Depending on which sport a fan supports, they may or may not be able to join in on the action. In other words, a sport like basketball is a bit more accessible than a sport like Formula One. No matter how much a fan enjoys watching Max Verstappen race around a Grand Prix course, they most likely will never have the chance to attempt the same.
This is part of the allure of sports betting. A fan can shop around for offers on sites like OddsChecker, then use a free bet to wager on their favorite team or player. It brings them closer to the action and lets them put their knowledge of a league to the test. But what if there was a way for sports fans to get even closer to their preferred sports?
Piggybacking on the popularity of eSports, some virtual sports simulation games go above and beyond to give fans a backstage pass, so to speak. In fact, that’s what they’re designed for—to let fans in on the experience of being a pro. If you’re a fan of racing, cycling, or golf, dive into one of the virtual sims below. They’re the best in the industry.
Since 2008, the iRacing platform has been one of the most developed and celebrated racing sims. The platform runs on a subscription, letting players compete in a variety of competitions, from rally racing to NASCAR to big rigs. The platform has official partnerships with NASCAR and Porsche. Whether a hobbyist virtual driver or someone with a need for speed, iRacing lets you dive into the details as much as you want.
In 2014, Zwift launched as an MMO cycling and training platform. Similar to iRacing, it allows users to compete in a virtual world—but instead of motor vehicles, they compete on bikes. Zwift allows for a greater degree of autonomy. Instead of just racing, players can also personalize their bikes and their characters. The platform includes twelve worlds to cycle through, including one fantasy world called the Makuri Islands and even the real-life Giro d’Italia.
Coming Soon: TGL
PGA giants Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy recently announced a PGA-sponsored virtual golf league. TGL is expected to launch in January 2024, allowing players to compete in conjunction with actual PGA Majors. The goal is to let fans try their hand at some of the most famous PGA stopovers—and then compare their results to the pros in real time.