Professional Athletes Turning To E-Sports Amid Quarantine

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We are all creatures of habit, but perhaps none more so than professional athletes who are used to traveling, training, and competing at the highest level on a daily basis. Thanks to the outbreak of the COVID-19 virus, the routine of professional athletes has been interrupted. For some, this is the first time their career when they are not doing the exact same thing they’ve always done at this time every year. NBA, NHL or MLB players don’t get vacations in March. This is their season! Now, all have been relegated to the same life as many of us, quarantined indoors with their work lives suspended. So what are professional athletes doing to pass the time other than individual workouts?

Play video games.

See, we aren’t so different after all! Esports, which started at zero, has seen major growth over the last 10 years. While it is common in the offseason for pro athletes to turn their competitive juices to gaming, now many are hopping on the wave with a serious commitment. 

NBA players like Luca Doncic and Meyers Leonard have committed themselves to playing video games until the NBA season resumes. Devin Booker of the Phoenix Suns literally found out the season was suspended while playing Call of Duty. Thousands of viewers have been watching Arsenal’s star Mesut Ozil’s Twitch stream. He’s using his time spent gaming to raise money for sporting charity BigShoe. SLAM set up their own Call of Duty 6v6 tourney that featured athletes like Josh Hart, De’Aaron Fox, Zach Lavine, and Ben Simmons. It attracted thousands of viewers. 

Depending on which athletes you follow on social media, odds are a couple of them have some form of live stream gaming experience for you to follow. In the actual gaming community, some pro-gamers have followings of over 100,000 watching them play at a given time. Many have chosen to spend their time watching pro-athletes play video games.

It reminds us that we are all human. It reminds us that no matter how different our professional lives are, we can connect over something simple and mutually enjoyable. It has given many starving for sport, an outlet to temporarily satisfy the craving. All in all, following professional athletes’ live video game streams has been positive for many stuck in quarantine, and in these times, anything positive is welcome.

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