Esports is perfect for sports fanatics during COVID-19 due to its convenience and competitive nature.
Sports have been few and far between this year, with some consistency coming with football, but even that is sporadic. Esports is entirely digital, highly competitive and has tons of variety because there is no shortage of video games to play.
Watching competitive gameplay is the latest craze, and it has grown substantially with the quarantine that we all endured. It is entirely online with no real dilemma about how the sport is run and operated because the games are already online. There is no additional COVID-19 testing, no bubbles and no strict guidelines to participate in this sport, just good old fashioned fun.
Esports stands for electronic sports and teams get together and play a game against other teams. The overall unit is split up into mini-groups for specific games like a Super Smash Brothers team, Call of Duty team and Fortnite team, but overall they are on one general squad.
Esports is perfect because you can do it from your bed if you want to. You can stay in your PJ's to watch a match and not be judged by anyone. I don't know about most people, but I would pick a day in bed watching a competitive video game rather than being packed into a stadium with a lot of people.
Just think about it: at a live sporting event, you're packed into one area, and it's hot and loud. Someone spills a beer on you and the person next to you when there is a big play, then the person next to you tries to fight the person that spilled the beer. It is just a massive mess.
After the game, you have to deal with the traffic and everyone thinking they have the right-of-way. Then you get rear-ended, and you have to deal with that situation, so you are sticking around even longer, and you just want to get home and nap.
The University of Louisiana at Lafayette has an esports team, and I have started to watch them lately to try to fill the hole left by regular sports. I will focus mostly on UL Lafayette's Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six Siege team because I have watched them the most. I watch this because it is one of my favorite video games as you have to strategize how to attack or defend different maps in the game.
Rainbow Six Siege is a 5v5 multiplayer tactical shooter with 57 (29 attackers 28 defenders with another defender set to be added later this year) operators to choose from. Each operator has a different gadget to use to try and help their team win.
The goal is to eliminate the other team's five players or defuse a bomb/defuse the diffuser. Depending on whether you are attacking or defending said bomb, you use the gadgets that a particular operator has to achieve the goal.
Players on either team can end up in disadvantageous situations where one team has all five players, and you are the lone player left on your team. Just watching it is insanely nerve-racking to watch because everyone likes to root for the underdog.
The matches that I have witnessed are incredibly entertaining and competitive. The best is when you log into the stream on Twitch, you can hear the team's game plan for that round. You can also interact with the team in the chat box on Twitch, making it feel like you are on the preverbal sideline with them.
I have said it already: you can be in your PJs and enjoy that game. Watching a good strategy and gameplan being executed perfectly is probably the most satisfying thing to witness. That makes me sound like a nerd, but don't judge me until you check the team out yourselves. Highly talented players that are our classmates and are worth the look, in my opinion.
If you have not checked out UL Lafayette's esports team, again, I highly recommend it. These people work very hard at their craft, and I feel as though they are not given as much credit as, say, football, basketball or volleyball. I know it’s dumb to say watch these people play a video game, but check them out for yourself. Try to catch a match on the streaming platform Twitch, which is free to sign up and use. Also, check them out on any social media sites: Instagram: @cajunesports, Twitter: @Cajuns_ESports, Facebook: CajunESports.