It hasn’t been easy going for sports fans. While the ever-defiant UFC has made a thunderous return to the octagon, many who would usually have been watching the concluding chapters were left wanting this spring. In the place of sports, fans have found new sources of entertainment within the realms of gaming, appetising both the need to see competition, and to experience action first-hand.
While they will have undoubtedly helped many, and direct replicas in the form of sports simulation games remain popular, other lines of gaming have seen tremendous upticks over the last few months. So, where have sports fans been fulfilling their needs in gaming?
Seeing the action unfold
At the start of the year, many traditional sports fans may not have heard of the world of eSports, but with professional sports leagues and teams taking to gaming over the last few months, eSports has picked up speed.
The industry was already blazing ahead, but in April, the streaming platform Twitch saw a mighty 50 percent increase in viewing hours on the month prior, tallying 1.49 billion gaming hours watched in one month. With multiplayer gaming across the internet being the foundation of eSports, the industry has been at near-full strength.
As the games being played are fully balanced at the top end of eSports, every outcome is decided by the decisions of the players, making for quite the spectacle. The action, tactics, errors, and celebrations are all there to appease any sports fan looking to watch some competition unfold. For some, the settings of a fantasy realm or special forces missions make for even more intriguing viewing.
Getting the thrills firsthand
Competing at the top end of eSports takes a tremendous amount of experience and skill. But getting involved in gaming as a hands-on entertainment medium is very accessible, which has been proven by the continued increase in new gamers.
One of the most accessible sectors is that of online slots, with the vast selection of games being available via any web browser. Of the many slots out there, the Razor Shark slot and its 2500x bet multiplier has proven to be one of the most popular, headlining a small trend of people drifting towards shark games. Console and PC gaming isn’t as accessible as browser gaming due to the upfront costs involved. However, as we’re heading towards the end of a console generation, top-of-the-line hardware is now more affordable.
May was a big month for game releases, with the shark game Maneater offering players the chance to play as a bull shark on a story of revenge. There have been some great game releases around Maneater, too. Animal Crossing: New Horizons and the Final Fantasy VII Remake have sold millions, per VG 24/7, alongside the likes of Doom Eternal, Resident Evil 3 Remake, Predator: Hunting Grounds, Saints Row: The Third Remastered, and Minecraft: Dungeons.
While it commands much more devotion than any other form, sport is, at its core, entertainment. As one of the more engaging forms of entertainment – which also has a viable avenue of spectatorship as well – gaming has naturally eased its way onto the screens of sports fans.