While the new coronavirus strains and outbreaks continue to postpone in-person tournaments and events, including sports and esports, President Joe Biden had announced in December that 500 million COVID-19 rapid test kits would be purchased and distributed to the public.
However, Biden’s promise may soon prove hollow as the Chinese New Year is also rapidly approaching – raising concerns about extended delays for these test kits and the reopening of esports events.
COVID Test Kits
In keeping with its traditions, no business will be conducted during the Chinese New Year which will be held for 16 days – Jan 31 through Feb 15, 2022. The overwhelming majority of COVID rapid tests are produced in China. Every factory plans to shut down its operations to celebrate the Chinese New Year, meaning nothing will be produced for a minimum of two weeks.
Gaming and online entertainment have seen a dramatic rise during the pandemic, as people are spending more time at home and in isolation. But in-person events continue to be delayed and cancelled, including Blizzcon 2021 and DreamHack 2022. These are an important part of the industry – bringing together gamers, tech companies, game publishers, and cosplayers in a celebration of game culture and esports.
The whole industry thrives on the emotional and social experience of gaming. The thrill that goes with sharing esports moments that define an era and bring fellow fans of teams and their rivals is what makes esports so powerful and memorable.
Esports is a business of stories and experiences, therefore limited in its potential by remaining solely online. Conventions, LAN Centers, arena competitions, merchandising stores are a few examples of where these experiences thrive.
With COVID restrictions returning, it is all of esports that holds its breath. The Omicron variant has been running rampant, forcing governments to adapt and close parts of their economy.
Is it possible for esports to create the same level of interest and emotional connection without in-person events? Only time will tell, but everyone anxiously awaits Biden to come through with his promised coronavirus test kits despite the pending Chinese New Year and the delays it brings with it in production and shipping of these kits.
The start of a new year is therefore just as important for esports as it is for other industries. A delay in providing test kits could mean the retractions or extended delays of multiple important events, snowballing into the loss of millions of dollars and the opportunity for life-changing experiences.
Is it Game on or Game over for esports events?
Written by Esportz Network
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