Photo Credit – Florian Olivo

Shift to digital helps one organization maintain community

The coronavirus pandemic has wreaked havoc across the globe in countless ways and that includes the sports world.  Professional, collegiate, amateur, youth, and recreation leagues have all been forced to postpone or cancel seasons.  Major sporting events such as the Boston Marathon, Tokyo Olympics and the Masters Tournament have been postponed.

Further clouding the picture for these organizations in the uncertainty surrounding the pandemic and determining when sports will be safe again.  Resumption dates for suspended seasons are constantly, changed or left open depending on the organization.

eSports, however, is one of the few forms of sport that has continued to play across the world during the pandemic.  While eSports has certainly been impacted by the pandemic, namely in terms of its in-person competitions, leagues and tournaments continue to thrive in the eSports community as players compete from wherever they may be practicing social distancing.

SPG spoke with Victoria Horsley, Chief Revenue Officer at Midwest eSports.

Midwest eSports provides event service for live competitions, runs online events and leagues. eSports are community driven and Midwest eSports has had many players come to them to find out what they were doing as they were seeking out ways to play online. The size of their gatherings vary in size, ranging from 1,000 or so to upwards of 70-80,000 over a 2-3 day event depending on the size of the group.

Read more about the $1.5 billion esports industry

According to Horsley, “Midwest eSports has a great staff that is adaptable and focused on working toward summer and fall events while continuing current leagues/events online.

Horsley claims their biggest challenge has been the coordination of live events, which is dealing with putting dates on hold, rescheduling, following different mandates and so forth. “We’ve been forced to backup and reorganize,” said Horsley.

Planning for uncertainty by focusing on what they are and what they do gives them extra time to focus on those things as they plan for the end of summer and beyond. “We’re happy to be a positive light and be able to give people something to do with their friends during this difficult time, ” said Horsley. “eSports is a big community, helps build community online.”

In the meantime, e-games competition keeps this organization involved in their community.

By Peter Schmidt