Trophies, Twitch and T-Shirts with Scooter Braun and Matthew Haag

100 Thieves is one of the few esports orgs to look to Silicon Valley for investment – and it’s paying off. Hear from former pro gamer and 100 Thieves CEO and founder Matthew “Nadeshot” Haag and 100 Thieves co-owner Scooter Braun on how they built a brand worth more than $160 million that turns fans into ambassadors.

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That’s yours good fun little awkward Handshake we did great it’s awesome so Raise your hand if you know what a Hundred thieves is anybody familiar in The audience it’s probably weird there’s A there’s a few in there a couple give Me a lot more hopefully in a couple Years yeah or maybe by the end of the Afternoon that makes more so you know You you’re probably used to going to a Lot of these like gaming conferences Where you get mobbed yeah you feel weird Being like unnoticed No I absolutely not well I promise you I’m not that famous oh I definitely have My niche community but I always enjoy Talking about videogames and the Business that we’re in with people that Are unaware of what’s happening in the Gaming industry as a whole and it’s a Great opportunity to inform people of Just this emerging business that we’re Trying to build yeah I have a lot to ask Nate so I wanted to ask you like you’re An investor in 100 thieves and a Co-owner what drew you to this business Well first I’m just here for emotional Support yeah I know in most your Questions are format look what I was Drawn to was we started looking at the Space and realizing that the gaming you Know the gaming world is if you take all Of music and all of film combined gaming Is bigger yep so we wanted to kind of

Look at the space and see how we could Get in and we started looking do we buy A team do we create a league and I said Let’s just sit back and kind of watch And it’s a youth driven business and we Realized when we met Matt he was looking At it completely differently He wasn’t looking at it it’s about you Know his professional teams which they Have but he was looking at as a brand Hundred thieves started as an apparel Brand and I like to bet on founders and Matt actually was a professional gamer And very successful I’m very successful But also someone who believed in this Space really early on and when he goes And he talks to players he’s not gonna Brag about himself so I will seven years Ago this guy worked at McDonald’s and Was a four year employee while he was a Professional gamer trying to put himself Through school seven years later he’s an Owner and running this large Organization where he pays gamers who Actually were In his organization millions of dollars Yeah so when you hear a story like that And you see someone who had that kind of Drive from the beginning and really has His finger on the pulse of the culture You make a bet on them and I’ve been Friends than that ever since Thank You Scooter and you want to know something That’s interesting if you want to know

How much scooter actually supports Hundred thieves if you go on his Instagram he has not taken off his hat Now since he became a corner I swear to God every single photo you cannot find One if he has a hat on it’s hundred Thieves I hope you have a few of them so That they get well I actually have three And they just trade and no one has to See how much I’m receiving okay so there Let’s let’s lay the landscape for these People here there are three pillars to 100 thieves business There’s apparel right 100 thieves Branded gear cool shirts t-shirts hats There are there’s eSports you own Several different teams that compete at The professional level yep they get Sponsorships and they win tournaments And then there’s streamers who spent Eight to twelve hours a day Putting their stuff up on Twitch in YouTube and you know bringing in money Through that that model which one Generates the most revenue right now I Would say it’s a combination between Streamers which we would categorize as Entertainment and then our eSports teams That go on stage where our jerseys have Logo placements just like you would see In the NBA or NASCAR and if that won’t Be a just like traditional sports so our Biggest revenue drivers partnerships at This moment in time but obviously we’re

Hoping we can grow our apparel business And have those operating at the same Level of what we would come to expect And so as scooter said your former pro Gamer and yet played call of duty this Year call of duty moved from a publisher Supported league Activision to now a Franchised League and you had to make The very sad announcement that 100 Thieves would not be participating next Year in the call of duty I guess it’s Still called the world league right yeah Duty world league which is a bummer for Me I’ve loved watching your team play in The last year how do you protect your Business against you know eSports is Changing it’s growing it’s maturing Things are happening Very quickly how do you protect your Business against those changes not Participating in call of duty it’s like Call of duty you know yeah I think for Me the game was always close to my chest Because it’s it’s the title that allowed Me to have a career yeah and I built my Following I’ve made all of the Friendships that I have to this day Through the call of duty community since I was 16 years old so it was a really Tough decision to stray away from Spending 25 million dollars on a Franchise League it’s not that we don’t Believe in the franchise model because We’re a part of League of Legends which

