Categories
NFT Tech

NFT Gaming Platform Enjin Announces Efinity, a Next Gen Blockchain

As the NFT boom continues to escalate, one of the biggest names in blockchain gaming has announced their very own blockchain built specifically for NFTs. If you don’t know Enjin, read up on them here. The possibilities allowed by their tech are truly endless, especially in the gaming space. There are numerous reasons why Efinity, the brand’s new parachain built on Polkadot, is unique compared to other popular blockchains; we’ll unpack them below:

First of all, any NFT from any other chain (like Ethereum, for example) can be transmitted to Efinity.

“Digital assets should exist in a metaverse of blockchains. Opening up liquidity across multiple blockchains and use-cases will connect a broad ecosystem of creators, buyers, and sellers.”

Witek Radomski, Enjin CTO

This will further increase the accessibility of trading NFTs, opening up more opportunity for a cross-platform marketplace. Efinity is built on Polkadot, which wasn’t built with the intention to replace ETH, “but to improve and complement it.” Whereas ETH runs at around 15 transactions per second, Efinity will process up to 700-1,000 transactions per second.

Another interesting feature of the new tech is how the community will be incorporated into determining future moves. According to the press release from Enjin: “Community governance will enable EFI holders to submit and vote on proposals to steer the future of the network.” Pretty cool!

If you want to read more about what Enjin is up to and how Efinity will change the NFT marketplace, read all the details on their website.

Categories
Consoles Gaming

The 10 Best Nintendo Switch Sports Games

Over the years, as competitive as Nintendo’s consoles have been with Sony and Microsoft’s consoles, the perception tends to be that where the company is lacking is in games in the sports genre. Compared to the PlayStation or the Xbox, options are relatively scarce and Nintendo’s consoles haven’t always been the best fit for 2K or EA Sports’ offerings, historically anyway.

However, we’re all aware that the Switch is one of the fastest growing consoles around and generally speaking, the way it allows players to game on it lends itself to more traditional sports games much better than the Wii or the DS.

With that being said, if you’re looking to get into some sports games on the Switch, we’re here to help. We’ve compiled a list of the ten best sports games available on the Switch now. Whether you’re into soccer, basketball, golf, or tennis, there’s something here for you. In alphabetical order, here they are.

1. ‘AO Tennis 2’

Now, due to the fact that the Switch is sort of playing catch up a little with a lot of sports games, the sports games that end up on it do get criticized for being reminiscent of what we already surpassed a long time ago on PlayStation and Xbox. AO Tennis 2 is one of those, to some extent, but most importantly, the gameplay is good and realistic. If you’re into tennis and want the closest thing to a tennis simulator on your Switch, this is a must-have. You can even go online to play with people or play double matches with a friend.

Buy now, $24
https://www.nintendo.com/games/detail/ao-tennis-2-switch/
2. ‘FIFA 21’

The FIFA games on Switch get a lot of criticism, but that’s largely because they often get compared to the PlayStation or Xbox iterations of them. If you put that aside and just appreciate what you’re playing on the Switch, you can recognize that this one could be worth picking up for you. Despite the downgrade in graphics that you’re getting from current-gen 4K-ready FIFA, having some of the newer modes to play on the Switch is worth it. The growth potential here is big in the coming years. Admittedly, you probably don’t need to pick up FIFA 21 because it’s similar enough to FIFA 20.

Buy now, $50
https://www.nintendo.com/games/detail/fi…
3. ‘Lonely Mountains: Downhill’

Lonely Mountains: Downhill is a game where you ride your bike, you guessed it, downhill. Despite a painfully simple premise, this game becomes addictive quite quickly. It’s Megagon Industries’ only offering right now and it’s a great initial showing. If you do give this one a try, definitely do so on the handheld version, which adds a level of immersion to the game that’s too good to pass up. It’s an especially great one for Trials fans to try out.

Buy now, $14
https://www.nintendo.com/games/detail/lonely-mountains-downhill-switch/
4. ‘Mario and Sonic at the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020’

If you’ve played any of these kinds of collaboration games since they started happening, especially on the Wii, then you pretty much know what to expect here. Mario and Sonic at the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 is fun for all the family and is a light-hearted approach to multiple sports. There’s a short story mode, but of course, where the game thrives is in the standard multiplayer. There are 34 different events to try your hand at. When the next Olympic Games happen, whenever that will be, it’s unlikely they’ll be as much fun as this.

Buy now, $60
https://www.nintendo.com/games/detail/mario-and-sonic-at-the-olympic-games-tokyo-2020-switch/
5. ‘Mario Tennis Aces’

Perhaps you like the idea of playing a tennis game, but the aforementioned AO Tennis 2 is a little too realistic for you. Perhaps Camelot’s Mario Tennis Aces could be the fit for you. Released a few summers ago, this game is arcade-like and basic enough that anyone could get into the swing of it (see what I did there?), but there are enough mechanics that allow you to take it more seriously and benefit from that too. If the Nintendo Wii’s tennis games bring you a large dose of nostalgia, try out Swing Mode to take things back to the mid-2000s.

