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NBA, NHL Broadcasters Turn to Video Game Sims to Play Out Seasons

NBA-NHL-Box-ArtAs sports video games get more and more realistic, using them to simulate hypothetical scenarios has become a popular past time. Things like: What if the original Dream Team played in today’s NBA? And with the current coronavirus pandemic shutting down professional sports, some broadcasters and teams have turned to video games to keep their fans entertained.

For Washington Wizards and Capitals fans, NBC Sports Washington and Monumental Sports will start airing simulations to play out the remaining basketball and hockey seasons. The one-hour broadcasts will sim the games using Take-Two Interactive’s NBA 2K20 and EA’s NHL 2o.

The Wizards’ simulated season kicks off against the Milwaukee Bucks at 7 pm ET on Saturday, March 21st. Capitals fans can tune in on Tuesday, March 24th, at 7pm ET when they virtually face off against the St. Louis Blues. Games will air on NBCSW and Monumental Sports Network’s website, and via apps on supported devices like Apple TV, Fire TV, and Xbox.

Elsewhere, other teams and organizations are turning to sports video games to help fill the void left by canceled or postponed seasons. The official YouTube channel for the Montreal Canadiens recently used NHL 2o to simulate a game against the San Jose Sharks and got their fans involved by letting them vote for which jerseys the teams should wear.

Of course, even modern sports video games can’t fully replace the drama and unpredictability of real-life games, but it’s interesting to see how groups are turning to these high-tech simulations to help keep entertain their fans and keep them engaged in the sports they love.

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