CHICAGO (CBS) — For both fans and athletes alike, eSports is quickly becoming about the only outlet left right now for live sports.
While EA Sports Madden has dominated the football scene, another league is quickly gaining popularity. The Simulated Football League features 20 teams, including the Chicago Wildcats, and it’s nationally televised.
This year’s top draft pick is St. Louis quarterback Jonny Pichler, from Lombard. Jonny told us what makes this league unique.
“The Simulation Football League, it’s being dubbed as the first controller-less eSport,” said Pichler. “Where you don’t need to be a gifted eSport athlete and great with the controls to be able to see your player on national TV. To be able to see your player out on the field. I play quarterback, but I’m not controlling when may player throws the ball (or) when he rolls out. I’m not making those instinctual in-the-moment decisions. The skill in this game is all about game-planning. It’s kind of a chess game out there on the field. The players are more so the personalities of the league.”
“It’s really surreal, man,” added Pichler. “As goofy as it is, so many family and friends are like ‘dude, I just heard your name on TV. I’m rooting for your game now.’ You really get attached to that character and that performance. It’s crazy, but it’s not crazy if you’ve been an athlete in your past. You can get emotionally invested so quickly. I love hearing my name called every week. I’d be lying to say I didn’t.”