Jay Ajayi Becomes First NFL Player to Start an eSports Career

by Denis Metev

Jay Ajayi, who won Super Bowl LII with the Philadelphia Eagles, is set to become an eMLS eSports professional game later this week. The 26-year old will compete in the Friday’s eMLS League Series One event as part of the Philadelphia Union.

Jay Ajayi: the first NFL player to become a pro gamer

“I thought it would be a cool, little opportunity to check out the esports world and see how good I am at FIFA,” Ajayi said.

“I like to believe that I’m very good, that I’m great, so we’ll see. It’s good to have that mentality. You don’t want to go in with a losing attitude.”

Ajayi was born in London but moved to the US when he was 7 years old. He shared his hopes that growing up as a forward, playing soccer, as well as his pro athlete background, will help him in his new venture.

“I think chemistry is big,” Ajayi said about his FIFA team-building philosophy.

“That was probably the hardest part of picking my team. It took a long time, longer than I expected. I got a lot of rejections. But I finally got it right. I like my squad.”

“There are few guys who are really into FIFA. Those are the guys I tried to tap in with, to play against and see if they are any good or not. They are solid, but, again, I’m the best.”

Ajayi does definitely not fit in the typical gamer profile. He’s 6 feet tall and weighs 228 pounds, and admits that there are differences between real and electronic sports.

“My fingers hurt. My eyes hurt,” he said. “But other than that, it definitely doesn’t compare to a football game.”

Still, the 26-year old athlete leaves the door open for his future, refusing to link himself with a career in eSports.

“I wouldn’t say necessarily [esports] is my future thing. I would say it’s something that I’m interested in right now. I’m just kind of going with the flow right now. Just enjoying the moment.”

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