Buy now, $60
https://www.nintendo.com/games/detail/mario-tennis-aces-switch/
6. ‘NBA 2K21’

Where EA Sports’ FIFA 21 can suffer a little bit on the Switch and feels like the PlayStation 3 or Xbox 360 version, 2K have done an exceptional job with their basketball series. NBA 2K21 (and every NBA 2K game available on the Switch before it) really lives up to its potential in a way that it’s hard to say any other sports game does. The graphics really push the Switch to its limits and you can play every game mode available on it. Even if you own the Switch but aren’t the biggest basketball fan, you’ll be able to appreciate this game. At the time of writing, there’s a great discount on too.

Buy now, $20
https://www.nintendo.com/games/detail/nba-2k21-switch/
7. ‘PGA Tour 2K21’

Another offering from 2K, PGA Tour 2K21, is easily the best golf simulator that’s available on the Switch, and it likely will be until PGA Tour 2K22 comes out. That’s partially a credit to the game and because there aren’t any other games on the Switch that attempt to take golf as seriously as this one does. It’s tough to give this one as much praise as 2K’s previously mentioned basketball offering, but it’s good regardless and has room to grow. If a realistic round of golf isn’t your thing, but you want to hit a course, try Golf With Your Friends or one of the many other arcade golf games that are available on the Switch.

8. ‘Ring Fit Adventure’

One of the best-selling games on the Switch, Ring Fit Adventure, is this generation of gaming’s answer to Wii Fit, and that’s genuinely the best way to describe it. Developed and published by Nintendo itself, the game comes with a Ring-Con (a device that you hold and that one Joy-Con fits into) and a Leg Strap (that holds your other Joy-Con for you). There is an RPG mode here that adds a storyline to the fitness, but what really sells this game is its fitness routines and party-style modes, which you can work out with music in the background or silently.

Buy now, $80
https://www.nintendo.com/products/detail/ring-fit-adventure-switch/
9. ‘Rocket League’

Rocket League has always been popular, even from when its predecessor was called Super Sonic Acrobatic Rocket-Powered Battle-Cars. But when it became free to play last year shortly after Epic Games took over, its stock really shot up. If you’re unaware of the concept, this is basically soccer, but in cars. Soc-car, if you will. The cars can get a massive speed boost and jump high, high enough for you to hit some insane aerial shots if you’re good enough anyway. It can take some practice to get that good, but at this price point, there’s no good reason to pass it up and not try.

Buy now, free
https://www.nintendo.com/games/detail/rocket-league-switch/
10. ‘Super Mega Baseball 3’

Canadian developer Metalhead Software brings us what is widely considered to be the best baseball game available on the Switch. It features many of the same things as the previous two games (Exhibition, Season, and Elimination, to name a few), but the third installment in the series also adds Franchise mode. It allows you to sign free agents and develop players, a rare sight for arcade games. The freedom of customization given to players is incredible too. This is a game that, even if you’re not necessarily into baseball, you can have fun with.

Buy now, $45
https://www.nintendo.com/games/detail/super-mega-baseball-3-switch/
Categories
Gaming Streaming

Discord’s Clubhouse-Like Stage Channels Feature is Now Live

Discord has turned into the go-to virtual space for gamers to chat with their online squad while they game. And it’s made for an awesome gathering spot for professionals to share their ideas and casually engage in conversations via Facetime-like chat rooms. Discord is regularly championed as the best instant messaging and digital distribution platform on the market today for those reasons alone. And now it’s looking to give Clubhouse, the mega-popular invitation-only audio-chat app, a run for its money.

A new feature that’s similar in concept to Clubhouse and Twitter’s new Space integration is now available on Discord – Stage Channels. This newly implemented feature gives speakers the ability to speak to a virtual room full of listeners, which lends itself to a virtual town hall format. Discord is known for already allowing its users to communicate with each other in voice channels and talk freely amongst themselves – Stage Channels will take a different approach by only allowing Community servers to create those special rooms and give its speakers the floor to say whatever’s on their mind while others listen in.

Discord

As soon as you join a Stage Channel, you’ll automatically be put on mute while the speaker(s)…well, speaks. Virtual audience members can press a button if they feel the need to get in a few words of their own, which gives the Stage Channel’s moderator the power to fulfill that audience member’s request. Stage Channel moderators also have the ability to mute a speaker and even kick them out of the room altogether should they prove to be too disruptive. With all that being said, it’s quite evident that crowd control and enlightening conversations seem to be at the heart of this new Discord feature.

Unlike Clubhouse, Discord’s Stage Channels make it a lot easier for PC users to participate in the new growing trend of social audio rooms. The usage of Twitter Spaces isn’t widely available to its users just yet (everyone will get to try them out come April), plus they can only be created through the social media app’s iOS and Android versions. And as for Clubhouse, it still only exists as an iOS-powered app (an Android version is currently in development, however). So for those looking for a Clubhouse-like experience that works on both mobile devices and PC, Discord’s Stage Channels should fit the bill.

