Eliana Bollati
Eliana Bollati
Eliana is a freelance journalist from Australia with a passion for esports, especially Dota 2. A casual player of the game for the better part of a decade, Eliana started following the professional circuit avidly during TI5. She brings a casual player and hardcore fan perspective into her commentary on the professional scene.

MRL Goes Digital to Help Fight COVID-19

A shiled with a rugby ball in the centre. The letters MLR appear above it
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MRL players put their skills to the test in Rugby20 to raise funds for Feeding America’s COVID-19 relief fund.

Although the US Major Rugby League (MRL) had to put the brakes on the 2020 season early due to the spread of the coronavirus the League hasn’t brought the action to a full stop just yet.

Rather than resting on their laurels, the MLR decided to become the first professional sports league to host a virtual league. Professional players from the MLR have been facing off in the MLR 2020: Virtual and raising funds for Feeding America’s COVID-19 Response Fund while they’re at it. The MRL 2020: Virtual streams have a shout caster, and analyst. As well as plenty of cool prizes to giveaway to fans who tune in and donate to a good cause.

It’s an interesting time to be a professional athlete or sports organization. With so many events being forced to postpone, or outright cancel, there is a lot of uncertainty; for the players and fans alike.

Although MRL 2020: Virtual isn’t quite an esports competition, the event is an innovative move. And it shows there is plenty of overlap between fans of traditional sports, and their digital counterparts. MRL’s decision to fill the gap with an online event shows how valuable virtual events can be for keeping us connected with one another, and the things we love, during trying times.

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When's kick off?

Pro players like Malcolm May, Connor Wallace Sims and Alex Tucci represent their teams and face off in a heated game of Rugby20, revisiting some of their rivals on the field to try and take them down digitally.

So far, five rounds have been played. MLR have been streaming each round of the competition live on their Twitch channel. And the Playoff’s are finally getting underway.

You can catch the Playoff’s starting today from 5PM CT.

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