Winter X Games is back and snowsports fans are going mental. ESPN Winter X Games will run from Jan 25 to Jan 28 2018. Sadly, ESPN controls the event so you will need to unblock it if you are outside the US. The good news is that with a VPN for sports you can. Phew!
VPNs allow anybody to quickly and easily overcome geo-restriction notices. That means streaming Winter X Games online is an option for everyone. Unfortunately, not every VPN will do. Some VPNs are highly insecure, which is bad. In addition, the vast majority of VPN services have slow servers, which will make watching Winter X Games laggy and full of buffering.
Which VPN is Best for Winter X Games?
To watch Winter X Games online, we recommend ExpressVPN. It has everything that you need to get the most out of this year’s competition. Firstly, it has awesome – lightning fast – servers in the US. Perfect to watch X Games live online streaming in HD. In addition, the firm provides outstanding OpenVPN encryption. OpenVPN is military-grade encryption that will let anybody unblock Winter X Games without fear of repercussions.
Unblock Winter X Games
Despite that warning, thousands upon thousands of people around the world use VPNs in this way. In addition to security and privacy, unblocking geo-restricted content is the main reason that people subscribe to VPNs.
That is why all of the VPNs in our 5 Best VPNs for Sports article have strong privacy policies. Furthermore, they provide strongly implemented OpenVPN encryption. Strong encryption means that your ISP and ESPN won’t know what you are doing. For a full Winter X Games VPN setup guide, look here.
Winter X Games 2018
Winter X Games is one of the most exciting extreme sports events on earth. Sadly, it is controlled by American sports broadcaster ESPN and is aired on ESPN, ESPN 2, and sister network ABC Sports. It is for that reason that you will need to unblock it.
Winter X Games first took place in 1997, when the four-day event attracted 38,000 spectators. Since then, the tournament has never looked back, finally being televised in 2002. At that time, nighttime events were added, bringing record crowds to Aspen’s Snowmass venue. The competition is due to carry on being held in Aspen, Colorado until at least 2019.
As the competition is privately owned and run by ESPN, Winter X Games competitors take part by invitation only. This has led to some pretty crazy decisions and criticisms of the competition (look at Shaun White’s absence below).
No Official Drug Testing
Amazingly, competitors at X Games do not have to undergo drug-testing. This is something that last year brought ESPN under criticism from the World Anti-Doping Association (WADA). However, ESPN was quick to dust off allegations of allowing cheating, by telling WADA that they were free to test anybody they wanted:
“At X Games Oslo, federations can operate as they have for 20 years at X Games events around the world and we are happy to provide accreditation and space for them to perform their normal ‘out of competition’ testing procedures. However, we are not prepared to change the X Games guidelines for participation at this time.”
Another enticing part of the Winter X Games is that it is also a music festival. This means that ticket holders get to see rock bands and DJs during their time at Winter X Games. This makes the whole competition an immersive experience designed to thrill audiences (including you lot at home).
This year’s competition is no different with Martin Garrix and LCD Soundsystem amongst the acts that will perform to packed crowds.
Who to Look Out For
In the Freestyle event, last year Joe Parsons became the first ever two-in-a-row Snowmobile Freestyle winner. So, watch out to see if he can extend his gold-winning run.
Matt Ladley, US snowboarding superstar won gold at Aspen in 2016, but came in second last year. See if he can get back to the top of the Superpipe board when he returns for this year’s games.
Shaun White (who is now patron of his own competition Air + Style) has been a snowboarding contender since the age of 13. His first appearance at the X Games as a teenager in 2000 saw him take 15th place. Since then he has climbed up the league and taken 15 gold, 5 silver, and 3 bronze medals at X Games events.
White hasn’t made it to the Superpipe leaderboard since 2015. After struggling with health issues and falling out with X Games organizers, White is back on track and back in the game. Although White is invited to participate in this year’s X Games competition, he is currently preparing for the final Olympic games qualifier. The good news is that he is currently training in Aspen. However, it is thought that he will not appear at the X Games. Perhaps he will surprise us though: you never know!
The X Games description of a Four-Day Platinum pass really makes the event sink in! It costs $1,888 and is described on the website as follows:
“Four-day access into the Platinum Tower, a multi-level, heated lounge featuring complimentary beer, wine and gourmet bites with amazing views of X Games competitions, athlete meet & greets, access into the Diamond Club for all X Games Aspen concerts, behind-the-scenes tour & an exclusive X Games branded gift. Four-day Platinum pass holders also receive one single day lift ticket valid at all four Aspen Snowmass mountains.”
The events that ticket holders (and ESPN viewers) will get to see are as follows:
Where to Watch Winter X Games Online
ESPN – US only (requires you to sign in with an existing US cable subscription).
ESPN 2 – US only (requires you to sign in with an existing US cable subscription).
ABC Sports – US only (requires you to sign in with an existing US cable subscription).
Remember: in order to watch ESPN you will also need an actual US TV provider (because ESPN is pay per view). The good news is that you can get a SlingTV monthly pass to watch ESPN. To do so, you will still need to connect to a US server, but once you are connected simply navigate to SlingTV and either get a subscription or make use of their 7-day free trial to watch Winer X Games for free.
If you have already used the 7-day free trial to watch something else using your VPN, be advised that Sling TV is still the cheapest way to subscribe to ESPN with your VPN (Sling Orange package one month is $20).
In order to watch Winter X Games live on ESPN from outside the US, you are going to need a VPN service. To unblock Winter X Games we recommend ExpressVPN because it has reliable, fast, and secure servers in the US that are absolutely ideal. However, for people who like a few options, any of the VPN services on our 5 Best VPNs for Sports page will work beautifully.
To unblock ESPN and watch Winter X Games, just follow these simple steps:
- Choose a VPN service. To watch Winter X Games, we recommend ExpressVPN because it has servers located in the US that will allow you to unblock ESPN and ABC Sports. In addition, it provides outstanding connection speeds and reliability to watch the X Games in HD quality.
- Subscribe to the VPN service that you prefer.
- Install the VPN software on your PC, laptop, Mac, Android or iOS device. ExpressVPN allows you to install the VPN software on up to three devices, to watch Winter X Games on all three.
- Choose OpenVPN encryption from the menu (this encryption will keep you most secure).
- Connect to a VPN server in the US to stream ESPN Winter X Games.
- Navigate to the TV provider where you will watch ESPN or ABC Sports (we recommend SlingTV).