E-Sports by Joshua Eferighe September 6, 2019
One of the biggest rap stars in the game has joined forces with one of the biggest e-sports brands in the world and no one is batting an eye.
As reported by The Verge, Atlanta recording artist and one-third of Migos, Offset, joined the gaming juggernaut, FaZe Clan, as a principal investor on August 20th for an undisclosed amount.
According to the article, stories of teenagers winning millions of dollars playing Fortnite and the gaming company’s reputation for winning sold the 27-year-old Father of Four on the collective.
In a statement, Offset, whose real name is Kiari Kendrell Cephus, called FaZe Clan “the biggest esports organization with some of the best players in the world.”
Being that Offset is a Grammy-nominated and FaZe Clan a multi-million dollar top gaming channel on YouTube, one would think this would be groundbreaking.
This, however, and for a lack of better words, is old news.
Don’t get me wrong, the Atlanta rapper investing and becoming the unofficial ambassador for the entertainment organization was, I’m sure, huge for their 4 million Twitter followers, 7.1 million YouTube subscribers and massive international following.
But the deal — wherein which the details were not disclosed — is but the latest of what has proved to be a match made in heaven: Hip-hop and competitive gaming.
In October of last year, Drake became an owner of Matthew “Nadeshot” Haag’s 100 Thieves alongside entertainment heavyweight Scooter Braun.
😯 @Drake shouting out @100Thieves on Instagram pic.twitter.com/QIatEX3heg
— CDL Intel (@intelCDL) May 6, 2019
Similarly, Sean “Diddy” Combs invested in high school esports initiative PlayVS a month prior; and just this past April, Canada pop sensation.
The Weeknd became a co-owner of OverActive Media, a Canadian group that funds and runs many eSports teams, including Toronto Defiant of the Overwatch League, as well as teams for League of Legends, Starcraft, Rocket League and more and that only names a handful.
Toronto native, @theweeknd is joining the @TorontoDefiant family! We’re excited to have The Weeknd as an investor, collaborator, and global ambassador.#RiseTogether pic.twitter.com/0G3k9jZonW
— Toronto Defiant (@TorontoDefiant) April 10, 2019
Offset isn’t even the first rapper on FaZe Clan — Lil Yachty joined the group as a content creator in December. Long gone are the days of nerds versus jocks, feeling different for liking anime or being a heavy gamer, because, surprise, surprise: rappers do too.
“My four-year-old plays Fortnite, my little brother who’s 21 plays Fortnite. It’s every range of people, and it’s nothing but positivity. It’s going to be forever,” Offset said to Verge.
And when you really sit down and think about it, the same homies you hoop with are the same ones you’re playing Call of Duty and NBA 2K or FIFA with as well — why wouldn’t the two merge?
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LETSSSS GOOOOO FAZEUP HOODY ONLY COP AT FAZECLAN.com 🤯🤯🤯🤯🤯🤯🤯🤯
We’ve long known hip-hop to be the most influential genre in the world but we’re for the first time ever we’re witnessing what it looks like being the number one consumed genre in the world. From politicians and fashion to sports and even the corporate world, everyone is clamoring to get their hands on the revenue rap brings and e-gaming is getting in while the getting is good.
Drake knew what the hell he was doing linking up with popular streamer Tyler “Ninja” Blevins last year. The “God’s Plan” rapper brought Travis Scott for a session on Fortnite: Battle Royale with Ninja in and broke records on Twitch that ended up being mutually beneficial to all parties.
As hard as it is to imagine, the three gamers on the planet earth who didn’t know who Drake or Travis Scott was sure did after that stream. Likewise, hip-hop fans were introduced to a world they may have never thought to look at. There’s clearly an overlap in opportunity in the two worlds and Offset is just the latest to take advantage.
Later on in the interview, Offset admits seeing a lot of himself in these professional gamers. According to the rapper, “they’re like rock stars,” he said. “They’ve got great followings, they influence kids, and that’s what I do. It was just organic. These guys are cool,” he continued.
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IT WAS 🔥 GAMING WITH MY TEAM @FaZeClan AT #FaZeHouse! THEY LACED ME WITH THIS 🔥 HOODIE THAT YOU CAN ONLY COP AT FaZeClan.com. FOR MY FANS, THE FIRST PERSON TO ENTER THIS CODE AT CHECKOUT GETS A FREE HOODIE => 1K3S8HV02XA0 #FaZeOffset #FaZeUp #FaZeUp #Fortnite #fazeup🔥 #callofduty #fazeclan #fazeh1ghsky1 #LeeTrink #FaZePreZ #fazebanks #fazeapex #fazetemperrr #fazerug #fazeadapt #fazeblaziken #fazetempo #fazekay #apex #fazeteeqo #fazeadapt #selkoe #cizzorz #fazekaye #fazejarvis #fazeattach #nickmercs #fazezooma #FaZeZero #fazeewokfn
As competitive gaming and hip-hop continue to grow in popularity so will the number of things they have in common. Just as hip-hop artists tap social media influences to create a viral dance to their records, you’re going to start seeing rappers do more collabs with gamers and vice versa.
Think about the songs you’ve heard on Madden or 2K that you would have never heard elsewhere — that’s the market that Offset sees. The fact it’s something he actually likes doing is a plus.
Gamer life and hip-hop coming together is no longer a shocker, it just makes sense.