If you're like us, you have a Glad garbage bag full of a SmartFood popcorn next to the sofa right now, and a 24-pack of Pabst Blue Ribbon on ice in a cooler just waiting to be demolished. Now all you need is something to keep you entertained. Here are four eSports events worth tuning in for this weekend.
NBA 2K20 Tournament
Saturday and Sunday at various times on ESPN and ESPN2. Go here for a full schedule.
Because the Toronto Raptors are the reigning champions of the NBA, while no Canadian team has won the Stanley Cup since Bill Clinton was president, there's a line of thinking that says basketall is in danger of usurping hockey as Canada's new national sport. To that end, expect hoops fans from coast to coast to stay glued to their monitors this weekend as 16 NBA players dispay their eSports chops as part of the five-day NBA 2K20 tournament. Instead of hoisting the Larry O'Brien NBA Championship Trophy, the winner will get to present a $100,000 cheque to the pandemic-relief charity of his choice.
NASCAR iRacing Pro Invitational
Sunday at 1 p.m. EST on Fox, Fox Sports, and streaming on eNASCAR.com
Few traditional sports have benefitted more from the COVID-19 lockdown than NASCAR racing, with each eSports race setting a new ratings record for viewership. Last weekend had 1.3 million iRacing fan tune in on TV (that's right-someone still watches TV), with a quarter of them reporting they hadn't watched a pre-lockdown NASCAR event in 2020. This weekend sees a Saturday Night Thunder race (time TBD) on April 4 featuring drivers from the NASCAR Xfinity Series and PEAK Mexico Series. That will be followed by the weekend's main race, the Food City Showdown at the Bristol Motor Speedway on Sunday (April 5), where the track will include Chase Elliott, Timmy Hill, Bubba Wallace, and Joey Logano.
DJ Mag Charity Stream
Sunday starting at 9 a.m. EST on Twitch
Last week, A-list celebrities from Joe Jonas to Richard Sherman took part in the Twitch-broadcast Stream Aid 2020 marathon, raising $2.7 million for the World Health Organization's COVID-19 Response Fund. This weekend the good will continues, with DJ Mag celebrating the launch of its Twitch account with an all-day streaming event. Heavyweights Steve Aoki, Afrojack, Dimitri Vegas & Like Mike, and Bassjackers will be displaying their prowess--or complete hopelessness--on Mortal Kombat 11, League of Legends, and Call of Duty: Warzone, with all money once again going to the COVID-19 Response Fund. You can check out the schedule here.
Rocket League Season 8 World Championship Grand Final
Sunday at 4:30 pm EST on ESPN
You know how you make the beautiful game more appealing to those who wouldn't know the Leeds United footback club from "Leeds United" by Amanda Palmer? You add cars that look like they just rolled off the assembly line of an animated version of The Fast & the Furious. Rocket League has nitro-powered cars taking to the pitch with the world's most indestructable soccer ball. Still having trouble wrapping your head around things? To prime the world for the Rocket League Spring Series North American Finals on April 26, ESPN is broadcasting last December's Season 8 World Championship Grand Final, where NRG Esports did battle with Renault Vitality in Madrid, Spain. Start your engines, but unless you want to end up in the next solar system, maybe pay attention to how hard you hit the gas. Oh, and because you know you're curious, here's Amanda Palmer's "Leeds United."