Will the Coronavirus result in the coming of age for eSports Motorsport?
Photos: Studio-397 (rFactor2)
With the increase in concern over the Covid-19 virus spreading faster and further, the more it hits the sporting world.
With China, Italy, Spain & Denmark in lockdown, and USA implementing travel bans from most of Europe, amongst a vast amount of countries putting emergency measures into place. Add to that, A-list celebrities and even World Leaders being infected by the disease, means that sport inevitably, and sensibly, has to take a back seat.
Motorsport, in particular, has been hugely affected. Notable events including but not limited to; the Formula One season opener, IMSA Sebring 12 Hours, WEC Sebring 1000, Formula E season all having been cancelled or postponed.
It is utterly unprecedented. F1, a sport of such magnitude being cancelled, albeit right at the last minute, gives a clear warning of how serious this pandemic is, and the task at hand of finding a solution to the rapid spread of it.
But what if, in all of this panic and pandemonium, there is something that arises from the ashes of such devastation to the sporting world. Could this finally be the, unwished for, big break that eSports needed to launch itself into a valid sport to which millions partake and tune into?
Tomorrow at 1 pm GMT, iRacing will be hosting their annual, virtual Sebring 12H with a suddenly heightened attention from thousands of otherwise oblivious fans.
Perhaps more impressively, The Race, a fresh-faced Motorsport media outlet, is hosting an "All-Star eSport Battle" on Sunday, which now has an ever-growing, starstudded list of drivers from; Indy Car's Colton Herta to the inaugural Formula E champion, Nelson Piquet Jr. A fantastically well-seized opportunity on their part.
So, with "real" Motorsport now being unavailable to the masses, more and more people are turning their heads to eSports than ever before in the wake of this disruption. Drivers & fans alike, that might have scoffed at the thought of racing virtually, are now finding that it could be a good way to cure a craving.
Will this be the point of which eSports comes of age?
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