Category: Personalities

Bronny James Joins Esports Team FaZe Clan

CBS: “LeBron James‘ oldest son is joining the professional ranks of the Esports world. On Sunday, Esports and gaming franchise FaZe Clan announced that Bronny James, who is just 15 years old, is joining their roster under the tag ‘FaZe Bronny.'”

“James is also a highly-touted high school basketball recruit who is currently playing for Sierra Canyon High School in Los Angeles. He is one of the top prospects in the 2023 recruiting class in addition to being very involved in the video game scene.”

“Bronny James certainly isn’t the first high-profile athlete to be involved with FaZe Clan. Pittsburgh Steelers star wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster joined in 2018 while Philadelphia 76ers star Ben Simmons joined as an investor, ambassador and content creator just last week.”

Daniel Abt Caught Cheating, Suspended by Audi Formula E

Bleacher Report: “The Audi Formula E team has suspended driver Daniel Abt for cheating during an esports charity race over the weekend.”

“Audi announced Abt’s punishment in an official statement on Tuesday, via ESPN.com: “Daniel Abt did not drive his car in qualifying and the race at the fifth event of the Race at Home Challenge on May 23 himself, but let a professional sim-racer do so. He directly apologised for this on the following day and accepted the disqualification.”

“Per Alan Baldwin of Reuters, Abt used professional gamer Lorenz Hoerzing as his ringer during Sunday’s Race at Home Challenge event.” 

Gareth Bale, Professional Soccer Player, Launches Ellevens Esports

Esports Insider: “Professional footballer Gareth Bale has launched Ellevens Esports in partnership with 38 Entertainment Group.”

“The organization is starting out in FIFA, having signed a team that will compete in the FIFA eClub World Cup in February. Ellevens Esports is looking to enter Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, Rocket League, and Fortnite in the coming months.”

“Bale discussed the venture in a release: ‘On the pitch, my goal is always to win. With Ellevens Esports, that winning attitude is just as important. There are similarities between football and esports in that it takes real dedication and sacrifice to reach the top of your game.'”

Jay Ajayi, Former Eagles Running Back, Joins MLS Esports Team

Reuters: “Former National Football League player Jay Ajayi traded in his helmet for a video game controller as the London-born running back was named this week as the official esports player for Major League Soccer’s Philadelphia Union.”

“Ajayi, who won a Super Bowl with the Philadelphia Eagles in 2018, is the first NFL player to become a professional gamer and will represent the Union for the 2020 eMLS Cup campaign starting on Friday.”

“It’s Still Surreal”: Parent Reacts to High School Son’s Success as Pro eSports Player

Washington Post: “When Christine Yankel learned her son, Ethan, wanted to become a professional in esports, she said it required ‘some negotiations.’ For example, Ethan, then a 16-year-old honor roll student, still had to finish high school. There was also a loose monitoring of the late-night practice sessions with the semi-professional team he joined online. Finally, Christine and her husband needed to learn more about the pro gaming scene Ethan would enter two years later — the one that would allow him to earn a potential six-figure salary before he had a college degree or was old enough to rent a car.”

“It’s still surreal to us,” Christine said. “You hear about people becoming professional esports players and to us, it was one of those far-off dreams, like your kid being a pro soccer player or pro football player. It feels like that.”

“Ethan, now 18, is publicly known by his gamertag ‘Stratus,’ a name he chose to honor his dead cat. It’s a name Christine said she has grown used to, although hearing it applied to her son and not their deceased pet was ‘really odd’ at first. Stratus is now among a handful of elite gamers who have gone pro in Overwatch, a six-on-six, sci-fi, first-person-shooter (FPS) game. He signed last winter with the Washington Justice, one of the 20 teams in the professional Overwatch League (OWL).”

How eSports Video Stars — ‘Host, Casters and Analysts’ — Are Born

CNET explains “How esports stars broke into the Dota 2 scene.”

Says self-described “professional idiot” Jake “SirActionSlacks” Kanner: “A lot of people tell me, oh you know, he’s got this act and it’s so good but it’s really different kind of intelligences I guess? I’m pretty stupid in a lot of ways — I can’t spell, I can’t pronounce words correctly. It’s less of an act, it’d be nice if it was an act.”