Is the biggest eSport in the entire World we paid 10 million dollars to be a Part of that league but for us Call of Duty is just in a tougher place Because the game has been around for a Decade viewership isn’t as growing at The same raise that used to I mean the Player base is still pretty high but It’s a franchise that hasn’t withstood The test of time to the extent that League of Legends has and so for us ESports a lot of people would consider It to be in a bubble or refer to it as a Bubble sometimes and what we’re doing is We’re hunkering down and really Believing in the brand that we’re Building like scooter said and that you Brought up apparel is a really big Aspect of our business it’s what I Founded the company has and we believe That all the entertainment moves that We’re making by signing popular Streamers and creating original content On YouTube we want that to grow we want To invest in the right east force that We think will show return in the near Future and long term and then our Parallel obviously like I said we want To continue to grow so we just have to Be disciplined with the way that we Spend our money just because we’ve Raised our seed series or Series A in Our series be a lot of money We can’t just flush it down the drain

And start wildly spending just because ESports is used as a buzzword or just Because activator and thinks that this Is what we need to do that’s not going To define our success and we want to Really spend carefully why not just Write them a check scooter 25 million I Don’t even know how to respond to that Look I think the reason what Matt is Saying is correct and the reason I want To just write a check is because I don’t Want to be frivolous either yeah I think You know our goal is to make a 10 year And 20 year plan for where East War And gaming is going and what we don’t Want to do is get caught out in the next Two years and say we’re out of money so Right now we actually don’t need to Raise any more money we’re well-funded We’re making the right decisions we’re Heading towards profitability you know In different verticals and I think That’s that’s a very tough decision Matt Had to make because Call of Duty is so Important to him and he’s so close with These guys know him and they want to Major championships so what I am excited About is he built the brand to a place Where I think a lot of these guys will Go to different teams and you’ll still See them wearing the brand hundred Thieves well and because that’s the most Important thing to us to build a brand That when all this thing kind of gets

Flushed down we see where eSports and Gaming is one hundred thieves will be Standing there as the choice brand for Gamers well I think also like just my Two cents for whatever it’s worth is That 100 thieves has gotten to the point Even in the short time that’s been Around that Call of Duty is an integral To the to the popularity of the brand Right I wanted to talk to you a little Bit about like the the contracts you Have with pro gamers yeah so sifu made Some waves earlier this year he was Upset about his contract with faze clan He felt like it was an unfair contract What does your contract with your pro Players look like well they’re very Different depending on the game and Depending on what they contribute to the Organization so like our four nine Players for example we pay them tens of Thousands of dollars every single month And they are and we take a percentage of Their prize earnings and obviously we Negotiate with their agents and make Sure that they are comfortable with the Decision that they’re making we advise All of our young players our fortnight Competitors are under the age of Eighteen yeah so we we thoroughly talk To their parents we explain to them what This contract means in and go through it Line by line so that they understand the Decision that they’re making we advise

Them if they don’t have an agent to Bring them on and help them navigate This space I think for me what’s been Really important is I was in their shoes 16 or when I was 16 years old in Contracts and the stakes were not as High as they are now in terms of the Opportunity that they have to earn in The future and so there’s never been a Time in my life Where I just want to protect more than I Ever have now because I I was there I Wasn’t making any money There wasn’t a beaten path for me to go Down to try to figure out what is the Next best decision for me and so I’m Really close with our players and that’s Probably what I love about my job the Most is being able to help them build a Career so that they can earn money for The rest of their lives doing something That they are in the top 0.01% at in the World to really monetize this talent That they have so I won’t get too deep Into the contracts but we promise you That we’d pay our players well and as They continue to grow and perform we are Always open to renegotiating and it’s Something that’s been very important to Me and been top priority for our entire Organization so now there’s been a huge Debate in the industry about whether or Not it’s fair to take winnings as Opposed to like slices of endorsement

