A world without sports was a scenario that only a sports fan could have a nightmare about. Thanks to the current global health crisis, this nightmare scenario is now a reality as live sports are on hold for the foreseeable future. With athletes being forced to stay at home during this time, they, along with cooperation with their respective professional leagues, have decided to move competitions to the world of video gaming.
The most prominent of these leagues moving to virtual competition have been the racing leagues making the most out of the simulation game known as iRacing. Both NASCAR and IndyCar have found ways to utilize the simulation service so that they can keep drivers active, and fans entertained.
In NASCAR, their premier series, known as the Cup Series, hosts invitational races every Sunday that are simulcast on FOX and Fox Sports 1. The top drivers in the Cup Series have competed virtually at tracks such as Bristol Motor Speedway, Homestead-Miami Speedway, and most recently, Richmond Raceway. Not only do active Cup drivers compete, but legends such as Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Bobby Labonte are also competing in these events.
To go along with these races - drivers from the lower divisions like the Xfinity Series and Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series compete in other races that take place throughout the week on virtual classic tracks and dirt tracks. You can tune into this races on eNASCAR's website (https://www.enascar.com/).
In the IndyCar series, they host a series of races similar to the Cup Series races on NBC Sports Network every Saturday.
The NBA has been active in the gaming world. While many of the league's players have been streaming themselves playing video games through Twitch, the NBA hosted an NBA 2K20 Tournament that was broadcasted on ESPN. The tournament featured players such as Phoenix Suns center DeAndre Ayton, Los Angeles Clippers guard Patrick Beverley, and Brooklyn Nets forward Kevin Durant. The tournament was won by Suns star player Devin Booker, who ended up facing his Suns teammate Deandre Ayton in the final game.
While the NHL is not officially hosting any online competition, a Canadian man by the name of Tyson T., is running a simulation of the remainder of the NHL season from when competition halted, all the way to the Stanley Cup Finals. The league is called IceTilt League and viewers can catch games here https://www.twitch.tv/icetilt.
Major League Baseball is getting into the virtual action as well. With no regular season play going on, the developers of the "MLB The Show" video game have put together a 30 man tournament. One player from each MLB team will represent their squad to determine who is the best on the thumb sticks.
Even with no major American pro sports leagues continuing action for the foreseeable future, the effort that these leagues are putting in to create content for their fans is encouraging. It shows that even though there are no sports going on in the real world, there are no limits or restrictions in the virtual world.