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Pro sports play on through coronavirus shutdown — thanks to video games

Spain’s footballers play a FIFA 20 tournament to raise money for charity

Owen S. Good is a longtime veteran of video games writing, well known for his coverage of sports and racing games.

The National Hockey League may have suspended play last week, but the Carolina Hurricanes still laid the wood to the Ottawa Senators 9-1, this afternoon, in an NHL 20 match live-streamed by the Canes’ official YouTube account this afternoon.

In real life, Ottawa and Carolina were due to face off today, but that was postponed (along with the rest of the NHL season) because of public health advisories against large gatherings, to contain the spread of COVID-19. Sports in particular have suffered from the mass closings, but they do have an alternative — a good, old-fashioned CPU-vs-CPU sim on a PlayStation 4 or Xbox One.

It’s not just in hockey. Spain’s La Liga, also suspended because of coronavirus, is playing right now In FIFA 20. We’re currently in the quarterfinals of a 16-team tournament in an event organized by streamer Ibai Llanos. The tournament is raising money for charities helping those caught up in the coronavirus pandemic.

The tournament’s field was seeded according to La Liga’s table at the time the schedule was suspended. The players’ participation is impressive, but so is the serious, match-day commentary Llanos and friends are giving to this event.

Here are the real-life players, and their clubs, playing in the tournament (per

  • Sergi Roberto (Barcelona)
  • Marco Asensio (Real Madrid)
  • Sergio Reguilon (Sevilla)
  • Adnan Januzaj (Real Sociedad)
  • Jason (Getafe)
  • Marcos Llorente (Atlético Madrid)
  • Carlos Soler (Valencia)
  • Manu Morlanes (Villarreal)
  • José Antonio Martinez (Granada)
  • Ruben Garcia (Osasuna)
  • Borja Iglesias (Real Betis)
  • Carlos Clerc (Levante)
  • Lucas Perez (Alaves)
  • Pedro Porro (Real Valladolid)
  • Edu Exposito (Eibar)
  • Kevin Vazquez (Celta Vigo)
  • Aitor Ruibal (Leganés)
  • Adri Embarba (Espanyol)

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