The coronavirus pandemic has provided a great opportunity for esports to make its mark and reach a new success level. When the Covid-19 shook up the world, and almost every country went to lockdown the racing engines were turned off too. This helped esports to showcase itself and in a quick time, the virtual sport becomes viral.
The fact that real-world stars were playing alongside pro gamers just gave a further boost to the growing esports market. There has been a huge increase in the interest as we have seen racers and manufacturers becoming a part of the virtual world. Championships are being held to fill the void till the crisis is over and real sport can resume.
When the Australian Grand Prix was canceled at the very last minute, Veloce Esports and Torque Esports started all-star events that featured real-world racers and pro gamers. Among the stars included were Lando Norris and Max Verstappen. After that, others started to hold virtual championships including F1, Formula E, Indycar, and Nascar. TV broadcasters also joined them, making the championships more successful.
According to Jack Nicholls, who commentates on Formula E on TV and F1 for BBC Radio 5 Live, the recent months have been cool. He believes esports is big, but only for the gamers, it has gotten other’s attention just recently and that too to a certain degree.
He says watching real drivers competing in the esports is amazing, as drivers like Fernando Alonso and Jenson Button are constantly competing in the championships. Esports has helped championships and manufacturers to get media attention during the lockdown. He thinks esports can get up to 10% of the attention that the real sport gets, but for less than 10% of the cost.
Race at Home Challenge was established by Formula E to raise money for UNICEF. The championship’s strategist said that it was not clear whether it would be successful or not, but the broadcasters helped. The championship attracted different viewers, so we think it’s been successful.
The official series was able to attract the stars of the game. Many players were new to esports, where some players like Norris and Verstappen regularly compete. The drivers who tried sim racing for the very first time were amazed by the experience. They think it looks real, the graphics are amazing, and the driving feeling is almost real.