Today across social media, 100 Thieves in collaboration with the LCS revealed a fan hype video featuring none other than Lil Nas. The billboard topping icons' rise to fame has greatly influenced popular culture and Lil Nas's interest in esports and gaming is no secret.
The collaboration may lead to more tangible outcomes in the future, but for now, it being the "objectively" coolest thing in esports lately is the primary point. Lil Nas's effect on pop culture and fashion is undeniable and his unabashedly queer music receives lavish praise from fans and predictable criticism from conservative voices online.
A Lil Nas endorsement such as this likely aims to catch the attention of aloof esports consumers, but it isn't exactly groundbreaking. 100TH's affiliation with the entertainment industry and apparel is effective esports branding, but it remains to be seen how effective celebrity endorsements like this one will be in the long run.
The short term success and momentum built off the hype, however, is enough for 100TH's to feel good even if Lil Nas's visit to esports is a temporary one
A sign of the times every time that I speak
Judging by the positive fan reception, this marks another culture win for 100TH that other esports orgs will find hard to top. While League of Legends' Worlds 2021 is arguably the biggest event in modern esports, its appeal to mainstream audiences who haven't been following a year's worth of nuanced narratives is slim.
However, what isn't nuanced is a performance-based collaboration with music's top recording artist. While smug trophy posturing as confetti falls from above may not be the most unique esports visual, Lil Nas is such a big collab it's easy to forgive. 100Th's biggest hope now is that we don't forget.
Warcraft 3 is my one true love and I will challenge anyone to a game of Super Smash Brothers Melee.