Arizona Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray torched opponents with his arm and legs in 2020-21 but kept winning games after the season with a controller and headset.
With the NFL moving its traditional end-of-season all-star game from in-person to the popular video game Madden, Murray’s last victory of the year came in his home, as he led the NFC to a 32-12 victory over the AFC in the first virtual Pro Bowl.
Nearly three months after showing off his video game skills on the big stage, Murray became the latest athlete to partner with the popular esports organization FaZe Clan.
After announcing the partnership on Monday, the decision to join forces was an easy one, according to Murray.
“It was just an organic and natural deal,” Murray said in an interview on Good Morning Football on NFL Network. “I’ve been playing video games my whole life. So for FaZe to be interested in me and the love to be mutual, it was a no-brainer.”
Murray, who has 63,800 followers on the game streaming platform Twitch, has a presence in the esports community. While the 2020-21 Pro-Bowler has grown popular by streaming games like Call of Duty and Fortnite, it was a different game that got him hooked on video games.
“Probably have to go with Mario Kart,” Murray said. “I think everybody played Mario games and stuff like that. So those were probably the first couple of games.”
Murray’s interests in gaming, paired with his prowess as a star quarterback, made him an ideal candidate to join FaZe Clan, according to team member and professional Fortnite player Nate Hill.
“It’s FaZe’s job to find people that are both super talented and also connect to the brand,” Hill said. “If he wasn’t a gamer or a lifestyle guy, it wouldn’t really make too much sense but since he checks all those boxes, it was a no-brainer.”