TEXARKANA, Texas — The entire sports world is currently on pause due to the worldwide COVID-19 pandemic.
On the Monday, the Summer 2020 Olympics were canceled. The Summer Olympics was the last major sporting event in the world to cancel. The Olympics were set to begin in July.
Gamers across the world have connected with their gaming consoles and personal computers over the past few weeks due to the mandated quarantine periods across the globe.
Evelyn Burrows, store manager at GameExchange has seen a spike in sales with games and gaming consoles.
"Honestly, we've had a mixed crowd of people, young and old, coming in to purchase games and gaming systems," Burrows said. "We've recently sold a lot of retro systems and games. I think it's the older generation having a chance to spend time with their kids and they're showing them what they would do when they would have to spend time inside.
"We're wiping down our counters and tabletops every 30 minutes. We're also spraying disinfectant in our store as much as possible. We're also sanitizing every single thing that comes in. Our customer's safety and healthy is a focus of ours."
Liberty-Eylau has a two eSports teams that aren't governed by he University Interscholastic League but fall under the umbrella as a club sport.
Rick Allen is the head coach of the Leopard Spirit and Leopard Strength, the eSports teams at Liberty-Eylau High School.
"Well, most of the teams we compete against are from all over the country," Allen said. "Those are sanctioned eSports teams, so they've been told not to compete anymore. They aren't allowed to play, so competition has stopped. "
Allen has even found a way to get his guys reps, even if they don't have all of the equipment.
"Well, everyone on our team doesn't have a PC," Allen said. "We can't practice League of Legends. We also play a game called SMITE and it's on Xbox. Everyone on our team has a Xbox. We don't compete on Xbox, we use PC but we use what we have. All of their regular take-home homework has to completed before we practice.
"The tournaments have made concessions, telling teams that they could compete from home if they chose to do so. But most of the state's school districts have shut down. The key thing we're focusing on during this time is communication. I find it better that they're playing in different spots. I listen to see if they're talking or not talking to one another. When they're in person, they have the headsets on and they're still communicating There's nudges and other things you can do to communicate, but I'm trying to get their vocal communication with one another a little better. It's been working so far."
Allen also believes his squad will gain growth during this period.
"I think it's going to open up a lot of opportunities," Allen said. "We're a very young team and we play older teams that have been together a little longer than we have. Now, we can play against younger teams and be a little more competitive. Whereas, before all of this, we would go to tournament and play teams that were extremely good. We weren't having much fun or we'd play a team that just got the game last week, and we'd smoke them. So coming out this, you'll probably see some junior varsity teams. I also think there will be a lot more organization coming out of this. I've been talking to coaches nationally and we've all been coordinating what we're going to do once all of this over."