ITK Bowl 2021 teams: Meet more of our athlete-gamer duos

The ITK Bowl 2021 is kicking off and it’s time for you to meet our teams. Join NFL sportscaster and host Kay Adams as she introduces the duos playing in our Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War tournament, sponsored by Pizza Hut.

This time, we have Joseph “Owakening” Conley of the Florida Mutineers and Henry Ruggs III of the Las Vegas Raiders. Ruggs talked about his childhood love of Call of Duty, which really ramped up with Call of Duty: Black Ops 2. while Owakening started going over a preliminary game plan for their duo.

“I’d just come home every day for school,” Ruggs told Owakening. “I used to always plan ahead so I can get my work done before I get home. And when I get home, I’m on the game til I got to go to sleep.”

“I think we’re going to have to play really fast and just run at people,” Owakening told his partner. “Let’s catch them off guard, let’s run out together. I feel like that’ll be the best strat. Just being with each other at all times.”

Both Owakening and Ruggs agreed on the importance of constant and clear communication. In video games, information is king and being good at call-outs is a talent in and of itself.

As for personal rivals, Owakening tagged fellow Mutineer members Travis “Neptune” McCloud II and Cesar “Sky” Bueno as his two biggest threats. Ruggs is watching out for Neptune’s partner, Jarvis Landry of the Cleveland Browns. However, both Ruggs and Owakening were confident in their ability to take the tournament.

Which conveniently brings up our next duo, Travis “Neptune” McCloud II and Jarvis Landry. Right out the gate, Landry challenged all the other duos with extra wagers to make things more interesting.

“Make sure that they see this so they know,” Landry told In The Know. “I’m open to all side bets, whatever they want to do.”

Landry and Neptune both bonded over their shared love of video games. Neptune was an early adopter who began competing as a 14-year-old (he’s currently 18). For Landry, gaming was “one of the things that kept me off the streets” and helped him bond with his teammates once he got to the NFL.

Neptune’s personal strategy in this tournament is complete offense. He plans on being a one-man army without a radio.

“I’m just going to be like running at them the entire time,” Neptune said. “Honestly, just screw the communication. I’m just going to be running at them. We’re just going to be doing our thing.”

Jarvis agreed, banking on the hope that none of the other duos have practiced comms before.

“We don’t even need mics on, none of that,” Jarvis agreed. “Just turn the volume up and rush.”

Neptune and Owakening are both big fans of the AK-74u. Given the generally close-quarters nature of Gunfight maps, it looks like the meta for this tournament is going to be SMG dominated.

And when it comes to sizing up the competition, it looks like the fear and admiration goes both ways. Neptune also chose Owakening as the key target going into this tournament.

Stay tuned for more interviews with the duo teams competing in ITK Bowl 2021!

You’ll be able to watch the tournament on Feb. 5 at 5:00 p.m. EST on our livestream page.

If you liked this story, check out our first episode on the duos competing in ITK Bowl 2021.

More from In The Know

Watch: NFL players and gamers battle it out at ITK Bowl 2020

This best-selling shampoo cured my flaky scalp, and I’ve sworn by it ever since

Casetify’s new ‘desert neutrals’ antimicrobial phone cases are a minimalist’s dream

Shoppers say this 2-in-1 robot vacuum is ‘miles ahead’ of the Roomba — and it’s on sale for $100 off

Listen to the latest episode of our pop culture podcast, We Should Talk: