Despite all the negative news and event cancelations because of the COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak, there is a silver lining. For esports and gaming, coronavirus increases viewership and popularity with fans stuck at home.
A new initiative called Gamers Vs COVID-19 brings esports players and streamers together to inform gamers about the pandemic. One step that gamers can take to protect themselves and those around them is to stay indoors and play games.
A part of Gamers Vs COVID-19 pledge reads as follows.
“I know that there’s lots of online gaming out there, and I’m not missing anything by staying in! I want to keep my neighbors, family and community safe, and I pledge to do my part by staying home, keeping calm and raising awareness for others.”
As more and more players stay indoors, most of the top games break new player records. Popular live-streaming website Twitch also recorded record viewership for several esports events.
CS:GO Hits 1 Million, Concurrent Players
Valve’s free-to-play first-person shooter, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, recorded more than a million concurrent players in March 2020 following several months increasing player numbers. The game even broke its previous record of 916,966 in February 2020.
CS:GO recorded 1,007,062 players on March 14, signaling a massive jump in the number of players reverting to the 8-year-old game. Riot Games also announced its new FPS game, Valorant, a new competitor to CS:GO and Overwatch.
Steam Hits 20 Million Concurrent Players
Dominant PC gaming platform Steam, recorded more than a million concurrent users on its platform, a first for the Valve-owned platform. Steam houses some of the biggest games on the planet, including CS:GO, Dota 2 and PUBG.
With many cities and areas under lockdown, it is not entirely surprising to see Steam breaking new player records.
IEM Katowice at Highest Non-Major CS:GO Viewership
IEM Katowice is one of the biggest CS:GO events and also a Masters tier event for the ESL Pro Tour. The tournament takes place at the Spodek Arena every year. But after the COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak, ESL lost its live audience at the event.
#KatowiceMajor – 1.2M#LondonMajor – 1.08M#IEM2020 – 1.0M#KrakowMajor – 961k#BerlinMajor – 837k@IEM @ESLCS @ESL
— Esports Charts (@EsportsCharts) March 1, 2020
Despite the lack of a live audience, IEM Katowice 2020 recorded the highest non-Major viewership in CS:GO.
Season 11 Peaks Viewership in ESL Pro League
ESL Pro League returned to an online-only format and has been breaking new viewership records in Season 11.
People are staying home. This makes me more glad than the records themselves.
Please practice social distancing, wash your hands regularly and play video games! https://t.co/QAEkdYqRKj
— Michal Blicharz (@mbCARMAC) March 18, 2020
While tournament streams are great entertainment for fans, it is essential that people stay home and do their part to stop the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus.
A Surge in Gaming in Italy and China
“We reported an increase of more than 70% of Internet traffic over our landline network, with a big contribution from online gaming such as Fortnite.” Luigi Gubitosi to analysts, as per Bloomberg.
Telecom Italia CEO Luigi Gubitosi mentioned Fortnite even as the telecom company reported a nearly 70 percent increase in bandwidth usage. Italy also recently surpassed China for the total number of coronavirus deaths.
Chinese streaming website Douyu reported increased revenues due to people staying home and gaming. China has been one of the most effective nations at handling the coronavirus pandemic and has now brought down the number of local cases to zero.
There is no cure for the COVID-19 coronavirus yet, although researchers are working round the clock to defeat the first-ever coronavirus-pandemic in human history. Countries are already launching clinical trials to find a cure for the covid19 coronavirus, but it will be some time before we can see a cure in mass production.
The World Health Organization recommends several measures to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.
- Frequently wash hands with soap and water (or an alcohol-based hand sanitizer)
- Cover mouth and nose while coughing or sneezing (respiratory hygiene)
- Avoid close contact with anyone who has fever and cough
- Maintain Social Distancing
Written by Rohan Samal
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