Shaquille O’Neal was one of the early pioneers of eSports among professional athletes when he invested in NRG eSports, a company which owns competitive League of Legends and Counter-Strike: Global Offensive teams.
Appearing in a commercial for TBS’s CS: GO ELEAGUE tournament, Shaq truly embraces gaming, by embedding himself into different maps from the popular first-person shooter.
“When it comes to Counter-Strike and ELEAGUE, I wanted to get deep into the game.”
We went there. We @Shaq-ified CS:GO.
— ELEAGUE (@EL) May 17, 2016
If I had the chance to jump in the Counter-Strike world, I’d actually, you know, want to play the game, but not Shaq.
Shaq acts like the goofball he is, popping up from behind a barrier and attempt to scare fellow players.
He extinguishes a fire, out in the open, as an easy target for opposing teams to pick off.
Uses a fish gun to fight enemies.
Somebody’s got to wipe up the blood of fallen comrades.
And of course, he’s got to protect chickens from gunfire.
Shaq ends the ad, in a very Shaq way.
“Obviously, we went deeper than expected. But now, I had a PHD in CS:GO. Shaq out.”
The spot is funny and incredibly well done. Shaq actually looks like he’s in the game and not just poorly green-screened into an image. Shaq has a habit of fully embracing projects he invests in and for the ELEAGUE, getting the former NBA MVP to buy-in and be the face of the tournament is huge. He should help draw traditional sports fans to the event. The ad is silly, but it totally works. Shaq being Shaq totally helps.
Shaq’s NRG squad will face off May 24.