Ben Simmons’ injured left knee was the catalyst to a Sixers first round swoon, but recovering from knee surgery probably gave him beaucoup time to hone his other passion, gaming.
The two-time all-star is well known for spending his down time playing Call of Duty. Scooping up the sticks to compete in celebrity packed tournaments or streaming online under the Twitch username “SimmoTheSavage25”.
In August, the 23-year-old grabbed his own piece of the ESports pie when he teamed up with iconic ESports organization and professional gaming platform FaZe Clan to become an investor and brand ambassador.
Last month, Simmons said his intent for the partnership is to, “Bring it back to Australia and bring an international side to it.”
Simmons isn't wasting any time growing into his role as a spokesperson. The Sixers guard will be one of the keynote speakers on day three of the ESports Business Summit next month.
The event will be held virtually October 27-29, but for someone who can sometimes be the first one out of the Sixers locker room after games, and is often guarded with how he is portrayed and who has access to him, Simmons is more than comfortable in the gaming world.
And for good reason. Simmons garners a lot of eyeballs in the gaming arena because he is an NBA player, but his 50,000 Twitch followers and his bounty of invites to big money tournaments has nothing to do with no look passes.
Simmons most recently played in a four-player 25-team Call of Duty: Warzone tournament on September 17, with a $75,000 prize pool. “Faze Simmo” and his team didn’t finish in the money, but Philly hoops fans know one of the players on the winning team pretty well.
Two-time NCAA champion and Villanova product Mikal Bridges and his foursome took home the top prize of $24,000.
It’s worth noting that a $50 million mixed use ESports arena is under construction across from Xfinity Live in South Philly. There’s no doubt Philly’s ESports emissary “Simmo” will make an appearance.