While practicing social distancing in order to stop the curve of the coronavirus pandemic, many Major Leaguers have begun playing more video games, especially “MLB The Show,” streaming it online and inviting fans to interact with them.
Renowned gamers Blake Snell (Rays), Trevor May (Twins), Amir Garrett (Reds) and Hunter Pence (Giants) are taking that competition to the next level tonight, putting their video game talents on display in a four-player tournament of "MLB The Show" that's streaming live in the video above and here.
The competition is underway now and consists of two semifinals, plus the championship round. Each game is five innings long, and the event will last around two hours.
In the semifinals, Snell faces off with Pence, while May is matched up against Garrett. The winner of each game will square off in the final. And make no mistake about it, all four players are looking to capture the first "MLB The Show" tournament.
"Does Jake from State Farm wear khakis?" Snell quipped, when asked if he was going to win the tournament. "I'm playing to win. I don't know if I’m going to, but I’m playing to win."
Perhaps the best part of the event is that it's being livestreamed on various platforms, inviting fans to interact with the four players before, during and after. The tournament is streaming live on MLB's social media accounts (Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Twitch), "MLB The Show" social media (Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Twitch), the clubs’ social media accounts and MLB.com.
The four players are also live on their respective Twitch accounts:
Naturally, “MLB The Show” has become a popular game among Major Leaguers. It has allowed fans to watch their favorites play as themselves and their teammates on Twitch during a time when the players can’t go out and dominate on a real diamond.
“Streaming has really allowed me to talk to the fans and let them know how I’m doing every day and how I feel. That’s been exciting for me,” Snell said. “I just want to stream more so we can create an environment that doesn’t allow us to really think about what’s really going on. People are staying home, so it’s a safe way to connect with fans. Everybody that is watching me is probably not around people, which is a good way of slowing this virus down.”
On Thursday, the Marlins and Phillies simulated their Opening Day matchup, as Miguel Rojas and Rhys Hoskins took their controllers and played as their respective teams, with Hoskins and the Phillies coming out on top, 2-0. Snell also spent most of Thursday on "MLB The Show" in order to celebrate Opening Day at Home, receiving more than 65,000 views on his stream.