British and Irish boxing continues to fly high, with athletes in the men’s and women’s divisions snapping up multiple world titles of late.
It’s not just in the UK, though, where boxing continues to climb back into the spotlight, with all of the action having fans craving a new boxing simulation game.
The best hope of this coming to fruition is certainly Steel City Interactive’s eSports Boxing Club, which continues to add top-class boxers of the past and present to its roster, with the latest being Lawrence Okolie.
Okolie gets his data in for eSports Boxing Club
On 20 March 2021, Okolie moved to 16-0 in style, winning the vacant WBO World cruiserweight title by ousting southpaw Krzysztof Glowacki with a thunderous right straight in the sixth round.
Okolie is well-known for his foot movement and gangly, 82½’’ reach, but in his latest bout, he also put to bed any doubts about the sheer power generated by his 6’5’’ frame.
Bringing in the orthodox Hackney pugilist is a significant get for eSports Boxing Club, but the biggest challenge will be trying to replicate his spidery style in the game.
As you can see further up, the Steel City Interactive team is already at work getting his data and creating a Lawrence Okolie for the hotly-anticipated game.
An almighty roster in the making for eSports Boxing Club
Lawrence Okolie is one of the latest to announce his involvement in the game. In the video above, posted on 4 April to the ESBC Game YouTube channel, eSports Boxing Club unveiled a tremendous line of other fighters who are also on the way.
The likes of Jessica McCaskill, Cecilia Braekhus, Claressa Shields, Jelena Mrdjenovich, Terri Harper, Senisa Estrada, Vasyl Lomachenko, Ray Mancini, Nonito Donaire, and several others have all declared their intent to be in eSports Boxing Club.
Some athletes who are crossing over into boxing, such as Cris ‘Cyborg’ Justino, Badr Hari, and Cedric Doumbe, also popped into the announcement video.
In the first announcement show, which aired on 20 March, Terence Crawford, Óscar Valdez, Vergil Ortiz Jr, Oleksandr Usyk, Roy Jones Jr, Josh Taylor, Daniel Jacobs, Jorge Linares, Sugar Ray Robinson, Jack Johnson, and Chocolatito were among the highlight reveals.
Boxers to come in the base game and via DLC
Steel City Interactive recently revealed some alpha gameplay mechanics, which looked sublime and showcased the incredible designs and graphics – along with the smooth boxing.
What’s been known since the beginning is that the development team wants to create “true next-gen visuals,” for which they’ve partnered with digital scan company Ten24.
While everything shown so far, from the Johnny Nelson reveal to the most recent Eddie Hall vs David Adeleye alpha footage, has been exemplary, getting the fighters into the game in such detail takes a lot of time.
It takes even longer for the team to work a legend of the sport into the game, touting a 45-week span to complete a full-body sculpt of greats like Joe Frazier and Arturo Gatti.
As shown in the post above, ESBC will have the largest-ever licensed roster in a boxing video game, which will be free in the game. Then, another large pool of fighters will become available via DLC.
Given the sheer volume of boxers who have committed to the game, the time it takes to scan them in, and the pandemic-induced travel restrictions that have been enforced, it doesn’t come as a surprise that some of these boxers might not be in the game from launch.
In any case, Lawrence Okolie coming to the game adds yet another current world champion, and a rising star of the sport at that, only increasing the hype around eSports Boxing Club.