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How Esports Changed Forever in 2020 - The Shift for Esports
The year 2020 brought so many changes to so many things. Due to the unprecedented scale of the Covid-19 pandemic, the focus for everyone shifted from progress to survival. Regardless of which industry you are in, you would also be affected in some way which changed the way you live and work for a major portion of the year that was 2020. 
The Asian Electronic Sports Federation wasn't spared. Those who have been following our progress closely would know that 2020 was meant to be a landmark year where we launch our annual regional tournament, the AESF e-Masters. Having completed the preliminary rounds in early 2020, February 2020 was supposed to witness the inaugural e-Masters Grand Finals in Chengdu, China. 
The postponement of the event was among the first of many more esports and sporting events which were affected by the global pandemic. Some events and circuits had it worse by facing outright cancellations but rest assured, the AESF is still committed to run the e-Masters Finals once the situation permits. 
In a very volatile year filled with so much uncertainty, esports had to evolve in order to survive. And survive we did. Digging deep into our resources and creativity, the esports community persevered to grow stronger. Instead of solely relying on grand-scale offline events to keep the momentum and hype alive, esports improvised in many ways. 
By shifting its focus to online tournaments and events, esports managed to maintain its foothold and presence whilst making it financially feasible to sustain. 
A return to its roots of sorts, esports refocusing on online tournaments is also a sign which all AESF members should follow moving forward. Esports is one of the very few competitive sports scene which offers the most inclusive playing field for all its participants. 
This should always be the goal of esports, rather than focusing on staging grand events which esports have been so accustomed with in recent years. An industry which has always thrived on its community's growth and support, accessibility and sustainability should return and remain as our aim.
The major barrier remains which is technology. With many sectors - public service, education and even retail - adapting to the global travel restrictions, many countries have opted to improve their internet infrastructure in response. This is where esports stakeholders should pay special attention to. Investing on smaller-scaled, yet thriving remote communities via online activities is much more meaningful and valuable in the long run.
While we look forward to a brighter and much more productive year in 2021, let us take in all we could from 2020; the trials and errors, as well as the lesson learned to be a better federation. Esports have changed forever - so should we when it comes to our priorities and objective in leading this industry that we all love.