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Former NFL safety Kenny Vaccaro announced today that he is retiring from the physical sport and is instead entering the realm of esports. Vaccaro, alongside Hunter Swensson and Cody Hendrix, today launched the G1 esports organization, also called Gamers First.
G1 is based in Austin, Texas. Vaccaro, Swensson, and Hendrix are focused on recruiting talent. The G1 website already lists several members of a Destiny team, and the co-founders are also apparently interested in competing in the Halo World Championship. G1 has signed eight players, including four Destiny creators and four Halo professionals, with one coach. It will announce the full roster on December 8 (coincidentally the same day Halo Infinite’s campaign will launch).
Vaccaro, while new to the world of esports, said that he’s been looking to turn his lifelong passion for gaming into a career for some time. He said in a statement, “This isn’t a reflex decision for me; it’s something I’ve thought about for a long time. I’ve been a gamer for even longer than I’ve played football, and I’ve always thought of myself as a gamer first. So this is the realization of a long-term dream for me.”
Swensson and Hendrix are both esports pros and will be handling the content creation arm of the organization while Vaccaro handles the business. Hendrix, a former Halo coach, will be the Creative Director; while Swensson, who played MLG Halo in college, will manage sponsorships and the Halo and Destiny teams.
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G1also “seeks to build an elite gaming crew that motivates others to achieve their dreams and foster positive mental health” according to a company statement. The organization is also planning charity tournaments, to be announced at a later date.
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