What happens when you place a basketball Hall of Famer, a Grammy-winning recording artist, a Super Bowl Champion, as well as a pro wrestling star in one room and give them a fight stick and Street Fighter V? ELEAGUE is about to find out while raising money for charity.
On Friday, April 28, at 10 PM ET, Shaquille O'Neal, Lupe Fiasco, Reggie Bush and Natalie Eva Marie will compete in a Street Fighter V tournament that is televised on TBS for charities of each celebrities choice.
It will be a single-elimination tournament that has two first round matches as well as a winners match. The champion will receive the lion's share of the prize pool while the other participants will receive a portion of the funds for their charities as well.
ELEAGUE Street Fighter V Invitational host Richard Lewis will be joined alongside Steve "Tasty Steve" Scott, Zhi "Zhieeep" Liang Chew, Stephen "Sajam" Lyon, Reepal "Rip" Parbhoo and reporter Malik Forte as game coaches for the celebrities.
Without further ado, let's meet the participants.
Forget about shattering backboards and dominating the paint, his nicknames have defined him throughout his career. Diesel, The Big Shamrock, The Real Deal, Superman, Shaq Daddy, The Big Shaqtus and The Big Aristotle. While all of those nicknames are impressive, he's probably just focused on picking up one more nickname. Shaqfighter V Champion. I tried, alright?
Regardless, the big man has a very big resume. After being drafted first overall in the 1992 NBA draft by the Orlando Magic, Shaq would go on to have an illustrious career with five other teams until his retirement in 2011. Along the way he would pick up four NBA titles, three Finals MVP awards, 15 All-Star selections, the NBA Rookie of the Year, as well as an MVP selection. He's built himself quite the hefty trophy case.
That's not all Shaq has done though. Since retiring he's been seen in various films and television shows such as Grownups 2, Scary Movie 4, and Freddy Got Fingered. He also has his own video game appropriately titled Shaq Fu.
The video game is no stranger to Shaq as he's also an investor for NRG Esports and has been in various commercials promoting CS:GO for ELEAGUE.
Just like he was on the court, you can expect the same when he grabs the fight stick. Shaq will be making no friends on his quest to being number one.
One of his top songs was titled "The Show Goes On," and he'll be making sure his show goes on all night while he stops others from trying to snag first place at the tournament.
It's not like Lupe has no experience with Street Fighter V, either. He previously beat Diago Umehara in 2016 by using Ken. He seems like a Ken one trick for now as he also accepted a challenge between himself and Gonzalo "ZeRo" Barrios at GENESIS 4 where Lupe has already stated he will use Ryu. Maybe the trick to stopping Lupe is to take away his Ryu.
Lupe has six studio albums out and a nice Grammy Award to his name. He picked up the Grammy in 2008 for Best Urban/Alternative Performance for his song Daydreamin'.
When the tournament rolls along, Lupe will be hoping to tell his opponents to "Go to Sleep" right before he says "I Gotcha".
Charity: 619 Charitable Fund
Reggie Bush is no stranger to winning. He's a Super Bowl champion, a two time National champion, a Doak Walker and Walter Camp award winner, and one of AP's player of the Year recipients. Reggie Bush doesn't exactly like losing.
Coming out of USC, Bush was considered a five-star recruit by Rivals.com and was listed as the number one running back in the nation in 2003.
Bush started his career in 2006 with the New Orleans Saints until 2010 where he would go on to four different teams before his most recent stop with the Buffalo Bills in 2016.
While he may be an underdog at the tournament compared two a few of his opponents, you can't count Reggie out. The 6 foot, 205 lb running back was known as an offensive weapon who notched three, 1,000-yard seasons in his NFL career. Expect him to play aggressive, looking to strike at every opportunity.
Natalie Eva Marie
Charity: American Cancer Society
Natalie Eva Marie is a professional Wrestler who you really shouldn't mess with. She started her career under WWE in 2013 and was last in the ring in 2016 after she was drafted to SmackDown as part of the 2016 WWE Draft.
Marie has a trio of nicknames that include "The Flame-Haired Femme Fatale," "Ms. All Red Everything," and "The Red Queen." If any of those nicknames are indicitive of how she'll fare in the tournament, Shaq, Lupe, and Reggie better watch out.
Her signature moves include the running big boot, running back elbow, seated surfboard, and the side slam backbreaker. Don't think for a second if she starts to lose, she won't pull out the moves on stage.
Her finishing move is titled Sliced Red #2, and wrestling fans everywhere would love to see her pull it out if she knocks off one of the other contestants. Marie shouldn't be taken lightly and will be a force once the tournament comes along.