PEORIA – Esports is one of the fastest growing industries in the world right now, and even MLB players can’t stay away from it.
San Diego Padres second baseman Carlos Asuaje is just one of the recent sports figures to dive in to the esports world. Over the past year, he has found a passion for the game “Gears of War,” and, with his friend, Cam Weatherly, he has started his own esports organization, Motiv8 Gaming.
Motiv8 Gaming, currently has a “Gears of War” team as well as a team of “Fortnite” streamers. Weatherly, Motiv8 Gaming’s head of player personnel who also works a full-time job inspecting Navy submarines, is putting in long nights in an effort to help the organization continue to expand.
“It’s a lot of late hours and a lot of grind work,” Weatherly said, “but I don’t really consider it a second job right now because I love it.”
The creation of Motiv8 all started from a realization that a lot of people who play video games come to at some point or another.
“I realized I wasn’t as good as these professional guys,” Asuaje said, “but I wanted to be a part it and I thought it was a cool scene and I decided to start Motiv8 Gaming.”
After several weeks of Weatherly bringing up the idea of them just starting their own esports organization, Asuaje agreed and the pair got to work.
“I thought it could really work given Carlos playing baseball and having the competitive edge already, and also going to business school,” Weatherly said, “I thought they could align really well.”
Asuaje brings the same fire and passion that he has for baseball to running his esports team.
“I’m a winner; I like winning, and I make sure all my team members and staff that works for us have that mindset as well,” Asuaje said, “I definitely run this org the way I think winning organization should be ran.”
With spring training starting up and the MLB season right after that, Asuaje will be pretty busy with his day job, but he and Weatherly knew that would be an obstacle, and they already are prepared for it.
“It’s tough, especially knowing our schedule and knowing what we have to do right here with our main source of income and our Number 1 job,” Asuaje said, “It’s tough to balance … but I like to separate it, gaming and baseball.”
Weatherly is mentally prepared to help take on the challenge ahead, even if it’s more than he expected.
“It’s been more of a challenge that I anticipated,” Weatherly said. “But I take it on with pride. I am very passionate about gaming and ultimately, I do want to make it a full-time job.
“It’s a lot of late hours and a lot of grind work, but I don’t really consider it a second job right now because I love it.”
As for Padres manager Andy Green, when asked if he would be playing a more simple video game, “MLB: The Show,” with his players, his response wasn’t too surprising.
“I don’t even know what that is, so probably not,” Green said.