In 2019, 174,000 people descended on the Spodek arena in the quaint Polish town of Katowice to witness the world’s best teams and players compete in Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, Dota 2, StarCraft II, Fortnite, and other esports in the Intel® Extreme Masters World Championship. It became the most successful live esports tournaments series ever held in one location.
Naturally, however, the 2020 global tournament had to be canceled. Such has been the impact of the pandemic on live esports events. It’s a disappointment, given that live esports have become a massive business. Gaming may be based online, but these in-person events have become crucial to the industry’s success.
Yet, in the midst of the pandemic, esports have taken advantage of their nature in other ways. In the spring, as athletic competitions remained on pause, TV networks like ESPN and Fox Sports