Deals because with endorsement deals in A lot of ways you’re bringing that to The table right like you are the broker Of that through a hundred thieves Whereas winnings is they’re the ones Going out and playing and when in the Million dollars or whatever it might be Yeah absolutely I mean that’s something That we continue to reevaluate it’s been An integer standard for a long time it Was the case when I was a player but as The stakes get higher it’s something That we always talk about inside the Office every single day I mean I don’t Think there is a right answer to that Question specifically right now but There’s no world where we are looking to Take advantage and even my prize Earnings up until this point I think This topic has only come up because the World Cup I mean they announced a 100 Million dollar prize pool because before Prize money never moved the needle for Players or organizations I mean it’s not Even in the conversation of what drives Revenue for a team and so it’s Definitely adapting and something that We have to continue to talk about Because we want our players to be just As excited and and feel like they’re Contributing as much as we are into Their personal brand and helping them Grow where nobody’s being taken Advantage of ok let’s talk about the

Entertainment side of the business These players oftentimes even if they’ve Made a name for themselves which Normally they must get signed to a Massive organization like 100 thieves Thank you Oh But you know they still see a huge lift Right they get to find 100 thieves and Then suddenly you go from a few 20,000 30,000 to a million or from a million to Ten million right we see these big jumps When I get signed on to work for my Company I have to go through standards Of business conduct training to learn How to be a good representative for my Organization what kind of training do Your players go through to prepare them To be in front of millions and millions Of people and make sure that they’re not Smearing 100 thieves name well I think That actually starts with us first so I’ll be transparent and candid with you Guys we haven’t done media training up Until this point I did when I was Younger when I signed on with redbull Which was my first endorsement back in 2012 or 2013 really what we do is we’re Meticulous in the way that we recruit Players I think 100 thieves has taken a Very different approach when it comes to Entertainment in eSports we’re typically Teams would operate like the New York Yankees they would try to sign the best Players and hopefully they win and

That’s their fan acquisition strategy But for a hundred thieves we have a Combination of professional players that Are really good at what they do and we Try to help them grow their live streams Or just like their entertainment Footprint whether that’s on YouTube or Any other media outlets that they want To be a part of or contribute to and Then we have content creators that their Entire job is entertainment through Video games and so we haven’t ran into Any situations where players just pop Off and say something wildly ignorant That would cause many problems because I Really feel like we have good kids that Play for us and obviously that’s not a Great answer a great solution but I Really trust in the players that we’ve Signed and we make sure to talk to them Very sternly about how they should Represent hundred thieves and I think They have a pretty good handle on it But as the industry grows and gaming Becomes more prominent in how many People are watching or where it’s being Shared I definitely think media training can be And is a necessary standard of Operations that we probably should enact Into the company and do You have guidelines at least like we Don’t use these words we don’t Absolutely okay good there is a band

List of phrases that we actually just Brought on a team called the mob there They basically started as social media Stars that would just tweet hilarious Hilarious memes I’m sure a lot of people Here in tech or hopefully are familiar With memes but that’s that’s literally How they got started was just Interacting with the biggest gaming Personalities in the world and making Them laugh but there was definitely Choice content that they would upload That was a little dicey and when we Brought them on and we flew them out to LA and we put them in a house like Listen guys we got a have a very serious Conversation of some of the words you Guys are using yeah so it’s a it’s Definitely changing and evolving but We’re brand safe I mean with the Partnerships that we have there’s too Much on the lines to risk what we’ve Built and that’s the most important Thing to me well and that’s kind of Something that’s really close to me Actually I play a lot of video games as A girl woman whatever it is terrifying It’s really not fun to play video games As a girl the things that people say to You or just jarring it’s way worse than Anything I’ve ever experienced on any Other part of the Internet and I guess I’m just curious like you know there Might not be training and they’re

Definitely clearly as guidelines but are You reminding these players that they’re Role models for the next generation of Young men and how they’re gonna treat Not only women but just everyone around Them absolutely I think what we’ve done From a cultural standpoint with a Hundred theses again another thing That’s one of my top priorities is Really teaching the gaming audience how To be a normal contributor to society I feel like gaming was in such a Different place ten years ago where the Standard was you’re in your mom’s Basement eating Doritos drinking mom do All day and playing video games and Saying whatever came to mind in in a Realm of competition and now it’s become So mainstream players that are younger And gamers that are younger are being Reminded of how you’re supposed to act As a man or woman that’s that’s Interacting with other individuals yeah Can I speak to this ask her to jump in When you when man I first met one of the Things that impressed me the most was he Was recruiting I’m not gonna say which Game or what player but he’s recruiting One of the best players in the world at A certain game and around that time that Player out of nowhere came out that There was a little bit of controversy Because the player had said some choice Words and without even batting an eye