Discord, Clubhouse, and Twitter aren’t the only apps looking to win the social audio room race. LinkedIn is creating a similar feature of its own, plus Mark Cuban has released something in the same manner that’s currently in its beta phase called Fireside. Facebook, Slack, and Spotify are also looking to join in on the social audio room trend as well. Factor in other Clubhouse competitors, such as Stereo, Toodeep, Cozyroom, and it’s clear that folks are going to have more new ways to engage in intellectual conversations across the web.

Categories
Sports Strength

The Best Wine to Pair with Each MLB Opening Day Game

Opening Day of the baseball season is one of the most exciting sports days of the year. It signifies the beginning of one of the longest regular seasons in professional sports. As COVID restrictions start to open up, there are more opportunities to get together with friends and watch your favorite team compete. I want to make sure that you are drinking the best wine possible while watching your favorite team on opening day.

Here is my wine pairing for each match up on April 1st, MLB’s Opening Day, according to the home team’s city!

Toronto Blue Jays @ New York Yankees 1:05 pm

A full bodied Chianti is your best bet when it comes to a Yankee game. NYC is synonymous with great pizza, and Chianti is the best Pizza wine! Give this one a shot! Chianti is extremely approachable and great for casual meals. There are a bunch of games in the season, so it will work for more than just opening day.

Cleveland Indians @ Detroit Tigers: 1:05pm

If you have ever visited Detroit and went out to eat, there is a good chance that you were offered Zip Sauce. This extremely rich sauce is best on steaks, which is why you want to drink a Napa Cabernet with your steak during the game. It’s truly a classic pairing when it comes to steak dinners.

Baltimore Orioles @ Boston Red Sox: 2:10pm

When I think of New England, I think of the best lobster rolls in the country. The best wine to go with a fresh lobster roll is a dry riesling—something along the the lines of this. The high acidity and crisp texture makes it perfect for a light sandwich like a lobster roll. 

Minnesota Twins @ Milwaukee Brewers: 2:10pm

It is only fitting for a city like Milwaukee to be most known for their artisanal cheeses. There are world class cheeses being produced there, so you need a world class wine to go with it. A perfect pairing for cheese is Chenin Blanc. A good Vouvray with a smack of sweetness always goes well with cheese! 

Pittsburgh Pirates @ Chicago Cubs: 2:20pm

Do we do another Pizza pairing? Why not? Let’s change it up a bit though since deep dish has that crunchy crust. Try a dry Lambrusco from Italy. The flush red fruits go well with pizza, but it is the bubbles that make the experience with the crust a match made in heaven. 

Atlanta Braves @ Philadelphia Phillies: 3:05pm

Do I dare pair a wine with the already perfected Cheese Steak? I think I do. Go snag yourself a Washington State Red. These full bodied reds have a ton of complexities going on, just like a traditional Cheese Steak from Philadelphia. From the bread all the way down to the vegetables, you need to have a wine like this to stand up to the Philly staple. 

Tampa Bay Rays @ Miami Marlins: 4:10pm

You would think with two teams named after fish, maybe sushi would be a good option. Florida isn’t known for that though, so we are going to take a completely different angle. In Miami they eat Cuban Sandwiches. A combination of pork, pickles, Swiss cheese, and mustard. A sandwich like this needs something zippy and crisp, like a Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand.

St. Louis Cardinals @ Cincinnati Reds: 4:10pm

You don’t go to Cincinnati without trying some local chili.  Unlike other styles known around the country, Cincinnati style has origins based in Greek cuisine. This Chili is also sometimes served over pasta! A meaty Greek style dish needs a comparable red wine, which is why a Greek red wine would be my first choice.

Los Angeles Dodgers @ Colorado Rockies: 4:10pm

Colorado is known for fresh trout; many are sourced from the cold water rivers flowing from the Rocky Mountains. This delicate fish needs a delicate wine. A good Albarino from Spain will be light enough to allow you to experience both the fish and the wine at the same time.

Arizona Diamondbacks @ San Diego Padres: 4:10pm

Like many places in Southern California, you can’t go there without having fish tacos. It almost doesn’t matter the fish, as you can most of the time guarantee that it is as fresh as you can get. A good fish taco can be a bit spicy, so a great light red wine like Pinot Noir from the local regions is your best bet.

Texas Rangers @ Kansas City Royals: 4:10pm

You don’t go to Kansas City without trying one of the US’ best finger foods: burnt ends. These little morsels of steak, which are crunchy on the outside, but juicy on the inside, get a unique twist from every BBQ spot you stop at. Snag a Shiraz from Australia to pair with these little bites. The full bodied red will hold up to the steak and pair perfectly with the sweet taste of BBQ sauce. 

New York Mets @ Washington Nationals: 7:09pm

Is there really a traditional food from Washington DC? Probably not, so let’s pair something with one of America’s traditional foods, a juicy cheeseburger. Fresh off the grill with a nice char on the outside and a juicy red inside, you need a full bodied red. Try a Merlot from California. It won’t overwhelm all the toppings on your burger while still holding up to the rich flavors of the meat! 

