The coronavirus pandemic has shut down live sports around the world, but in the meantime, athletes, coaches and fans alike have found new ways to pass the time. That's where the gaming world has come in, and what's even better is that so many of the esports still going are playing for charities working to help those impacted by the coronavirus.
All 32 United Soccer League teams will play in a World Cup-style Rocket League tournament starting April 1. Dubbed the USL eCup, it will conclude on April 25, and don't worry, it will all be broadcast on the ESPN App.
Each club is playing to raise money for a local charity to help ease the impact of COVID-19, and game players will include everyone from fans of the clubs to their players, staff or owners.
Rocket League developer Psyonix's co-studio head, Corey Davis, announced on Twitter last week that Rocket League set a new peak player count record of roughly 548,000 across all platforms. Clearly, it's a popular game to play during the coronavirus pandemic.
Let's get ready to have some fun on the field!
How to watch:
The USL eCup will broadcast all 64 matches of the series beginning April 1 on the ESPN App. Highlights from the matches will be seen on ESPN's social channels as well.
The tournament will be produced by USL's broadcast partner, VISTA WorldLink.
What is Rocket League?
Rocket League is a soccer video game -- but with rocket-powered cars instead of humans.
There are two teams, each with anywhere from one to four players. The goal is the same as in soccer: to score points by putting the ball in the goal.
How will eCup work?
Week 1 and Week 2 will be group play: Each club will play three matches against the other clubs in its group. There will be a knockout bracket in Weeks 3 and 4.
There will be anywhere from 140 to 222 games, followed by 64 matches. Matches will be played in a "Best of X Games" series and will be five minutes long.
Each match will have two play-by-play commentators and commentary in full postgame. In addition, each match will be one player against one player, though each club roster can have up to three players.