The Ultimate Gaming League, a multi-game competitive league with team franchises owned by current and former National Football League (NFL) players, will launch this month.
The league is powered by Antares Gaming, a firm that builds esports initiatives for celebrities, in cooperation with Opera Event, and will host a player draft on December 21st.
Dushan Batrovic, CEO of Antares Gaming, commented in a release: “This is about building a diverse community of all ages, genders, races, and ethnicities, and opening up the broad possibilities gaming has to offer. We enable celebs to build a real connection with their fans. Sure, if you’re good at Madden or Call of Duty, come join one of our four launch teams. But that’s not all. We want the musicians, actors, comedians, and philosophers who love gaming as well. Gaming is great but it could be so much more.”
The league, which is set to hold competitions in Call of Duty, Madden NFL, NBA 2K, and FIFA, will launch with four team franchises: Da Fam Gaming, Ochocinco Gaming, 4 Brothers Gaming, and Glitxh Gaming. Da Fam Gaming is captained by San Francisco 49ers quarterback Josh Johnson, and also features Super Bowl-winning running back Marshawn Lynch.
Johnson, also UGL’s Chief Athlete Officer and co-founder of Fam 1st Family Foundation, added: “Da Fam is an extension of ourselves, a way to show the world what we’re all about. Just like with our foundation, Da Fam is a way for us to reach a new generation of thinkers and activists, connecting everyone together to build a better future. If you’re committed to making a better, more connected world and you’re a beast on the sticks, we want you.”
Meanwhile, Ochocinco Gaming features retired NFL running back Chad Johnson along with the Philadelphia Eagles’ Darius Slay and Tennessee Titans’ Desmond King. 4 Brothers Gaming has a pair of Las Vegas Raiders players onboard, Maxx Crosby and Josh Jacobs, while Glitxh Gaming includes four NFL athletes: Sidney Jones IV, Preston Williams, Rashard Higgins, and Avonte Maddox.
Interested players can sign up ahead of the draft to be considered for the league, and can earn prizes as well as game time with athletes and celebrities. The UGL will also host a ‘Pros vs. Joes: Call of Duty Deathmatch presented by HyperX’ tournament with 16 NFL players and community members on December 15th.
Esports Insider says: We’ve seen a lot of athletes starting and/or investing in esports teams lately, but the UGL is interesting in the way that it’s a larger-scale, multi-team effort – even if it’s not an official NFL initiative. Still, these players have big followings that they can try to parlay into esports.