Chicago White Sox @ Los Angeles Angels: 10:05pm

LA has one of the best sources for fresh fish in the US. So there is no doubt that they have some of the best sushi out there. These Japanese style dishes need something as delicate as the fish on the plate, which is why Champagne will always be the best choice. Fatty fish and real Champagne is literally one of my favorite pairings in the world. 

Houston Astros @ Oakland Athletics: 10:07pm

Oakland has a very unique specialty spread out through its city, and thats dumplings. You can find your favorite spot and find yourself eating dumplings on a regular basis. The traditional pork dumpling pair well with pretty much anything, but if there is one thing that I think pairs perfectly, it has to be Chardonnay, especially from Burgundy. The elegant style of wine is perfect for the delicate but filling dumplings of Oakland.

San Francisco Giants @ Seattle Mariners: 10:10pm

You don’t head out to Seattle, talk about baseball, and not have a Seattle Dog. This is a hot dog topped with grilled onions and cream cheese. Yes, cream cheese!  Seems like an impossible pairing, but there is a wine that will work. Try out a Viognier from the Northern Rhone in France. These whites have plenty of acidity for the cream cheese, but the full body feel to go with the hot dog and onions.

Categories
Sports Strength

Nate Diaz Returns on May 15th Against Leon Edwards at UFC 262

He’s back.

On Tuesday night, it was reported that Nate Diaz is scheduled to fight Leon Edwards at UFC 262.

  • Five rounds
  • Co-main
  • Non-title fight

That will be the first-ever fight of that nature in the history of the UFC.

Diaz just does things differently.

For every single fan of the fight game, there is a fighter or two that you connect with. When they fight, you are hooked and when they talk, you listen.

For me, that fighter is Nathan Diaz.

The reality is that he was the first fighter I was ever a fan of. In 2007, season five of The Ultimate Fighter aired on Spike. I was 10 years old, so it was probably an ill-advised program for me to get into, but hey – that’s life.

Ever since that season of the show, I was all-in on Nate Diaz. You will never hear me claim that he is the perfect fighter or that he deserves a title shot out of place… but when his fights get announced, I get pumped.

Leon Edwards is coming off of a somewhat bizarre matchup against Belal Muhammed. It was his first fight in almost two years, so fans were eager to see how he looked.

Well, in what we saw, he looked good. Until it didn’t. Early in the fight, Edwards poked Muhammed in the eye, and the bout was stopped. It wasn’t your run-of-the-mill eye poke either. This one was nasty.

A lot of fans, including myself, thought that the fight should be rebooked. And while I’m thrilled about the Nate Diaz news, I do feel for Muhammed.

When you step back and look at the bigger picture, this fight makes tons of sense. For Edwards, he gets a big name and payday. For Diaz, he gets a fight where he doesn’t have to cut weight and if he wins, I have no doubt that the UFC would try to give him a push for a title shot.

Damn, I can’t wait. The UFC just continues to deliver exciting fights.

Categories
Style What To Buy

Shop Jordan Fuller’s Post-Gym ‘Fit to Get Your Mind and Body Right

“I maximize my gifts by, first, working out but also getting the right recovery, taking care of my body. That’s something I’ve definitely learned from the older guys on the team. Taking care of yourself spiritually also, making sure you’re staying in tune with your family and how your inner self feels,” says LA Rams’ safety Jordan Fuller.

If there’s one thing pro-athlete Jordan Fuller knows, it’s how to keep his body and mind in top form. From working out to taking care of his mind, Fuller prioritizes staying healthy. If you’re going to hit the gym as much as he does, you gotta have the right cool down outfit for the post-workout. So we teamed up with JD Sports to help Fuller stay comfortable after his extended exercise sessions with Global Access exclusive pieces; shop the look below:

Shop the look:
ADIDAS ORIGINALS ID96 CREWNECK SWEATSHIRT
https://www.jdsports.com/store/product/adidas-originals-id96-crewneck-sweatshirt/prod2801046?styleId=GU9410&colorId=001
$70
MEN’S ADIDAS ORIGINALS NMD R1 STLT PRIMEKNIT CASUAL SHOES
https://www.jdsports.com/store/product/mens-adidas-originals-nmd-r1-stlt-primeknit-casual-shoes/prod270001?styleId=GX7670&colorId=834
$140
MEN’S ADIDAS ORIGINALS ID96 LOGO JOGGER PANTS
https://www.jdsports.com/store/product/mens-adidas-originals-id96-logo-jogger-pants/prod2823939?styleId=GU9411&colorId=001
$75
The Crewneck
JD Sports

After an intense workout, you need to have something cozy you can cool down in. That’s why Jordan rocks this Adidas crewneck. It’s breathable, but cozy and durable enough to lounge around in forever.

Buy Now at JD Sports, $70
https://www.jdsports.com/store/product/adidas-originals-id96-crewneck-sweatshirt/prod2801046?styleId=GU9410&colorId=001
The Sweats
JD Sports

You can’t wear a sweatshirt without the matching bottoms, come on now. The whole get up allows for easy lounging without sacrificing a commitment to style.

