English soccer teams like Watford, Southampton, and Leeds United played their matches a bit differently than usual this weekend due to the coronavirus outbreak.
The English Football League (EFL) suspended all Premier League and EFL Championship matches on March 14 until April 3 with the coronavirus continuing to raise concerns around the globe. The decision was made after Arsenal’s manager Mikel Arteta tested positive for coronavirus last week.
But instead of choosing to provide a lack of soccer action for at least a few weeks, some of the English clubs have opted to dive into gaming and streaming. Watford were the first Premier League team to do so, streaming their once scheduled match against Leicester City on Football Manager 2020, the most accurate football simulator.
Watford and Leicester tied 1-1 on FM 2020. Watford’s video of the match has already racked up more than 700,000 views on Twitter.
Southampton, another Premier League club, opted to play their match against Norwich on FIFA 20 and streamed it on Periscope. The Saints had better luck than Watford and beat Norwich 3-2.
Moving on to EFL Championship teams, Leeds United played their postponed match against Cardiff on FIFA 20. They streamed it on their Facebook page and updated their Twitter with highlight clips, just like they would’ve done during the real soccer match. Leeds beat Cardiff 3-1.
It’s likely that more soccer teams will decide to stream their previously-scheduled matches on simulator games to keep their fans entertained at home over the next few weeks. This should result in FM 2020 and FIFA 20 getting more viewers on multiple streaming platforms.