By Annalece Montgomery
High-profile athletes are breaking stereotypes about both themselves and gamers with the help of esports. Every week, there’s something trending in the news and on social media about your favorite athletes joining in on the Fortnite hype. Earlier this week, Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster was spotted pulling out his best Fortnite dance moves at training camp. This isn’t the first time Juju is making headlines for his love of the game – earlier this year he did a live stream with Tyler “Ninja” Blevins, Drake and Travis Scott, breaking the viewing record on streaming platform Twitch. We don’t know about you, but we’d love to challenge him in a Battle Royale! JuJu, what’s your handle?
Other NFL stars have jumped on the Fortnite train. While Detroit Lions defensive back Darius Slay took to Twitter to see who wanted to jump in on a PUBG match. Richard Sherman and Eric Ebron were quick to let him know that they were not here for the game.
It isn’t just NFL powerhouses spending their free time gaming – Alex Ovechkin of the Washington Capitals, and the MVP of this year’s Stanley Cup Finals, has been spotted parked in front of his XBOX during the offseason. Headset and all. After last season’s performance, we can understand why he wanted to get lost in the game.
And then there’s Green Bay Packers linebacker Blake Martinez, who takes his love for gaming (he’s a big DOTA 2 fan) to the next level. He has appeared on multiple panels with some of the biggest names in the streaming community. Its encouraging and refreshing to see individuals like Blake Martinez be so vocal about the gaming industry. They’re lowering the barriers of access to them off the field.
Do you think the team that games together off the field will be the one to win on the field? We think fans would agree that the teams that work on creating a bond off the field shine better on game day. Imagine you’re the one calling plays, you’re not going to fire off a pass to someone you can’t connect with, are you? Whether its staying in to play video games, going out for team meals (where rookies get to pick up check) or giving back to the community, the relationships within the team strengthen their trust in one another when it comes to game time.
Power To The FANS!