Globalization and the digital age have given us access to technology that would have been unimaginable 20 years ago. The knowledge and information we can now obtain by a click of a button is tremendous and sees no limit. And even though simulated environments and digital worlds have been around for quite some time now and are concepts we are more than familiar with, COVID has taken it to a completely different level.
China has always been one of the main contributors to technology in Asia offering state-of-the-art digital products and services to consumers. However, the pandemic has furthermore strengthened the already developed digital way of living. Everything has gone E – we have e-meetings, e-learning, e-commerce, e-business, e-marketplaces, e-tourism. Live sports as we know them suffered a lot – matches got cancelled, venues shut down, athletes got sick, tournaments and championships significantly scaled down. Amidst the crisis, people turned to different type of entertainment – Esport.
That’s where the first e-long drive event in China was established. The said event took place on May 18, 2022 in Shenzhen and was a way of incorporating the new life style into the sport of long drive. According to Mr. Shine Liu, MD of China Long Drive Championship(CLD), what the CLD has been and will be trying to do in the future is to introduce this type of sports to the Chinese golfers by organizing similar long drive events all over China. It’s safe to say that the Shenzhen e-long drive event was a huge success since fans flocked to the Championship in vast numbers.
Although virtual sports had already been popular among amateurs, mostly in the form of video games, during the outbreak of the pandemic esports became the highest earning media sector whose audience reached hundreds of millions across the globe, China included.
“Esports has attracted a huge population of young people who are the major consumers and is developing very fast worldwide. It has become a professional sport worldwide and has a lot of young followers. But, as a father of two children, I don’t want my kids spending hours sitting in front of a computer screen playing video games. I understand that I cannot stop the growth of Esports among youngsters, but if we could combine video games and real sports where our kids would actually participate and be physically active, that would be the ideal situation.”
Thus, the Shenzhen e-long drive competition was actually an attempt at showcasing the best characteristics of esports with all the fancy lights, big screens, cheering and live streaming. “The event was very successful and we will definitely continue having this type of events in 2022 in different places such as indoor stadiums, shopping malls, etc to attract as much people as we can to promote the game. ”, said Shine Liu.
Indoor golf has been booming in Chinese cities during the pandemic. And we’re not talking only about computer games for teens and young adults. Simulators have gained in popularity, too. And how could they not? They provide perfect conditions to play – whether early in the morning or late at night, at the most famous golf courses, alone or with friends, golf simulators provide a controlled environment in the comfort of your home. They are the perfect gadget for avid players and offer a ton of different options to choose from.
Is a virtual tour in perfect conditions just as good as the real thing is a question that yet has to be answered, but one cannot deny the fact that it definitely has its perks.
Although it’s relatively new and fresh, e-golf is definitely a sport worth following. Judging by the success of the Shenzhen event last year, e-long drive is off to a good start in China and we should expect more organized events of this kind. And if it’s to judge by the Asia Long Drive Association’s work that’s still in its early stages, they will most definitely be exceptional and something worth holding your breath for.