GREEN BAY – Blake Martinez is ready to raid, loot and one-shot his way to a share of $3 million in charity prize money at the Fortnite Celebrity Pro-Am on Sunday.
The Packers linebacker will be partnered with professional gamer, Justin “Fearitself” Kats, for the event, which will be held at the Forum in Inglewood, Calif., and features a roster of 50 celebrities and 50 professionals.
Every team is guaranteed at least $10,000 for a charity of each player’s choosing, with the winning team getting a total of $1 million. The event will be streamed on Fortnite’s Twitch and YouTube channels.
“It seemed like an awesome opportunity,” Martinez said. “For me, it’s what I want to do after football, so it’ll be cool connecting but also a great thing for charity.”
Martinez will play for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, a cause close to his heart since his childhood friend, Richard Blau, passed away before his 15th birthday due to complications with osteosarcoma.
Martinez, who has his own streaming account on Twitch, was approached about playing in last year’s Fortnite Pro-Am, but he was unable to participate because the Packers had minicamp.
An avid gamer, Martinez doesn’t play “Fortnite” as often as his other favorites such as “Dota,” “CS:GO,” “Apex” and “Overwatch,” but he has been practicing with his younger brother Logan to prepare for the tournament.
“My little brother is like addicted,” Martinez said. “He’ll be watching. He’ll probably talk junk to me if I don’t do well, so there’s a lot of pressure.”
Other NFL players participating in this year’s event include receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster, running back Marshawn Lynch, and defensive linemen Joey Bosa, Taven Bryan and Justin Jones. Entertainers Joel McHale, Jay Mewes and Brendon Urie are also among those scheduled to compete.
While the likely favorite to win is the team of “Ninja” and Lynch, Martinez hopes to surprise a few people. It’s also a nice break after the conclusion of the Packers’ 10-week offseason program.
“It should be a lot of fun,” Martinez said. “I really love video games, so just to be able to go out at E3 (Expo) and do that type of thing. My wife is excited because it’s a nice getaway.”
The team wrapped up the minicamp on Thursday with a paintball team-building event in Little Suamico. Players now have the next six weeks off until they report July 24 for the start of training camp. The first practice is scheduled for July 25.
Green Bay Packers players, coaches and support staff went on a team-building paintballing excursion on Thursday, June 13, 2019, in Little Suamico.
The key to Martinez over the next month is making sure the defensive players maintain the momentum they built this spring under second-year coordinator Mike Pettine.
“I think the little things,” Martinez said of the focus. “Just making sure you work on footwork, fundamental things to know that when you get those opportunities you’re going to have the right angle, the right pad level, the leverage, to either get off blocks or make plays.”