Coca-Cola, Intel, Samsung and dozens of other major companies that have historically sponsored sports events have changed their strategy dramatically in 2020. Since real stadiums are empty due to quarantine and COVID-19, corporate money has already been directed to support esports. Professional athletes also rushed there, forced to sit idle.
The last highlight was the Virtual Tour de France in July. Riders from all over the world, sitting at home on bicycles connected to the Zwift platform, drove along a virtual circuit with no less excitement than in reality. The cinematic picture, the elaboration of the terrain details, the work of professional commentators - the broadcast via YouTube was practically no different from the video of the races of the past.
David Beckham is building his team to play Rocket League, an alternative version of virtual football based on the Battlefy platform. Racing in Melbourne was replaced by the cyber competition "Not the Australian Grand Prix", where professional car pilots competed against cybersportsmen. The ATP and WTA organized the Mutua Madrid Open tennis tournament using the video game Nacon Tennis World Tour. And the International Basketball Federation staged a trial cyber competition based on the NBA 2K game, dramatically increasing its popularity.
The situation with COVID-19 and public events remains controversial, but people do not want to live without bread and circuses. And if the authorities of the countries more or less cope with the first, then the entertainment life is rapidly flowing into online. And while most of the events are staged and entertaining, the time is not far off when people start to compete, create and just live online as naturally as in reality.