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What, Exactly, Is A "Virtual Match"?

Starting today, May 23, your DeKalb County United is offering you the chance to support local businesses by buying a "ticket" to a virtual match against COVID-19. You might be asking what a virtual match is, so, as your commentator for the match, please let me explain ...

You've probably heard of virtual matches before, but they may have been called "simulated matches", or "what-if matches" that newspapers, radio stations, and TV often use to show you how a particular game might turn out, or might have turned out if it had been played. Back in 1981, when baseball went on a mid-season strike, many newspapers turned to simulated games to play that year's canceled All-Star Game. Many stations are turning to simulated games to fill in scheduling holes left by the cancellation of real sports.

The premise is simple: using a tabletop board game or computer game of a sport, a game is played out, and then the results reported upon as if what happened on the tabletop or on the computer screen was a real game. NASCAR has a virtual race every week where their drivers play the video version of NASCAR Racing against each other. Some of our players participated in the Lower League Cup, representing United playing FIFA'20 on the X-Box or PS4.

I used a board game called Soccer Blast and chose two teams from the 2019-20 Premier League season set, teams that were fairly equal in talent and quality, and played out the match, substituting the names of DKCU players for one of the teams. So, for example, if I used Liverpool, I would have replaced Mo Salah's name on his card with that of Lucasz Sulka. Lucasz would have all of Salah's skills in the match. I kept detailed notes from the match so that I could then go back and record the highlights of the game as if I had been sitting in the broadcast booth at the NIU Soccer Complex on game day. Because tabletop games cannot capture every pass, steal, shot, cross, giveaway, foul, etc., we had to go the highlight route because we could not have written an entire script to cover 90-plus minutes of action. So, on match day, June 6, you'll receive the "radio call" of the match highlights, which has already been played and the results known (at least to me). It'll be a file that should take no more than 15 minutes or so to listen to, but your "ticket" buys you access to the match so you can hear what happened when COVID-19 came to town to take on YOUR DeKalb County United.

There you have it ... that's what a virtual match is. We'd love to break our real-life attendance record of 523 ... and at the same time, help local businesses who need any extra help we can give them. I'm proud to be a part of this project and I hope you'll join us by supporting the virtual match. And remember, your ticket to the virtual match ALSO buys you a ticket to the next real-life match in our future, the 2021 Season Opener at a date to be determined. Our goal is to use soccer to bring people together as it does in villages, towns, and cities all around the world. This is our effort to bring us together to support businesses in need, and we hope that you'll come together to support us when next we take to the pitch for a real match, in front of real fans, in pursuit of a real trophy.

SIGN UP YOUR BUSINESS HERE (FOR FREE) So, until we meet again, virtually, on June 6 ... stay safe ... have a good day ... and good soccer! Brien Martin DKCU Livestream Commentator


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