The Bengals’ former ninth overall pick has been pretty active this offseason. John Ross is coming off a season where he failed to record a catch, but who cares about that (cough, um, we do)? This week, he was playing Fortnite in a competition with other NFL players!
In case you aren’t sure what Fortnite is, it is a video game that has become insanely popular since its launch in 2017. Once the game included a battle royale mode it exploded in popularity. Battle Royale is a game mode in which a large number of player enter a map with the goal of being the last one standing. It usually ends up being 100 players. There are several other games with this same concept, but Fortnite is one of the only free options that you can download.
Microsoft had an event with NFL players competing in the game for charity, though it worked a little differently. Each NFL player had a duo partner who they would be playing with. Duo games usually involve 100 players who all make up of two-players squads. The format for the Microsoft tournament worked like this: Two duo teams with NFL players would be put into a regular game, and the squad who had the most eliminations would win that game. It was a best of two, so in order to move on, a player’s squad would have to beat the other team twice. John Ross ended up fairing pretty well in this format.
Ross made it all the way to the semifinals, defeating Rashaad Penny and Geno Smith before he was finally knocked off by Rodger Saffold of the Rams. The Bengals receiver was right on the door step of that prize.
Microsoft had players go to select stores across the country to compete so fans could watch them play. The winner received $50,000 to the charity of their choice, so it would be a very worth while event for any player. Well there was one other thing up for grabs for the players as well.
Ross may not have won, but you can bet he will still probably be gloating to several other younger members on the Bengals’ roster about how well he did. Hopefully this somehow shows the confidence he has been working on this offseason. Either way, Ross may have a future in esports to fall back on when his NFL career is over.