Just like most of the sports and entertainment world, esports leagues have been impacted by the coronavirus outbreak. While competitive teams are adapting to games without their teammates sitting beside them, more people are joining in from home, meaning they can play with even more spectators.
Ben Spoont, CEO of Misfits Gaming Group, told Cheddar Wednesday while many esports events were canceled due to the pandemic, they were able to work with their partners and the different leagues to get back to playing online within a couple of weeks.
“Esports has the ability to adapt really quickly. We’re now back online playing games in front of a lot more people because there are a lot more people at home, so we're excited about that,” Spoont said. “We’re fortunate for more people and to provide a form of entertainment for them.”
Spoont is also the co-founder of Florida Mayhem, a professional esports organization competing in Blizzard’s Overwatch League, and owns teams in all three major esport leagues. Despite being able to get back to playing online within a few weeks, Spoont said that they still had to make some changes.
“We’ve taken our nonessential players and nonessential personnel and removed them from the equation of the teams,” he explained. “When they talk about social distancing and stay in your home, most of our teams live together, so they’ve been continuing to act as a family unit. But instead of playing in the office they’re playing from their apartments.”
Spoont is also trying to help combat this global health crisis by joining in on the Gamers vs. COVID-19 pledge to help spread awareness about “flattening the curve.”
“Esports and gaming could actually do a lot right now to encourage people to stay at home, which is why we think that joining this challenge made a lot of sense. We think it’s important for us to give back to the community and make a meaningful and positive impact through esport’s strengths, which is to play video games and stay at home,” Spoont said.