Wednesday, September 7th, 2011 at 1:27 pm  |  22 responses

Gordon Hayward to Participate in StarCraft II Gaming Tournament

In between hitting the gym and sitting around waiting for the lockout to end, NBA players are starting to find more creative ways to take advantage of their free time. The newest example: Jazz swingman Gordon Hayward will be participating in a StarCraft II tournament—and not just any StarCraft II tournament, but the first one of its kind. The folks at IGN Entertainment provide the details:

NBA player and Utah Jazz forward Gordon Hayward is trying his hand at professional video gaming (“eSports”) and has partnered with the IGN Pro League (IPL) – the professional video game league presented by IGN Entertainment, the world’s leading video games media company.

During this unique time in the NBA, in addition to his daily basketball training, Hayward is pursuing his passion outside of basketball – video games – and will compete in his first eSports event, IPL 3: Origins, taking place October 6-9th at Caesars Atlantic City. In his debut as professional basketball player-turned-video game player, Hayward will join top StarCraft II players from around the world to compete in the Atlantic City tournament.

“I’ve been playing video games for as long as I can remember.  I’m a competitive guy, and I love the competitive nature of video games,” says Gordon Hayward. “Pro-gamers are really sports stars themselves. The mental strategy that goes into planning your next move and what your opponent is going to do are skills you need to be successful playing basketball – and playing StarCraft II.  If you want to be good, you have to put a lot of time and effort into it, just like with other sports.  I’ve got the best of both worlds.  I spend time each day on the court taking my game to the next level, and I am pursuing my passion for eSports.  I’m excited to join the IGN Pro League and see how I do at the tournament in Atlantic City.”

In between his usual training for the NBA, Hayward is being prepared by the IGN Pro League coaches, some of the world’s top StarCraft players. Hayward will be one of the primary participants at IPL 3: Origins and will challenge global StarCraft II stars, including IdrA, Select and WhiteRa.

Players and fans who attend the Caesars Atlantic City event will witness Hayward playing alongside 256 other qualifying players to compete for a $100,000 prize pool.

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  • J.C.

    But he isn’t Korean.

  • Dar


  • Far

    “But he isn’t Korean.”


  • http://redoftoothandclaw.ca/ niQ

    $100 000 sounds small compared to the million they gave for some Dota2 tournament. lol

  • http://www.slamonline.com spit hot fiyah


  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zFYwueh05mM nbk

    I believe this is a poopoo (d-league) tournament, still pros but hardly “the best”. Just sayin, StarCraft is huge in Korea, 100K sounds like penny’s compared to how big of an “e-sport” it is across the world.

  • riggs


  • Mike

    AHAHHAAHH This guy is going to get stomped if he faces off against any respectable StarCraft players. I highly doubt anyone pro-caliber will be present. Also, “first of its kind”? That’s such garbage. These tournaments are a dime a dozen…

    Also, guys saying “he isn’t korean”, the best SCII player in the world right now is a white dude from Canada. Lolz.

  • http://dsjkflf.com Jukai

    Glad to see Hayward is staying in shape by playing in all the tou– wait, StarCraft?

  • MikeC.

    Starcraft is a beast! Starcraft almost cost me my university degree because my freshman grades were so bad. I guess pounding booze, chasing women and burning plants had something to do with it, but Starcraft used up my daylight hours.

  • CellGel

    @ Mike, wo is this best SCII player you’re talking about who’s Canadian? I wish :S, HuK lost in Ro8, that’s the closest a foreigner’s gotten recently.

  • http://www.triplejunearthed.com/dacre Dacre

    whats stagecraft again…? I go outside usually.

  • http://www.slamonline.com UNFROZEN CAVEMAN LAWYER


  • http://www.slamonline.com Max

    Cosign that..

  • benni

    why do you all know so much about starcraft anyways?? Thought this was the website of a BASKETBALL MAGAZINE??!!

  • http://www.bulls.com Enigmatic

    Yeah, first I heard of Starcraft as well.
    I’m guessing it’s like a World of Warcraft type thing?
    “Straight pwning noobs all day!”…or whatever.

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    Remember Age of Empires? Its a space age version of that, basically.

  • http://www.slamonline.com Max

    Ago of mythology was awsome :)

  • nbaNw8

    NBA Players are obviously getting bored. lol

  • http://slamonline.com 1982

    I played Starcraft on my desktop computer running Windows 95 in Junior High… For those wondering, it’s not like WOW, it’s like controlling little gangs of Aliens or Soldiers.

  • bails1

    Sweet. Glad this story posted the day the NFL starts. This is brutal.

  • Strom

    Lolwut, best player in the world is definitely a Korean.
    Obviously this guy is nowhere near top level, but still awesome news