Photo: 100 Thieves
The collision of e-sports, content creators, and streetwear now has a physical form with 100 Thieves’ newly unveiled headquarters. Today, the company officially opened its new Los Angeles home, one with an intimidating name: the 100 Thieves Cash App Compound. According to 100 Thieves, the 15,000-square-foot building is the largest such e-sports facility in the US. But more than that, it’s a big bet that the worlds of competitive gaming, social networks, and apparel have a lot to learn from each other.
Since its inception in 2017, 100 Thieves — which was founded by former Call of Duty pro Matthew “Nadeshot” Haag and co-owned by Drake — has been a hard company to describe. On one hand, it’s an e-sports organization operating professional teams in games like League of Legends and Fortnite. Under the same umbrella are a number of big-name streamers and content creators, including recent YouTube signees Jack “Courage” Dunlop and Rachel “Valkyrae” Hofstetter, as well as a successful apparel business that operates sort of like a gaming-influenced version of Supreme. Previously, all of these groups were housed in different locations.
“We needed a space where we could bring together all of the amazing but very different aspects under one roof,” says 100 Thieves president and COO John Robinson. “Before, we didn’t have a ton of interaction between our e-sports teams and our apparel group and our content team. And now it’s kind of amazing. We’ll see some of our apparel designers playing basketball with our e-sports players out back. That’s exactly what we built this for.”
“Our roots are always going to be in gaming.”
The new building is designed to hold every aspect of the business. There are four training rooms for the competitive gaming teams, streaming pods for Twitch and YouTube stars, a production studio for shooting video and recording podcasts, a design studio for the apparel team, and offices for the more business-oriented aspects of the company. There’s even a retail space at the front, which will be open for big apparel drops; fans can not only grab their gear in person, instead of trying their luck online, but also get a glimpse into the building itself. The first new gear launch at the store will happen some time in February.
Robinson says that the building was designed “to encourage a little bit of serendipity,” with the goal of creating a more inspirational environment. The idea is for people from various aspects of the company to interact and come up with new ideas. “Our roots are always going to be in gaming, and we want that influence to show up in our apparel,” he explains. But it’s also a place that will hopefully help professionalize the worlds of competitive gaming and content creation. Both fields are known for putting young talent together in large houses where work and real life bleed together, often resulting in burnout.
Photo: 100 Thieves
“We wanted to give them actual work / life separation,” Robinson says. “When they show up at 10:00am, they’re here to get shit done. So far the reaction has been very positive from our players and coaches. They feel like they’re able to focus more, and give it their best effort here, because they know they’re only here for a certain period of time. This is their work period. It’s helping the e-sports industry overall mature by treating these guys like adults.”
“They’re here to get shit done.”
Training facilities are a growing trend in e-sports, as the burgeoning industry looks to emulate the world of traditional professional sports. But the Cash App Compound is something different, reflecting a growing change in the industry as competitive teams look toward fields like apparel and content to build a more robust and viable business. “I think what we’re doing is significantly bigger and significantly more innovative,” Robertson says of the competition. “It’s a space that really fit 100 Thieves’ vision.”
The new compound is being officially revealed today, but it’s actually been in use for some time. The HQ “soft-launched” in December, and over the last few weeks, the competitive teams and content creators have started using the space, putting the high-tech rooms to the test. Robinson says that the mood at 100 Thieves has already changed as a result. “The energy and the vibe of this place every day has been very inspiring. We love it so far.”