As sports fans are left without traditional sports being played and televised, there has been a shift to competitive entertainment through esports.
From the typical fighting and arena fighting games to modern sports games, television networks have been showing virtually every tournament of popular esports, including Overwatch and Call of Duty, which have created their own leagues.
Northwest Esports of Seattle is creating a community of video game players through tournament hosting and other various services.
According to Jake Greene, owner of Northwest Esports, many people online are actually gaming as more people who typically wouldn’t get involved in competitive gaming are now getting involved.
Northwest Esports, founded in 2004, has been instrumental in increasing the popularity of esports in the region, reaching as far as Vancouver, British Columbia, and Portland in Oregon. It also assisted in setting up various gaming-related clubs at universities in the area.
In this unprecedented time, the business is projecting growth as more people turn into gaming as an entertainment source.
Greene said that more people have been joining their community than ever before because of the higher demand for gaming. The activity has ramped up considerably, according to Greene.
In the last four weeks, the number of tournaments being organized has been two or three times the number the business would have facilitated.
Websites like Twitch and Mixer have been getting an increase in digital consumption. Northwest Esports has seen this trend of the growing interest in the Pacific Northwest, so they immediately capitalized it by putting on local events.
The business knows exactly the regional popularity of esports. In 2018 and 2019, Northwest Esports managed to host over 20 in-place video game tournaments at entertainment venues, community centers, and local bars. These types of events helped the business gauge the regional popularity of esports.
Green revealed that their discord has more than 1,000 members within the region, so anytime they tweet events, they get close to filling up the bracket within 72 hours.
The core values of the company include integrity and sportsmanship while playing games.
Northwest Esports has partnered with a non-profit HighSchool.gg. They have collaborated on events in educational settings in California and Washington.
However, previously planned events have been canceled due to the stay-at-home order.
Major events that were canceled include the one that booked with the Experience Olympia tourism board for Thurston County, scheduled at the Lucky Eagle Casino, according to Greene. Greene further said that they were expecting approximately over 500 attendees next month, but they had to cancel and rescheduled it to happen next year to be still called PARADiGM.
The company was expecting PARADiGM to be a hit because that was going to be one that would have covered everything from top to bottom in partnership with the tourism board and the casino.