Buy now at JD SPorts, $75
https://www.jdsports.com/store/product/mens-adidas-originals-id96-logo-jogger-pants/prod2823939?styleId=GU9411&colorId=001
The Kicks
JD Sports

Diehard sneakerheads all know and love the Adidas NMD. This colorway is no exception. The sillhouette is immensely breathable and lightweight, but the flashy colorway will let folks know you’re about the sneaker game. These are the perfect cherry on top to a minimal athleisure fit.

Buy Now at JD SPorts, $140
https://www.jdsports.com/store/product/mens-adidas-originals-nmd-r1-stlt-primeknit-casual-shoes/prod270001?styleId=GX7670&colorId=834
Categories
Culture Trading Cards

Top 10 Cards for the Best NFL Free Agent Signings of 2021

NFL free agency is a great way to plug holes in a team’s roster and reinvigorate a fanbase. Seconds after ESPN reporter, Adam Schefter announces any trade, fans of all 32 teams can be seen on Twitter saying things like: “My team signed (insert name here)?! He was so underrated on his old team. Our coaching staff will turn him in to a Pro Bowler!“ Or on the flip-side, “Not a big loss. The (insert team’s name) WAY overpaid for him. He wasn’t even that good!“

As we have learned, relevancy is probably the number one factor when flipping cards. When a player is acquired via free agency or a trade, they immediately become a relevant talking point through local and national media.

As an example, earlier this offseason we saw that scenario play out in the Matthew Stafford card market almost immediately after he was traded from Detroit to Los Angeles. On January 23rd, his 2009 Topps Chrome PSA 10 was selling for around $300. He was traded on January 31st, and within two weeks, the same card was moving at around $1250.

The energy that sends fans to Twitter, excited to welcome their “free agent steal” (or so they are convinced), will also send folks to eBay to purchase their rookie cards. After all, if fans are convinced that the player was under-utilized and under-appreciated in his former city, investing in that card makes all the sense in the world, right?

Here is a list of my top 10 players that were available during this free agency period and why their cards might be a good buy:

10. Hunter Henry, TE
Signed with New England Patriots for 3 years, $37.5 million
Jason Koeppel // ONE37pm

Hunter Henry is very much in play as the #1 tight end in a Bill Belichick offense. The Pats also signed tight end Johnnu Smith, as they historically like to run two tight end sets. Both are certain to see a lot of balls thrown their way, but I see Henry as the one with higher upside and I wouldn’t be shocked to see him end up in the Pro Bowl this year.

There are two reasons why he isn’t higher on this list:

  1. He is a tight end, and tight ends don’t typically sell all that well in the card market (outside of Travis Kelce and Gronk).
  2. Who is throwing him the ball? Cam Newton? After the way he looked last season, that alone gives plenty of reason for skepticism.

There aren’t too many graded Hunter Henry rookie cards, but you can scoop up some of his—even numbered rookie autos—for well under $100.

9. Will Fuller, WR
Signed with Miami Dolphins for 1 year, $10.625 million
Jason Koeppel // ONE37pm

Will Fuller is a former first round draft pick (2016) who played in a high-powered offense (featuring Deshaun Watson) and had some big moments. His biggest problem was his ability to stay on the field, missing a total of 27 games in his first five seasons and never once playing in more than 11 games in any season outside of his rookie campaign.

That said, last year, Fuller had 53 catches for 879 yards and 8 touchdowns. He appeared to be on the verge of a HUGE season before being suspended for six games for violating the leagues policy on PED’s—a suspension that will carry over through week one of the 2021 season.

He signed a one-year deal in Miami, where Tua Tagovailoa is currently slotted to start the season as their number one quarterback. I don’t love Tua, and that could certainly be an issue, but on a one-year deal and with plenty to prove, Fuller has me intrigued. He is obviously going to be motivated to prove that he can be a number one guy and earn a big pay-day next offseason. His current low numbered rookie card auto prices are VERY cheap. I love low risk plays like this, but don’t go too crazy.

8. Aaron Jones, RB
Re-signed with Packers for 4 years, $48 million
Jason Koeppel // ONE37pm

I just want to start off by saying that I am very surprised that Aaron Jones wound up back in Green Bay after they spent a second round pick last season on AJ Dillon.

Bringing Jones back on a four year deal does two things: 1) It solidifies him as the number one running back in a high powered offense and 2) it simultaneously crushes the hopes of anyone who was sitting around collecting AJ Dillon cards.

With all of that said, Aaron Jones is a very good player who made his first Pro Bowl in 2020. He was tied for first in the NFL in rushing TD’s in 2019, and has run for a combined 2188 yards over the past two seasons.

Green Bay could very well make another deep run this year, possibly all the way to the Super Bowl, and you can still find rookie autos like this Prizm Cracked Ice /75 for $89. His PSA 10 2017 Prizm rookies currently sell for about $135.

7. Curtis Samuel, WR
Signed with Washington for 3 years, $34.5 million
Jason Koeppel // ONE37pm

Curtis Samuel is a very good, extremely versatile player, who will have plenty of opportunities in Washington after signing a three-year deal. The Ohio State alumni will be paired up with fellow Buckeye alum Terry McLaurin in a “scary” 1-2 combination.

