Who says that a football player can’t be a nerd?
Jacksonville Jaguars cornerback Sidney Jones will be participating in an inaugural online gaming franchise with several current and former players. This is another step in Esports with The Ultimate Gaming League and Antares Gaming. The fourth-year cornerback is joining professional gamers and former athletes such as Marshawn Lynch in this endeavor.
Teams will be able to invite their fans to join their team and not just watch. When the fans are selected, they will have a chance to showcase their talent on a bigger stage. If they perform well, they can earn exclusive rewards such as gaming time with their favorite celebrities or athletes.
This won’t be a typical football draft that you have seen on NFL streams Reddit. Instead, the launch of the franchises will begin with a draft on December 21st. The captains of each team will draft their members to their semi-pro gaming teams that will compete in games such as Call of Duty, NBA 2K, Madden 21, and FIFA. Jones will be the captain of Glitxh Gaming, while other former players such as wide receiver Chad Johnson will be a captain, as well as current 49ers quarterback Josh Johnson and Raiders defensive end Maxx Crosby.
Other notable players such as Lynch, Marcus Peters, Josh Jacobs, Darius Slay, and others are in the league. On Jones’ team, he has Miami Dolphins wideout Preston Williams, Cleveland Browns wideout Rashard Higgins, and Philadelphia Eagles cornerback Avonte Maddox on his team.
Making A Name Off The Field
Lynch is a former Super Bowl-winning running back for the Seattle Seahawks. Marcus Peters is an All-Pro cornerback for the Baltimore Ravens. Running back Josh Jacobs and cornerback Darius Slay have both been to a Pro Bowl. While many non-gamers recognize these names as stars in the NFL, they are also well-known in the gaming community.
Jones is a perfect example of making a name for himself off the field. For those that don’t recognize the name, partially due to the poor play of the Jaguars, Jones leads the team in interceptions and pass breakups despite not becoming a starter in the league until Week 5 against the Houston Texans. Jones has intercepted both Deshaun Watson and Aaron Rodgers this season. However, by joining the Esports community, he is the latest NFL player to take a serious interest in the world of gaming.
According to the CEO of Antares Gaming, Dushan Batrovic, this experience is about building a community of diverse people and allowing celebrities to build a real connection with their fans. The idea to allow celebrities to showcase their talent will likely gather a huge response. There are plenty of gamers that watch sports. The idea of being able to play with a current NFL player sounds too good to be true.
Esports is on the rise, especially with the uncertainty of COVID-19. For now, the NFL season has run relatively smoothly. However, there is no guarantee that there will be a game each week. Take a look at the college scene where teams like Michigan and Ohio State have had to call off multiple games this season. For these players, it’s a break from the rigors of their profession. Video games are supposed to be fun, but this allows the players to feel that competitive feeling even if they aren’t playing football. When professional athletes aren’t playing, this could be the way they stay relevant during the offseason.
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