FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP/Getty Images

Former NFL player Jordan Kent is involved in esports in a way unlike any other athlete—as a broadcaster.

By Logan Bradley
June 20, 2017

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Ties between traditional sports and esports are growing stronger by the day. Professional athletes and executives continue to be more intimately involved in the gaming world. Jordan Kent, a former Oregon Ducks athlete and NFL player for the Seattle Seahawks, is one of those. However, he’s involved in a much different way than the rest.

Kent, an ultra-rare three sport athlete in college (basketball, football and track), spent the last week as a broadcaster for the E3 video game trade show in Los Angeles. He’s no stranger to the broadcast world as he works for Comcast SportsNet in Portland hosting shows on the Ducks and Trail Blazers.

Kent got involved with E3 through an interaction on Twitter with a Nintendo employee, according to the Seattle Times. Eventually the gaming company invited him to call its tournaments at last week’s show.

During his time at E3, Kent served as a play-by-play announcer for the Pokkén Tournament DX Invitational, ARMS Open Invitational and the Splatoon 2 World Inkling Invitational.

“It’s [broadcasting] a huge honor—and huge responsibility too—it’s not something you take lightly because you’ve played the game,” Kent explained in an interview with InkTV. “You’re very passionate about it and you understand that there’s a growing community.”

An avid gamer himself, Kent’s interest in the esports world started all the way back at the age of five when he got his first Nintendo system. “To be here at essentially one of the biggest stages in the community, to do something you take a lot of pride in doing, it does get you excited because you want to do a really good job,” Kent said of broadcasting at E3. “More importantly you just want to represent the game well, you want to represent Nintendo well, your fellow casters and everyone else who’s put in so much hard work for this event because essentially you are in the driver’s seat sort of piloting the feel of the show, the feel of the presentation and you want to make sure that you put yourself on the bottom part of that totem pole and just life everybody else up.”

Kent sounded like a veteran calling the tournaments, and you can watch/listen to his call of the Splatoon 2 World Inkling Invitational here.

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