While live sports have now largely resumed almost everywhere across the world, spectators are still not allowed in stadiums and arenas, except in a few countries, and even their capacity is extremely reduced.
Of course, this is only the case now – earlier this year live sports were practically brought to halt globally for three to four months.
Esports has been growing in popularity over the last few years, and this year, with the pandemic forcing people to stay indoors, there was a stunning rise in viewership.
In fact, many online sports betting outlets began offering odds on the most popular esports matches and tournaments as an alternative to live sports betting.
However, while fans are of course waiting for the day when they can cheer their teams and players again from their usual seats, there has also been an impact in terms of the way players and youngsters are scouted.
With travel being restricted, it has become extremely difficult for scouts to be able to fly out to look at the next big prospect, for example, or even for them to just attend matches which they would have done ordinarily to look for glimpses of talent.
In such a situation, it is encouraging that we will soon see the first digital football scouting tournament taking place in Africa.
The teams are the Glow-Lamp Soccer Academy, Green Plus Soccer Academy, Chance for Children, Young Redbull Football Club, DC United and Cape Coast Strikers Football Club.
These teams are selected from underprivileged communities in Ghana, with the U-19 players being given the chance to showcase their abilities and skills in front of an audience of agents, scouts, clubs and coaches, all of whom will be using the DS Football online platform.
Bernard Yao Kumordzi, an ex-Ghana international, will also lead a mentorship session with other ex-footballers for the young players, to prepare them for a professional career in the game.
They will be able to take full advantage of the DS Football platform, where they can create their profiles, upload highlights from their matches, as well as reports for scouts, coaches and agents to evaluate and look for potential transfer options.
Africa has a long history of hosting several such youth tournaments for the purpose of scouting, but the pandemic has meant that circumstances are different this year.
Scouts and coaches cannot travel to watch games physically, so this solution by DS Football will help them gain some insight into the most talented youngsters available from among the six teams taking part, while doing so remotely.
The tournament will be held over nine days, at one single venue, with DS Football taking care of transportation, training, kits, branding, accommodation and training for the teams, as well as the production of the necessary materials to upload on their platform.