Matthew “Nadeshot” Haag had entered his name Call of Duty. He started his career as a pro gamer before moving into a YouTube star and eventually co-owner of the gaming lifestyle brand 100 Thieves. But when new Call of Duty League debuted earlier this year, 100 Thieves did not join a team, even though many successes in the CWL are now absent. In a heartfelt video posted last year, Haag cited the high costs associated with the franchised tournament as a reason. But that will change in 2021: CDL’s newest team is the Los Angeles Thieves.
“In the last year we felt a void, or a hole, at the core of our community,” says Haag. The Verge. “It doesn̵7;t feel good, after winning two major championships, not participating Call of Duty somehow. We have to go back. The opportunity was right. LA is the market we want to enter.
Haag gives several reasons for the change of heart. To start, say 100 Thieves. While it’s unclear what the initial problem was, Haag said that the league is now “a bit more comfortable” when it comes to team branding. “It was definitely a huge hurdle for us when we found out that we couldn’t link our potential franchise position with 100 Thieves,” he says. “When they launched Los Angeles Optic Gaming, and then the Atlanta Faze, it hurt a bit for us.”
He also cited growing prominence Call of Duty as a game, thanks in large part to the groundbreaking success of the battle royale spinoff Battlefield. Add to the mobile version and the franchise is said to be more popular than ever, with the latest entry, Cold War of Black Ops, to be released next week alongside the next generation console.
2020 is generally a difficult year for esports, but the CDL will be affected the most. One of the tournament’s key selling points is the NBA-like structure, with teams based in cities around the world hosting matches in front of home fans.
The tournament kicked off well at the opening weekend in Minnesota but was eventually forced to switch to online format. After a few hiccups, it ended surprisingly well: Activision said the championship between Dallas and Atlanta was the most viewed match in Call of Duty history. “I’m just a huge fan of how they turn a really unique situation into a great one,” Haag said.
That city-based structure and possibly representing Los Angeles is also a big part of the appeal of Haag and 100 Thieves. At the beginning of the year, the company opened a large complex in Culver City to house esports teams, content creators, clothing sales, etc. This month, it even got to be. Use as a voting center. While it’s not clear when home matches with the fans will return, for a start, the new LA Thieves team will play in the 100 Thieves HQ.
“LA embraced another chapter of my career, and that’s something I’ve always really appreciated,” Haag said of representing the city in COD. “It’s something that means a lot to me, to have another repetition, hope, greatness of LA. It has been a big year for the Dodgers, a big one for the Lakers. This is an iconic sports city, and we want to add to that prestige and success. “
In addition to the new Call of Duty Team, 100 Thieves also have a team in Valuation, Fortniteand League of Legendsand before that it filled in one Fights back team as well. But the company is said to be best known for its big name streaming characters – like Jack “Courage” Dunlop and Rachell “Valkyrae” Hofstetter – and its supreme apparel business as well as its competitive teams. .
Haag believes that this diversified business type is a strength that could make 100 Thieves a more attractive location for professional players. His own career was a great example, starting out as a competitor before becoming a celebrity on Twitch and YouTube. The esports star careers can be incredibly short, and an organization like 100 Thieves has the potential to create a future after you’ve finished playing at the top level.
“The path I have been on is what we want to make sure that everyone who passes through the organization has an eye on it,” Haag said. “We can help you create a brand that can withstand the test of time. If your goal is to be a part of the game for the rest of your life, this is where we can start and we can nurture that mindset. Our goal is to ensure a longevity.