Spain’s La Liga, which has resumed its season after March’s Covid-19 lockdown, is like every other major sports league returning to action playing in front of empty seats. So to try and add a little atmosphere for the folks watching at home, they’ve added artificial video game-style crowds, and they are terrible.
The league teamed up with Norwegian broadcast company Vizrt to provide a “virtual fan experience” for viewers watching on TV or online, which adds not just artificial crowd noise, but huge blocks of artificial fans as well.
In theory it sounds passable, but just look at it in action (notice how the crowd only appears in the standard broadcast view, and during other angles in replays you can see the empty stands) (UPDATE: Sports broadcast rights being what they are, some of these vids might not work depending on where you live, so I’ll add two versions of each match to see if at least one works for you):
LA LIGA HIGHLIGHTS (may not work embedded on this site):
BEIN HIGHLIGHTS (probably won’t work for American readers)
For reference, FIFA 20's crowds were actually pretty damn good!
Dear Every Other Major Sports League On Earth, please do not do this. We’re in the middle of a global pandemic! Everybody knows there are no crowds. This just makes it look like, I dunno, the stadium is full of ghosts. Haunted stadiums. Not a good look.