now airing Washington Wizards games on the same dates that they would have aired. However, they’re playing video game simulations instead on NBA 2K20.
The Wizards played the Bucks yesterday on a video game simulator with the Bucks winning 81-60 in four eight-minute quarters. Result aside, the simulations of video games have me thinking: Will Esports experience a boom that lasts past the COVID-19 pandemic?
There’s good reason to believe that this could happen. The Wizards, like most NBA teams, have an E-Sports team, Wizards District Gaming that participates in the NBA 2K League. Esports gaming just isn’t simulated, but it is something that can be played indoors and people could be separated from one another, even if they’re on the same team.
Esports and “on-the-field” sports have clashed before.
This is an old video from 2016 that featured Dutch esporter Koen Weijland clashing against Belgian men’s soccer player Romelu Lukaku in Brussels. Except that Lukaku thought he was playing against Belgian women’s soccer player Cécile de Gernier. It went viral back in 2016.
The video is entirely in Dutch (Weijland and Lukaku’s native language) and French (de Gernier’s native language and Lukaku’s second language), but you can autotranslate it to English.
Maybe we can see something like this between Bradley Beal and one of the Wizards e-gamers soon?