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eSports: Mixed Reality

A version of Esports Gaming in which athletes compete against each other remotely has become massively popular, particularly since 2019 and the coronavirus-led lockdowns. In mixed-reality eSports, athletic performance in the real world is transferred into a virtual space so that the athletes can interact and compete against each other remotely.

There is no universal name for this sport category, it has variously been called mixed reality, augmented reality, virtual sports, or remote sports. An example of this is the cycling platform Zwift.

cycling competitions on Zwiftcycling competitions on Zwift


An example of a mixed-reality esport is cycling competitions on Zwift, a massively popular multi-player online cycling platform that allows e-cyclists to ride on virtual courses with others from around the world in real time. The game uses data from a stationary bike, and accounts for the participants' height and weight.

The first major event was a virtual Tour de France held in July 2020, followed by the UCI Cycling Esports World Championships held in December 2020. For the World Championships, all the participants received the same smart trainer (a device that replaces the rear wheel on a stationary bike) so that they could compete on a level virtual playing field. These smart trainers then automatically increased or decreased resistance to match the virtual road surface and conditions.

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Is esports the future of sports? There are tournaments in competitive gaming, as well as mixed-reality sports, which we may soon see at the Olympics. Check out our list of eSports.

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