All Sports Are Esports Now: The MLB The Show, Players Tournament Edition

from the homeruns-at-home dept

For nearly a month now, since this coronavirus nightmare really began in America, we've been discussing how all sports have become esports, nearly overnight. Auto-racing kicked this trend off with some fairly great internet and television broadcasts of real racers driving digital cars. After that, the NFL and NBA made their own runs at some kind of esports events, with fairly mediocre results.

Now Major League Baseball is getting involved, having kicked off a 30 player tournament using the excellent MLB: The Show Playstation series. In announcing the series, MLB indicated it would be a tournament style event with one representative from 30 MLB teams playing their teams, with games being 3 inning affairs.

Starting Friday, 30 players are putting their virtual talents to the test in the first “MLB The Show” online league. Participants include 11 onetime All-Stars, five World Series champions and eight players age 25 or younger. The league will consist of 29 games for each player, one against each of the other participants, and will run for approximately three weeks. The top eight players will then advance to the “postseason.”

The “MLB The Show” players league will provide fans an opportunity to watch their favorite players play the video game, while also allowing them to interact with them through various streaming services.

Unlike the NFL and NBA attempts, there are several things that put this MLB event on solid footing. First, MLB: The Show is simply excellent and has nearly universally great reviews from games journalists and the public alike. Second, nobody does social media and internet marketing of its game in the professional sports world better than MLB. From MLBAM (Major League Baseball Advanced Media) to unleashing players on sites like Twitter and Facebook, MLB does it at least as well as everyone else. On top of that, the sport is almost perfectly suited to have a realistic video game substitute step in when you cannot experience the real thing. The motions, sights, and sounds of baseball translate well to a video game compared with more, ahem, highly athletic sports.

The results? They sure look like a lot of fun, with participation by MLB players, their families, and at least one good puppy named Rookie.

Honestly, when it comes to what MLB and NASCAR are doing in esports right now to fill in the gaps left by a global pandemic, one of the very real questions is quickly becoming why in the world these esports versions of leagues shouldn't continue when the real games come back.

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Filed Under: baseball, covid-19, esports, mlb: the show, sports, video games
Companies: mlb

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  1. icon
    Dark Helmet (profile), 15 Apr 2020 @ 5:59am

    Re: Virtual Baseball

    You must also not live in Japan, South Korea, or any part of Central or South America....

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