Without talking to his board without Anything he holds himself to a very high Moral standard and he also considers Hundred thieves his baby and he stopped Recruiting the player shut down the deal He had it it was done the player was Gonna come play for the organization and He said I don’t want someone like that Representing this brand yeah and I think That we can’t speak for the rest of Gaming but I think with Matt at the helm And the standard that he holds himself To and everyone around him I think it’s He said it best it’s about the culture It’s about the people that you bring in And it’s about not only setting up you Know to what works they say so they’re Role models but also who is he putting On the platform so Val Kray who’s the Number-two most you know watched female Lover and twitch in the world bus she’s One of our entertainers at hundred Thieves and she’s a part of you know are Streaming she’s part of our podcasts and She is such a role model for all of These young girls in the space and Matt Has put her at the highest level of our Platform because he said I want young Girls to see her and know that they can Be like her and I think that with Someone like Matt at the forefront You’re gonna see a shift from your Experience early on yeah that’s the hope At least yeah I sure do hope so because

It says like the ESA says 46% of gamers Are women 25% of the pro gaming audience Is women and yet you know we see it the Four denied World Cup for example There’s zero women competing you and I Both know that there’s nothing physical That separates a girl and a boy playing A video game there’s a culture that Separates and keeps the women away right That scares them from wanting to play And be a part of it and so Valkyrie is a Great example but what is the breakdown Men to women at hundred thieves I would Say we are one of the leaders in eSports I don’t know the exact statistics but it Has been very important from the ground Up that we have diversity in the Workplace I think that we actually have The most women out of any eSports Organization and they are incredible at What they do we just threw our first Party ever our first public party at Twitchcon that some of you guys may Attended actually one of scooters Entertainers little Dicky who’s a Phenomenal – real that’s a real name Little Dicky little Dicky yeah he’s Great and if you don’t know about him You’ll be watching him on TV next year That’s my plug continue he performed at The party huh we’re at a Omni a Nightclub and from day one she’s our Senior marketing manager Julia that was Probably our fifth employee at a hundred

Thieves she threw the best party that I Think eSports has ever seen yeah and she Did it from day one so the day of the Party three months of work without any Help and she is just like a shining Example of why people need to look Around the industry for the right talent Not just because or not specifically Because their gender or their ethnicity Because talent is talent at the end of The day and so we have searched like Throughout the entire industry to find People like Julianne and every single Day we’re recruiting better and better Employees regardless of where they come From or who they are and so it’s Something that is very important and We’re trying to set the standard and Really push the industry in the right Way to diversify and and not Discriminate because of whatever reasons Well and one of the things that we Talked about a little bit backstage is Like you’re at the mercy in some ways of These streaming platforms they’re Executives in Silicon Valley for twitch That could change an algorithm or could Change their rules and that might make a Difference in you scooter you said Something interesting which is a two-way Street right like you can’t have a Highway without the cars I think is what You said when a big streamer moves like That like Ninja is a great example do

You think Ninja made the right decision Moving from twitch to mixer I think Ninja made an incredible decision for Himself personally yeah made a lot of Money do you know how much he made I Don’t know how much he made but I Probably wouldn’t say if I did he’s Doing well Tyler’s a good friend of mine and he has Really transcended what it meant to be a Professional gamer is like breaking down Barriers yeah I talked about this in a Video that I recorded yesterday because We received his adidas collaboration in The mail and I unbox it and just to Look at where he started back in the day When I was coming up on halo 2 fast Forward like seven eight nine ten years Later to be like the biggest name in Twitch and and going on Jimmy Fallon in Writing books and doing all this charity Work Scooter our ninja is just a phenomenal Example of what hard work can breed if You really keep your head down and and Do what you believe in and be passionate About what you what you’re what you’re Working on so I think he made an Incredible decision for himself his Family and that’s all you can ask for Now will that would stand the test of Time will viewership transfer over I Don’t know the answer to that question I Think streaming is in a much different

