NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — While the competition isn’t quite the same, it’s not uncommon to see athletes testing their ability in the gaming world.
“When I turned pro, that’s when I got into it because you have so much time on your hands after and before practice,” said Phil Goss, a former professional basketball player.
Goss competed on the hardwood in Europe for 15 years. That’s also when he built a passion for playing video games, but back then it was different than now.
“The thing is they didn’t have streaming and Twitch and all that, it’s amazing to see how far it has come and these kids can monetize off of it,” Goss said.
Devin Rinehart is the lead content creator for TriStar Esports. He has seen firsthand how gaming is gaining the attention of athletes.
“We saw a lot of them in the glitz and glam of the superstars, but a lot go home and play video games,” Rinehart said. “We see them online all the time. You see videos of guys running into other superstars online and playing.”
Goss who is now retired from playing basketball, celebrates the growth of gaming. While he’s not making money off of it, he still makes a weekly appointment – on the couch.
“We have our own crew, and we play together all the time. I’m focusing away from sports a little bit; basketball has been my life. I want to switch over, and I want to try new things,” said Goss.
But there are those athletes who are still looking to fuel their competitive fire after they retire. Guys like, former Tennessee Titans Safety Kenney Vaccaro, who started up Esports organization G1.
“I think it’s awesome. There is longevity in it. You aren’t going to get hurt sitting on your couch playing video games, and you can get a rise out of yourself, if you get into those heated matchups.” Rinehart continued, “It’s good to see those former athletes getting invested because there is an avenue for Esports and gaming competitiveness as well as the athletic competitiveness.”
The world of Esports isn’t slowing down anytime soon, so don’t be surprised to see more pros picking up the controller.
“It’s literally taking that passion, that hobby and making it into a lucrative place for yourself, and that is what we all search for in life, do things we love and get paid,” said Goss.