Will the quarterback be newly signed journeyman Ryan Fitzpatrick? Or will Taylor Heinicke prove that his fantastic surprise playoff start last season was no fluke? Whichever direction Washington goes with the quarterback, they will certainly have some nice weapons down field.

To show how my “relevancy is the number one factor” theory works, I found this Curtis Samuel National Treasures rookie patch auto /99 in a $5 bin at the Dallas Card Show. I listed it on eBay for $50 or best offer the night that he signed with Washington. It sold within days for $35. Not my biggest play, but I will take those returns all day. You would be surprised if you saw the Samuel rookie autos that are available for under $25. Again, low-risk plays are some of my favorites. Don’t expect to make a fortune, but there is plenty of room to double, or even triple, your money at those prices if he has a big year.

6. JuJu Smith-Schuster, WR
Re-signed with Pittsburgh Steelers for 1 year, $8 million
Jason Koeppel // ONE37pm

Here’s what I don’t like about Juju, the player: Loves attention. Always on TikTok. Controversial and flashy. Here’s what I like about investing in Juju: Loves attention. Always on TikTok. Controversial and flashy.

If Juju scores a touchdown, you are going to hear about it. In the relevancy market, Juju is almost always relevant. With that said, his Prizm rookie auto recently sold for just $68 and much like Will Fuller, Juju is on a one-year deal in an effort to cash in next offseason if he puts up big numbers.

I like investing in low risk buys of players that I know will be motivated, especially ones who command a ton of media attention. Juju checks all the boxes.

5. Andy Dalton, QB
Signed with Chicago Bears for 1 year, $10 million
Jason Koeppel // ONE37pm

I am not in any way a believer in Andy Dalton, the quarterback. He was objectively awful in Dallas this past season after Dak Prescott went down, so there is really only one reason to have him so high on this list.

Starting quarterbacks are always relevant and in-play. The Bears have a fantastic defense and one of the most underrated wide receivers in the NFL (Allen Robinson) back on a franchise tag. The Bears went 8-8 this year with Mitch Trubisky and Nick Foles, so if Andy Dalton can just be a little bit better than that, it’s not crazy to think the Bears could go 10-6 and sneak in to the playoffs.

You can find his Topps Chrome rookie autos for under $50. I promise that if he can somehow take this team to the playoffs, the entire city of Chicago will love him and the prices of his rookie cards will have a nice run. I will definitely enter this season owning a few as yet another low-risk play that could accrue big dividends.

4. Corey Davis, WR
Signed with New York Jets for 3 years, $37.5 million
Jason Koeppel // ONE37pm

(Full disclosure: I am a die-hard Jets fan.)

Corey Davis was the fifth pick in the 2017 NFL Draft and never quite lived up to the hype. However, with 945 yards and five touchdowns in 2020, he had his most productive season and seems to be coming in to his own.

Davis enters the bright lights of the New York City media market, and is positioned to get the lion’s share of the receptions with just Jamison Crowder, Denzel Mims and newly signed Keelan Cole filling out the rest of the wide receiver room.

The Jets franchise is starved for a 1,000 yard receiver (something that hasn’t happened since 2015) and will likely be selecting quarterback Zach Wilson with the number two pick. If he truly is the franchise quarterback that they say he is, he will need a number one receiver. Davis would seem to be that guy.

The reason I have him so high on this list is because you can get a Corey Davis 2017 Silver Prizm rookie auto for under $20. I absolutely love the low cost of entry on a guy who could absolutely become a star in New York.

3. JJ Watt, DE
Signed with Arizona Cardinals for 2 years, $28 million
Jason Koeppel // ONE37pm

J.J. Watt is already a legend who is playing out the stretch run of his storied career in Arizona where he will be reunited with DeAndre Hopkins in the “get me the hell out of Houston” tour.

The Cards have a ton of weapons and could be a sleeper team to this year after underachieving in 2020. If J.J. Watt gets to the playoffs, the stories of his greatness will be all over the media— much like Tom Brady this past season.

Historically, defensive players don’t typically sell that well. But J.J. Watt is not your typical player. The fact that his Topps Chrome rookie cards are selling raw for around $20 is wild to me. Buying clean copies and grading them could turn out to be a fantastic play if the Cardinals and Watt make some noise. Watt’s cards have already seen a nice relevancy run with his prices up about 50% since signing his new deal in the desert (as illustrated in the photo above).

2. Kenny Golladay, WR
Signed with New York Giants for 4 years, $72 million
Jason Koeppel // ONE37pm

We might be a little late on this player. You could have gotten his PSA 10 Prizm rookies back in January for just $71, but they are currently selling for just over $200—a 3x relevancy return in just two months.

Golladay is a very talented receiver, who (like Matthew Stafford) managed to get out of the Detroit abyss this offseason. He landed in a fantastic spot with the Giants where he will be the top receiving weapon for Daniel Jones on an offense that also features a returning Saquon Barkley and the emerging Sterling Shepard.

