KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Kansas City Chiefs lineman Trey Smith is the latest player to sign with the Kansas City Pioneers.
“Gaming is a huge part of who I am,” Smith said. “I just want to do everything I can in my power to bring more exposure to esports and gaming in my city.”
Smith is the fourth Kansas City Chief to sign with the professional esports team joining wide receiver Mecole Hardman, lineman Andrew Wylie and safety Armani Watts, who now plays for the Indianapolis Colts.
“Gaming and sports go hand in hand in my opinion,” Smith said. “You look at sports, it’s an ultimate equalizer in terms of bringing people together, then gaming, in the same sense is the same way.”
Smith said he started tuning into the esports world in high school and college and became a fan of the environment.
Growing up, the Tennessee Volunteer always loved playing video games, but his parents, like most, said there was no future in it.
For the Pioneers, helping the industry evolve while bringing the community along is part of the organization’s core values.
“We are doing our damnedest every single day to continue to break down those barriers and make this industry not only accessible to diverse groups,” Chief Marketing Officer Sam Kulikov said earlier this year. “But more specifically, make esports more equitable here in Kansas City.”
Smith joins a growing list of professional athletes becoming ambassadors for esports across the world.
“The power that it has to bring people together I think is huge and the impact on the community and really in the whole world, the possibilities are limitless,” Smith said.