Coronavirus has emptied arenas, silenced stadiums and left fans worldwide looking at a life without sports. But for the world of e-sports, where the playing field is anywhere there’s an internet connection, there is a silver lining.
Georgia has seen a 20 to 30% rise in e-sports, or competitive online gaming, since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic, according to Leo Buchieri, the director of gaming analytics and data reporting for Repable. That’s tens of thousands more people taking to the internet for entertainment.
“People are looking for something else to watch because ESPN is a dead channel right now. [People] are just clamoring for anything because there aren’t your traditional sports at the moment,” said Buchieri.
Buchieri is also the General Manager of the Atlanta Royal Family, a meet-up group for e-sports fans, and says professional gaming teams are seeing the biggest uptick in viewership. He said the Atlanta Reign, a member of the Overwatch League, was averaging anywhere from 60 to 80-thousand concurrent viewers on YouTube and it recently jumped to 110-thousand viewers or more. See more at GPB.