Golladay was a 1,000 yard receiver in 2018 and 2019, with 16 TD’s in those two campaigns. I would not be surprised if he topped 1200 yards this year. The cost of entry is a bit higher than some of the other guys on this list, but there is still plenty of upside, especially if you are patient and find a great buy like this one.

1. Dak Prescott, QB
Re-signed with Dallas Cowboys for 4 years, $160 million
https://www.cardladder.com/card?id=7QzkrKhB1hrFjtTqofgl
CardLadder

It finally happened. The Cowboys finally committed to Dak Prescott and gave him the long term contract he has been asking for… but now what? Can he live up to the contract?

The smart money says yes.

Dak is positioned better than any quarterback in football outside of Patrick Mahomes, with a supporting cast that is out of this world. He has a top-notch offensive line, Zeke Elliot, Amari Cooper, Ceedee Lamb and Michael Gallup. That offense should be absolutely elite.

His 2016 Prizm rookie PSA 10 has seen a nice run since the end of the season, where it was selling for just $560 on 12/31 and is currently going for around $860. There is still plenty of room for it to go up, especially since he plays for the most valuable franchise in professional sports, with a rabid fanbase. Watch what happens to his prices if he takes the Cowboys to the playoffs.

For comparison, the other quarterback in Texas—Deshaun Watson—has a market cap on his 2017 Prizm rookie PSA 10 that is more than twice what Dak’s is, according to CardLadder.

I expect the Cowboys to make the playoffs this year, and fully expect Dak’s cards to run up accordingly.

Categories
Consoles Gaming

Everything You Need to Know About the Airship Map in ‘Among Us’

Among Us shockingly became the talk of the town in every gaming circle last year. The online multiplayer social deduction game (which has to be the first of its kind, right?) pitted friends against each other as they tried to decipher who the imposter within their group is. And like every other game that becomes an out of nowhere sensation, players made it clear that they wanted more. And when they say more, they mean more maps.

Thankfully, InnerSloth (the development studio behind Among Us) has answered that request. A brand new Airship map is making its way to the game on March 31 at 11am PT / 2pm ET / 6pm UTC. And there’s no need to worry about ponying up a couple of digital bucks to obtain it – the Airship map will arrive as a part of an entirely free update. So for those of you that have been looking forward to calling their best friends out for their trickery within a brand new locale, you have a look to look forward to. This upcoming map will be available for every platform Among Us currently exists on, which includes the following: Nintendo Switch, PC, iOS, and Android. And Xbox One and Xbox Series X|S console owners can also join in on the fun once the game releases at a later (and still unannounced) date.

The Airship map update will introduce a host of new features. Additional tasks will come into play, different starting rooms will be implemented, and a new account system that allows players to choose their own display name and utilize a free in-game chat option will make its debut. For those that don’t want to utilize the new account system, you can play in Guest Mode so no worries. This brand-new account system will also give players the ability to report other players for their problematic behavior, which will go hand in hand with the game’s brand new Code of Conduct. So you’d best make sure you abide by the rules and take heed of all the guidelines for Among Us. Having multiple player accounts and being able to add friends won’t be added in just yet, but it’s set to arrive sometime in the near future.

Another free gift that Among Us fanatics can take advantage of from this incoming update is a new collection of hats. These new alternate attires include a pair of Angry Eyebrows, a Rubber Glove, a Ponytail, a Zipper, a scoop of Chocolate Ice Cream, and a Heart. There’s also a special Airship Skin Bundle that players can purchase as soon as the map comes out. This digital goodies package comes with 13 new hats, three skins, and one unique kill animation.

In a developer blog post, InnerSloth detailed how much effort it took for them to implement the Airship map update in the first place. “Additionally, creating a map and updates isn’t as simple as creating one aspect of the game and throwing it onto the PC,” the developer noted. “Because our game is cross-platform, it means EVERYTHING needs to work on as many devices as possible. (Every kind of smartphone and its various versions, console, etc.) You may have noticed most modifications to the game focus on just PC, as that makes development much easier.” To say that we’re thankful for InnerSloth’s continued dedication to their smash hit game would be an understatement.

We will forever Stan you, InnerSloth. Thanks for the new map, hats, and everything else you’ve worked so hard to deliver thus far. Now let’s start pointing figures and arguing with each other, folks!

Categories
Gaming Interviews

Bugha Is This Week’s Special Guest on ‘Inside The Screen’

This week’s episode of Inside The Screen hosted by ONE37pm’s Aaron ‘Don’ Dukes features the one and only Bugha. Since debuting in the gaming scene in early 2019 as a member of Sentinels Esports organization, Bugha has gone on to be recognized as one of esports top superstars. The Fortnite World Cup Champion and PC Player of the Year joined Don in a very special interview to talk about all things gaming, how to achieve longevity in the esports scene, Lebron, and more.

