Avid gamer and young ATP tennis star Taylor Fritz has made an intriguing financial commitment to the world of eSports. The American has become the first pro tennis ace to invest some of his hard-earned career money in the burgeoning eSports industry. After concluding his most successful ATP season yet in 2019, Fritz opted to join forces with eSports organization ReKTGlobal, a corporation that owns many professional eSports teams across a host of different games.
The amount that Fritz has invested into the parent company of well-known eSports teams London Royal Ravens and Rogue has not been formally disclosed. Nevertheless, in an official press release, Fritz confirmed his excitement at “joining the ReKTGlobal team”. Fritz admitted he has a genuine “passion for competitive gaming” and that the new tie-up would enable him to embark on “live streaming with the Rogue squad and DrLupo”.
Amish Shah, the founder of the ReKTGlobal firm, labeled Fritz a “rising star” in “tennis and eSports”. In Fritz’ most recent ATP tournament in March, the 22-year-old reached the final of the Mexican Open but was comfortably beaten in straight sets by Rafael Nadal. Fritz has surged up the world rankings in recent years to 24th, but he still has some way to go to challenge the ‘holy trinity’ of Nadal, Djokovic, and Federer.
This trio continues to dominate the betting markets on all major tennis tournaments covered by the likes of FOX Bet, who now offer legalized tennis wagers for fans in Pennsylvania, Colorado and New Jersey. The ATP tour season is a long and gruelling one for all of tennis’ fledgling stars, which is why Fritz is well known for packing up his Sony PlayStation 4 and taking it out on the road with him throughout the year.
Shah revealed that Fritz typically “plays Fortnite and Call of Duty” and he “knows his stuff” in terms of the eSports industry. There’s no doubt that Fritz has made a good decision when it comes to partnering with a growing eSports organization. ReKTGlobal has attracted many famous investors, including notable celebrities and athletes like prominent house DJs Nicky Romero and Steve Aoki, as well as NFL star Landon Collins.
ReKTGlobal’s homepage says that they choose investors and clients that “speak” to their “passionate audience” and Fritz is certainly a fine example of a young professional that’s spent years honing his craft to appear on the biggest stage.
In the months since Fritz’ new partnership with ReKTGlobal, the eSports industry has sought to tie itself more closely to the world of tennis. In April, the likes of Andy Murray and Lucas Pouille swapped their tennis racquets for gaming controllers to enter the virtual Madrid Open, raising money for charity. In addition, the event also included a prize purse of $150,000 which the winner could donate to the tennis community, in particular the lower-ranked tennis players experiencing financial hardship with few tournaments to enter at present.
Bringing tennis and eSports even closer together
Murray’s ‘competitive’ return to tennis saw him reach the final of the event, coming up against Belgian technician David Goffin. The Scotsman eventually prevailed 7-6 against Goffin, meanwhile, Kiki Bertens was the clear winner in the women’s event.
One of the main takeaways from the event was that no amount of career money can seemingly ensure a fast, reliable broadband connection. Several players were plagued with unpredictable connectivity, resulting in several walkover results. In the days after the Virtual Madrid Open, the eSports community sought to bring more tennis icons to their gaming consoles with a Mario Tennis event staged on the Nintendo Switch, with Venus and Serena Williams and Maria Sharapova the headline entrants.
Fritz is not alone on the ATP Tour when it comes to budding gamers. The American said in a recent interview that compatriot Jack Sock and Australian Nick Kyrgios are both some of “the better gamers on Tour”.
Fritz has also recently partaken in a couple of charity Fortnite events, with the prize money designed to raise funds for non-profit organization No Kid Hungry, a scheme designed to tackle child hunger across the US. Fritz could be the crucial link between the real-life tennis world and the virtual world in the years ahead.