By Cameron Buford, whatsgoodinsports.com
During this recent Coronavirus Pandemic which has adversely impacted nearly every way we live our lives here in America, professional sports teams and leagues continue to search for innovative ways to engage their fans. The growth of Esports has provided these leagues an opportunity to do just that. The NFL, NBA, NHL, and NASCAR have begun to utilize this to engage their fan base who’s anxious for some live sports.
In the past few weekends, some NASCAR drivers were selected to compete in an eNASCAR iRacing Pro Invitational Series. More information on these events can be found on iracing.com/live, Facebook or Twitch, eNASCAR while some events are being aired on FS1. Check out @iRacing on Twitter for more details.
As far back as July of 2018, NHL Commissioner Gary Better stated that “We want to use esports to build more interest and a greater connectivity to our game through the hockey video game.” To support this idea the NHL has implemented its 2020 NHL Gaming World Championship, beginning in April and going through May 2nd, 2020. You can follow their championships by following the hashtag #NHLGWC on most social media platforms.
Since being “shut-in” due to the Coronavirus epidemic the NBA and its sponsors have had to be creative when providing their fans some content. In the past couple weeks, they have promoted an NBA 2K tournament including a historic HORSE competition that included former NBA players along with a couple of WNBA players.
Although the NFL hasn’t missed any games, they refuse to be left out of this eSports phenomenon. As they have launched a Madden celebrity tournament to be aired on ESPN’s social media platforms including Twitch and YouTube. ESPN Personality Katie Nolan, Arizona Cardinals Wide Out DeAndre Hopkins and new Denver Broncos Running Back Melvin Gordon are among those competing for the championship, which is set to take place April 26 on ESPN2 at 12 pm est.
Just this past Monday, April 20th, 100 Deep Entertainment launched their latest Play N’ Greet event. This event included multiple special guests including former boxing Champion Zab Judah, former UFC Champion Frank Mir, NBA Champion Glen “Big Baby” Davis in addition to former Lineal Middleweight Champion Kelly Pavlik. Fans will be able to compete with these athletes and more in NBA 2K, Madden20, the latest boxing game Fight Night.
In a brief interview with Kelly Pavlik, he revealed to me that there’s been a time when the trash talk while playing video games has gotten out of hand saying, “there have been times when I’ve had to take off the headsets.” He did go on to say, “If I’m going to play, I want to win.” I also wanted to know if he takes it easy on some opponents, he responded by telling me that “I like to go at them!” Pavlik went on to say about this upcoming eSports event since “there ain’t that much to do and people have the available time it makes things a little easier to get through.”
Coming up on May 1st, 100 Deep Entertainment will launch its Virtual Boxing League. Having promoted eSports meet and greet in the past which have involved current combat sports stars. This is the evolutionists of the previous 100 Deep Entertainment brand. Their mission is to provide gamers and sports fans a unique opportunity to interact with some of their favorite professional athletes in live time. All the while increasing the familiarity and popularity of the athletes and the games themselves. You are able to follow their upcoming competitions on Twitch.tv/100deepunited and/ or on YouTube.com/100deepmedia.
Although this is the latest production by 100 Deep Entertainment, you can see each professional sports league is diving into this eSports world. By tuning into the 100 Deep Entertainment events, on Twitch or YouTube, you are able to grasp the enthusiasm the professional athletes and gamers get from these competitions and see how this medium is bringing professional athletes and gamers even closer together as people.
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