Former NFL player Kenny Vaccaro co-founds esports organisation G1

Former NFL safety Kenny Vaccaro has teamed up with entrepreneurs Hunter Swensson and Cody Hendrix to launch a new esports organisation named Gamers First (G1).

Headquartered in Austin, Texas, G1 seeks to become an organisation that is built on ‘character, drive, passion and energy’. 

Image credit: G1 and Jamie Thomson

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The name inspiration for G1 supposedly comes from the fact that despite becoming a professional sports athlete, Vaccaro claims to identify himself as a ‘gamer first’. 

Kenny Vaccaro, G1 Co-Founder, commented: “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. 

“This is the realisation of a long-term dream for me. And while football has been how many have defined me, G1 is evidence for other athletes as well that life doesn’t end just because you put down the helmet. You can reinvent yourself.”

G1’s launch coincides with Vaccaro’s retirement from professional American football, where he spent eight seasons, most notably playing for the Tennessee Titans and New Orleans Saints in the NFL. At G1, he will serve as Chief Executive Officer. His role will include focusing on business development and talent.

Swensson’s role of Chief Operating Officer will consist of managing relationships with partners and sponsors, as well as direct interaction with players. As the organisation’s Chief Finance Officer and Creative Director, Hendrix will lead content and video production.

G1 has already signed eight players, including four Destiny creators and four Halo professionals, along with one coach. The full roster is set to be announced on December 8th. Moreover, community-focused initiatives, such as tournaments for charities, are also to be announced at a later date.

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“We have been envisioning G1 for years, planning for our emergence,” said G1 Co-Founder Hunter Swensson. 

“And we couldn’t be more ready to compete and share content with the gaming community that we have so much love for”.

According to the release, G1 aspires to ‘build an elite gaming crew that motivates others to achieve their dreams and foster positive mental health’.

Cody Hendrix, G1 Co-Founder, added: “We’re so excited to finally launch. With our hearts fully in it, we’re ready to dive in and introduce G1 to the world of esports.”

Esports Insider says: Kenny Vaccaro becomes yet another professional sports athlete to enter the esports industry by launching a new organisation. All of these new organisation’s seem to have great ambitions and potential, so it will be interesting to see how they manage to establish themselves in the current esports scene. 

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