2018 has been an exceptional year for Esports, the industry has seen increased levels of financial support from external companies and it has been provided with fantastic exposure to the public through celebrities, rappers in particular.
This started earlier in the year when Drake started playing Fortnite with Ninja, this set records for the highest live viewers ever on Twitch and exposed many of Drake’s fans to Esports for the first time. Not long after, other rappers and sports stars wanted to get involved and play on stream.
The next big step happened in October of this year when Drake and producer Scooter Braun helped 100 Thieves raise their Series A funding. As well as this, rapper Lil Yachty had been hinting about joining Faze for several months. Faze Clan initially started the business relationship through affiliation to Lil Yachty but have now officially made him part of their team.
Officially going by the name of FaZe Boat, he will become part of the entertainment branch of FaZe Clan. This announcement was made during the Rolling Loud music festival in LA and Lil Yachty brought out key members of the FaZe Clan onto the stage including; Banks, Temperrr, Adapt and Rain.
It doesn’t just end here, recording artist Soulja Boy has also announced his plans to start an Esports organisation. He has been involved in the gaming industry for some time now and has thanked Ninja for helping him regarding streaming and the competitive side of gaming. In an interview with TMZ he had this to say:
“Honestly, I’m starting a gaming org in 2019. We’re going to be finding and hiring talent, I’m putting together a team for Fortnite, putting together a team for Call of Duty, putting a team together for Overwatch, Counter-Strike, all of that.”
It’s great to see such popular figures from sports and music get involved with the Esports industry. Hopefully what has happened this year will act as a stepping stone for many others to get involved.