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Video Game Simulations Begin to Fill Canceled Sports Seasons

By Rich Duprey - Mar 23, 2020 at 9:03AM

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Esports and video games are beginning to fill the void left by the cancellation of pro sports seasons.

With professional sports leagues canceling the remainder of their seasons during the coronavirus pandemic, some basketball and hockey teams are resorting to video game simulations to play out the rest of the season.

Monumental Sports & Entertainment began airing one-hour simulations on Comcast's
(CMCSA 1.18%) NBC sports station in Washington, D.C., starting Saturday with the NBA's Washington Wizards squaring off against the Milwaukee Bucks via Take-Two Interactive's (TTWO 2.75%) NBA 2K20 video game. 

Basketball player about to slam dunk a ball

Image source: Getty Images.

The broadcast featured gameplay and commentary from the video game as well as coverage from NBC's Wizards announcers. The Bucks beat the Wizards 80-61 over the course of four eight-minute quarters.

The NHL's Washington Capitals will play the St. Louis Blues via Electronic Arts' (EA 0.96%) EA Sports NHL 20, with the presentation featuring commentary from NBC's Capitals announcers. 

The event will be streamed on the Monumental Sports Network.

The NBA's Phoenix Suns took a slightly different approach, by playing its regular season games using NBA 2K20 on's (AMZN 3.58%) Twitch streaming platform and streaming it on the team's Twitch channel.

Seven NBA players have tested positive for COVID-19. The league has come under fire for testing players who weren't exhibiting coronavirus symptoms, leading to accusations that the professional athletes were getting preferential treatment amid a shortage of tests during the pandemic. 

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