It’s been a busy few months for 100 Thieves. In October, the e-sports group participated within the League of Legends world championship in its first yr of existence, and later that month Drake and producer Scooter Braun signed on as co-owners. Since then, the corporate has continued to increase, and in the present day it takes one other vital step as former Activision government and Main League Gaming co-founder Mike Sepso joins 100 Thieves’ board of administrators. “I used to be actually impressed earlier than I joined the board with every part they’ve been capable of do,” Sepso tells The Verge.
100 Thieves was based in 2017 by former Name of Responsibility professional Matt “Nadeshot” Haag, and it’s one thing of a cross between a standard e-sports group and a streetwear firm and life-style model. The group operates skilled groups in quite a lot of video games, nevertheless it additionally has a big deal with attire and influencers. 100 Thieves jerseys promote out shortly, and the corporate drops anticipated clothes traces in a mannequin influenced by streetwear king Supreme. Final month, 100 Thieves showed off its “content house,” an area devoted to creators like in style Fortnite streamer Rachel “Valkyrae” Hofstetter. In a November interview with The Wall Street Journal, Haag outlined his bold plans. “We wish to be Supreme and Vice and Pink Bull,” he defined. “We wish to be like Netflix or Hulu.”
The approach to life focus and potential for broad attain is a part of the rationale the likes of Drake have signed up, however aggressive gaming can also be on the core of 100 Thieves. After making its debut in League of Legends, the group has since fashioned Name of Responsibility and Fortnite groups, and it’s actively recruiting Apex Legends gamers. (100 Thieves additionally had a quick stint in the Clash Royale League, however the crew has since disbanded.)
There’s been some early success; an all-star squad certified for the Name of Responsibility World League this season, and after a profitable exhibiting in its first yr, 100 Thieves’ League of Legends crew made a splash by signing two-time world champion Bae “Bang” Jun-sik for the present season.
It’s right here that Sepso’s background will come in useful. He co-founded pioneering e-sports firm Main League Gaming in 2002, and in 2015 joined Activision to help the company launch its new competitive gaming division. Activision then acquired MLG the following year. As a part of 100 Thieves’ board, he’ll be utilizing that have to assist the corporate obtain its giant ambitions.
“I’ve been fortunate sufficient to be in the midst of most of the main shifts within the trade, and a part of a number of the most vital elements of the enterprise because it’s developed, so hopefully I’ll deliver that have and my private community and relationships to assist the corporate execute,” Sepso says.
Sepso says he’s recognized Haag for the reason that early days of MLG, and through the years the pair have saved in contact, as he’s helped lend the younger entrepreneur enterprise recommendation. “I’ve recognized Matt since he actually was an adolescent and had simply began out in e-sports as an MLG participant,” says Sepso. “So it was a pure match for each of us. I used to be actually excited when he approached me about becoming a member of the board.”
Throughout his time at Activision, Sepso says one in every of his main targets was to introduce the franchise mannequin, which is dominant in conventional sports activities with everlasting groups primarily based in particular cities, to the world of e-sports. It has since turn into the spine of the Overwatch League, and it’s been adopted by League of Legends in North America and Europe. It can seemingly turn into a part of skilled Name of Responsibility sooner or later, Activision has mentioned.
Since leaving Activision, Sepso has shifted his focus considerably to e-sports considered from a crew degree; first signing on as a strategic advisor for the Overwatch League’s New York Excelsior, and now as a board member of 100 Thieves. Because the franchise mannequin is now changing into the norm at a league degree, he sees particular person groups as the subsequent frontier. “The groups are actually the subsequent place the place loads of the innovation is occurring in e-sports,” Sepso says.