By: Andy Chen
With the implementation of nationwide mandated shelter-in-place measures, most athletes have found it difficult, if not impossible, to bond with friends through a physical sport — for esports players, however, this is not the case.
While traditional athletes typically use physical equipment and facilities, esports players can play from the safety and comfort of their own homes. Since most students now have more free time because of the coronavirus, many have turned to esports for an increasingly prevalent source of entertainment in their lives.
The esports broadcasting industry itself has been greatly affected by recent events. Most notably, stream viewership has significantly risen, as according to TwitchTracker.com, the number of concurrent viewers on Twitch has almost doubled from 1.4 million to 2.5 million since April, and the month-to-month growth tripled from 16 percent to 53 percent — the largest percentage increase Twitch has ever seen.
For students, these video games can be an exciting way to have fun with friends. Since many traditional sports leagues have been delayed or canceled, students who watched these events together with friends can turn toward esports events to satisfy their competitive needs and satiate their boredom.
Additionally, esports motivates students to continue to bond with friends by playing video games together; this is especially valuable now, given students’ often limited social interaction at the hands of social distancing.
While some adults may not necessarily agree, esports can and has served as a valuable source of entertainment for students — and as the quarantine goes on, statistics and streaming numbers will only continue to rise. The pandemics will only continue to display the rising prevalence of the use of technology within our lives.