With Live Sport Cancelled, The AFL Heads To YouTube

With Live Sport Cancelled, The AFL Heads To YouTube
Zak Jones ready for action. (Image: Supplied)

In the absence of live sport, gaming has become a unique avenue for athletes to connect with their audiences and show off their skills. The AFL has become the latest sport to throw its hat into the livestreaming ring with the AFL Gamers Network set for launch this week. Players from a number of teams including Collingwood and St. Kilda will show off their skills in games including Fortnite, Call of Duty and FIFA.

The AFL Gamers Network will stream live on YouTube from April 23 and feature competitions between a number of AFL stars. More than 50 have already signed up for the show. So far announced for the Network are Collingwood’s Jamie Elliott, Melbourne’s Jack Viney and St. Kilda recruit Zak Jones. They’ll kick off the first broadcast this week.

“I’ve been a fan of gaming since I was about six years old playing Super Nintendo… it’s a bit of a release for me,” Elliott said in a press release provided to Kotaku Australia. “I’m excited to join the AFL Gamers Network because it’s an opportunity to play games with other players and start some rivalries.”

In the absence of football, Jones said gaming was a great way to start some epic battles off the field. “We’re pretty competitive people and it’ll be exciting to see how much we rage and how competitive we really get,” he said.

The AFL Gamers Network was created to keep fans engaged and excited about sports while the coronavirus epidemic continues. When it’s safe for sport to finally resume, we can all look forward to seeing the rivalries that play out on the Network reach our football stadiums.

To check out the AFL Gamers Network, head to its YouTube channel. The first session begins at 6pm AEST on Thursday April 23.

Update 23/4 12:10pm: An earlier version of this article identified Twitch as the platform of choice for the AFL Gamers Network. This has now been changed to YouTube. For all the action, head to the AFL Gamers Network YouTube hub.

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Perhaps the best part of this video is how little apparent instruction the players needed. It's not uncommon for footballers and professional athletes to get into games on their time off. Mark Hunt's a massive Counter-Strike fan; Gordon Hayward loves his League of Legends. And of late, Fortnite has been the game of choice.

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  • You know what. I’m actually going to follow this because I was saying earlier to a mate how much I miss the footy, and even though this isn’t going to fill that hole. If it keeps support for the league and some form of revenue coming in I’m all for it. Even if it will probably be terrible.

    • It might even be a chance for some sports to see the benefit in funding and supporting some quality sporting games in the future.
      Can you imagine if there was a top shelf AFL game available right now? They could be taking advantage of that and the result would be mutually beneficial for both.

    • Last Friday Mitch Robinson was streaming AFL Evolution with Brody… someone from Collingwood (not Grundy the other one who’s surname escapes me right now). It was a genuine hoot to watch, as both players were clearly gamers and they had a few commentators helping and at one point they even got Ray Chamberlain on the line after his in-game version made a completely bullshit deliberate out of bounds call.

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