Social distancing has made it difficult for fans and athletes alike to truly enjoy sports, over the last few weeks. Fortunately, a lot of fans have gotten their fix through esports. NASCAR drivers have spent the last few weeks participating in iRacing events, and now professional tennis players are getting in on the action. This weekend, Venus Williams, Serena Williams, and Madison Keys will take part in a Mario Tennis Aces tournament, alongside celebrities such as Steve Aoki, Seal, and more. The event has been dubbed the Stay At Home Slam, and it will air exclusively on Facebook. The players will be competing in doubles matches, so this could be the only chance viewers will ever have to see DeAndre Hopkins and Maria Sharapova play Mario Tennis together!
The event is being organized by IMG Tennis. The afternoon's commentators will include John McEnroe and Justine "iJustine" Ezarik. It's interesting to see Mario Tennis Aces used for this type of event, as opposed to a true tennis sim like AO Tennis 2. While the Mario Tennis series has always offered strong tennis mechanics, its selection says a lot about the kind of event viewers should expect to see. While other esports events have attempted to replicate the real thing as closely as possible, the goal of the Stay At Home Slam seems to be more focused on offering viewers something fun and silly to spend some time with.
Of course, the selection of Mario Tennis Aces might have more to do with the fact that the Nintendo Switch has proven to be a bit of an in-demand item, thanks to the coronavirus pandemic. The system has been hard to find over the last few weeks, thanks to the popularity of Animal Crossing: New Horizons, and resellers abusing checkout bots. The Stay At Home Slam just might make Mario Tennis Aces the next Switch game that becomes hard to find.
🚨 #STAYATHOMESLAM 🚨
Tune in Sunday on @FacebookGaming to watch the ultimate doubles competition. @serenawilliams, @naomiosaka, @keinishikori, @MariaSharapova & more will compete in the IMG Tennis #StayAtHomeSlam, with proceeds going towards COVID-19 relief. #MarioTennis Aces pic.twitter.com/q3wBwRkyL4— IMG Tennis (@IMGTennis) April 29, 2020
The Stay At Home Slam will kick-off Sunday May 3rd at 1 p.m. PT. Proceeds will benefit COVID-19 relief.
Do you plan on watching the Stay At Home Slam? What do you think of the event's line-up? Let us know in the comments or share your thoughts directly on Twitter at @Marcdachamp to talk all things gaming!