The two didn’t waste any time diving into what they both love most: gaming. They kicked off the conversation talking about how competitions have been so far for Bugha, and what he has currently been up to. “So competitions have been good. I’ve been competing in Fortnite for about three years strong,” he tells Don as he goes to explain how he periodically takes breaks to play other games such as Valorant. “Fortnite comp is always going to be there for me, and I am always going to perform well because I’m never going to let myself do really crappy in those since that is where I came from. Some of the kids that go into Fortnite now-a-days really want it bad!”

As the convo goes on, Don and Bugha get into the pancakes and waffles debate, BBC, and game meta vs LAG, before diving into a discussion about Fortnite’s mechanics being underrated. Don makes the argument of Fortnite potentially being top five in terms of how challenging the game is from a mechanical standpoint, and also points out that he could see Bugha making the switch to Valorant one day. “If Fortnite comp were to ever die out, I feel like I’ll always have those ‘gamer genetics’ where I can just play another game. I’ll put in the time and be good at whatever I play. Like I said if Fortnite were to ever die out, then I’ll try something else!”

One of the best in the esports and gaming community in terms of content creation, branding, and marketing, the guys  cover some of Bugha’s marketing strategies, ultimately pivoting the conversation (after a fun debate on Attack on Titan being the best anime), to Bugha’s longevity in a place where it can be hard to achieve, well, longevity. Don goes on to ask Bugha about being signed to VaynerGaming, and how he personally views his future in the esports and gaming industry. “As long as I am with Vayner, my content is always going to be growing. We have really good chemistry with what we are going to work on, and the things we do. As far as five years—is Fortnite going to even be a thing in five years? I think casual Fortnite could be around for a long time, but with competitive Fortnite, the players get really mad about any new weapon being added! I still want to be a competitive player if not in Fortnite, then somewhere else.

Don and Bugha covered so much ground in their 20-minute discussion, and you definitely don’t want to miss out the full conversation. You can find the episode above, and follow Bugha on Instagram.

Categories
Sports Strength

How Can the USMNT Reach the 2022 World Cup?

When the U.S. Men’s National Team begins their Concacaf World Cup qualifying run this fall only one thing will be on the minds of manager Gregg Berhalter and his players; avoiding a repeat of four years ago.

If you’re new to the soccer scene or just a bit confused about how World Cup qualifying works, we’ll get into that in a second, but first, let’s briefly revisit the events that occurred on October 10, 2017 down in Trinidad & Tobago.

The situation was quite simple for the United States, who were heading into their final WCQ match against Trinidad. A win or draw would’ve been good enough for the USMNT to qualify for the 2018 World Cup in Russia. Instead, the Americans fell behind 2-0 inside the first half, including an own goal from American defender Omar Gonzalez.

Christian Pulisic managed to pull one back for the Yanks, but alas it wasn’t enough and the U.S.’ World Cup hopes were crushed before they even officially began. Given the success of the U.S. Women’s National Team and their various team accomplishments throughout the years, the reactions to the men missing the most-prestigious soccer tournament on the planet were unhinged and passionate.

Four years later and we can safely say that the USMNT is in a significantly better position than 2017 given the current roster of talents, many of whom find themselves playing for the biggest clubs in the world.

Sergiño Dest and Weston McKennie have the opportunity to play with Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo at Barcelona and Juventus, respectively. Meanwhile, Pulisic, goalkeeper Zach Steffen and Antonee Robinson all reside in the Premier League, which is widely considered the top division in global soccer.

Let’s get back to what the USMNT’s path to the World Cup next November looks like though. It starts this fall when the U.S. and seven other countries begin their pursuit of three-and-a-half spots to reach Qatar.

Now, you’re probably asking, ‘how can there be half a spot?’ and that’s a completely valid question. The top three finishers automatically qualify for the World Cup, while the fourth-place team in North/Central America has to face another nation from around the world that’s also vying for the opportunity to play in 2022.

In this instance, the fourth-place Concacaf finisher will play either a team from Asia, Oceania or South America which will be determined at a later date.

The USMNT should have lofty expectations given their current pool of players, so a fourth-place finish would be quite the disappointment and unexpected at this moment. Concacaf is currently in its first round of qualifying, which features various smaller nations like Puerto Rico and Cuba along with some mid-sized soccer countries like Canada, Guatemala and Panama.

The first round of Concacaf qualifying features six groups of five teams; making for 30 nations in all. From there, six group winners advance and will meet just one other nation in the next round for the right to advance to the Octagonal — aka the final round of qualifying.

Meanwhile, the top five Concacaf nations in the latest FIFA world rankings received an automatic bye into the final round of qualifying. Those teams are Mexico (ranked 9th), USMNT (22nd), Jamaica (47th), Costa Rica (50th) and Honduras (64th).

Once all eight nations have been determined for the final round, the USMNT will face off against all seven of their opponents twice for a total of 14 matches; seven at home in the United States and seven away (depending on whether Concacaf deems travel safe due to COVID-19).

The USMNT has managed to reach the World Cup in seven of its last eight qualifying efforts, with the lone exception being 2018. Americans will be holding their breath until their home country clinches a spot, but it’s fair to say that this group is equipped to get the job done and secure a place in Qatar.