Like most celebrities, Offset — one-third of hip-hop trio Migos — can’t really enjoy himself in public like the average person. There are too many prying eyes at the grocery store or the mall. So when he needs to relax, he plays games like Call of Duty and NBA 2K with random people online. Recently, his virtual teammates haven’t been able to stop talking about e-sports and competitive gaming. Stories of teenagers winning millions of dollars playing Fortnite intrigued him, so Offset did some more research on his own. It wasn’t long until he discovered Faze Clan.
“It was a special thing,” he tells me, “and I felt like I needed to be a part of it.”
Last week, Offset announced that he was investing in Faze Clan, one of the biggest and most influential names in competitive gaming. (Terms of the deal were not disclosed.) According to the rapper, he felt an immediate kinship with the team, which is different from most other e-sports organizations.
Faze Clan has a massive following, which has been built as much upon its image as its history of winning. In addition to competing in major tournaments for Fortnite and Call of Duty, the team operates something like a streetwear brand, with regular merchandise drops that sell out nearly immediately. Its personality-driven style has led to a large, dedicated fan base. When Faze had a fan meetup in New York during the Fortnite World Cup, things got so crowded that police had to shut down the event.
“These guys are influencing things for the culture.”
This kind of success was a big part of the appeal for Offset. “This is a dream,” he says of Faze’s players. “They’re living like how I’m living as an artist. This doesn’t happen to everyone.” He also felt a kinship with the group almost immediately after meeting them. In a recent video, you can see Offset playing Madden at the Faze house in Los Angeles, and he seems like just another member.
This familiarity — along with Faze’s merchandise, which Offset describes as “fire” — helped solidify the deal. “They was just vibing as friends. They homies,” he says. “It wasn’t like, ‘Oh, let’s sit down and talk business’ kind of situation. These guys are influencing things for the culture. This is what I believe in. This is what I do my art for.”
Offset is joining a growing list of hip-hop stars who are investing in the e-sports space. Drake became a co-owner of 100 Thieves last year, while The Weeknd invested in Overactive Media, parent company of the Overwatch League’s Toronto Defiant, and Wiz Khalifa partnered with his hometown multigame organization Pittsburgh Knights. Even Faze has previously seen Lil Yachty come aboard.
“It’s going to be forever.”
According to Offset, there’s one main unifying force linking hip-hop and e-sports. “It’s about entertainment,” he says. He also notes that there’s not necessarily a major difference between a big streamer and a music superstar. “The actual players, they’re like rock stars,” he says. “They’ve got great followings, they influence kids, and that’s what I do. It was just organic. These guys are cool.”
The rapper seems excited about the potential of e-sports. He describes the field as “the future” and notes the diverse audience of competitive gaming as a huge advantage. “My four-year-old plays Fortnite,” he says. “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.”
And while it’s an investment deal, Offset says that he plans to be more involved in Faze Clan beyond just putting up money. “It’s not like this is just a cash cow investment,” he says. While there’s nothing to announce yet, that could mean being part of everything from new videos to merchandise drops. “I’m all the way in with them. We’re going to do everything.”