Place than when I was in his shoes many Many many years ago but I’m incredibly Happy for him and I think that streaming And just entertainment We don’t want monopolies we want we want There to be companies that are Empowering the community that is Gravitating towards their web sites and I think it’s really important that Twitch and YouTube and mixer have like a Variety of talent and not all on one Platform well and the other side of that Is your I’m sure you’re familiar with Nick mercs he was on 100 thieves for a Long time he just signed exclusively With twitch and he left 100 thieves Rather abruptly and signed with faze Clan and the rumor was that he was Promised five percent of hundred thieves You’re at one hundred and sixty million Dollar valuation now so that’s a pretty Penny Absolutely is that what happened it’s a Very delicate and intricate situation That I promise you that I cannot explain On this stage at this time that’s fine I’m gonna do this for you because you’ve Been kind about it the whole time and I’m not uh I’ve had people defend me in The past and stuff Matt never broke his Word on anything that he did you know I Think sometimes people use their Platform in this world to say whatever They want to say as long as they’re know

Of an audience to say it to and those Things are not always based on fact and He had a right to come out and tell the Truth and he decided to take the high Road which he’ll continue to do on this Stage and I think more people should Take that approach but he doesn’t need You know I’m gonna step up and say you Don’t need to defend yourself I Appreciate the question you have to ask It but you don’t need to defend yourself For something you’ve never did anything Wrong we think Go on and have a great career and Nick’s A good guy and he should go on have it But some of the things that were said Publicly that Matt never responded to I Was proud they didn’t respond because he Did the right thing and he let the Organization speak for itself and we’re Starting one of the things I get Frustrated about when I hear that stuff Is we’re living in the society where we Don’t have to worry about fact people Can literally say anything they want Including our president as long as he Has an audience to say it to and I think We need to get back to a place where we Actually hold people accountable to what They’re saying and actually not just Allow them to say anything that they Wanted any said in every different time So you don’t have to defend yourself You’re a good guy you run a great

Organization and that one hiccup Happened and I think the way he handled Himself by staying silent wishing Nick The best of luck in the running the Organization in a great way was a Testament to the type of leader that you Wanted an organization yeah and I Appreciate that very much I I have a ton of respect for Nick and What he’s done with his career I’ve Known him for a very long time him and I Come from similar places like humble Beginning mm-hmm And he’s been working very hard just About it as long as me to try to build a Career that he can sustain a family and And and and build something that he can Truly believe in and I wish him the best I think he’s going to go on and do great Things he just signed a twitch contract Nick is doing really really well and I Hope he continues to do well I see Highroad good dude you’re right scooter I have two of two quick ones ethica Holdings can you tell us there are a Bunch of founders out here who are Looking for checks what is your Investment strategy what are you looking For it’s funny because I think people That just recently finally make Investments he makes investments yeah And then you get phone calls no I think Look I think what I look for personally Is you always want a great idea but I

Also with with our team we look for Great founders because a great founders Gonna pivot and I think we’re also Getting to a place where you want to see Some kind of profitability and and build A business and I think it’s important When you make an investment that you Meet someone that has what I call a burn The ships mentality they used to arrive On the shores there These generals and they would tell their Soldiers burn the ships the only way you Go home is if you take the ships of your Enemy there’s no retreat and I think a Really good founder finds a way to pivot And move into a place where they can Build a real business regardless of the Bumps in the road and that’s what I saw Him at that’s what I saw You know with the guys at discord and in At least in this space and I’ve seen it Before and I’ve been a fortunate to be Part of some really good ones and some Want some that you know I’ll bet on the Founder the next time because they it Didn’t work out do you want to focus in On eSports as a way to kind of like Build that Network effect of okay we Have a hundred these and kind of um Right now I trust them and the expertise Of this space and for me when I look at Everything else I think I got three kids Under five right now and I got to focus On that and I’ve made my bets and I have

A business to run myself and and and and Right now I have I have to worry about Diapers Okay scooters being really humble he’s Very good at bringing companies the Profitability and that’s why we want her To work for them at 100 feet he’s Fantastic okay my last one because we’re Out of time I know you love your Hundredth Eve squad across the whole Board if there was one streamer that is Not signed right now to 100 thieves who Would it be you want to say the one you Want who do you have to have that’s a Tough question there’s a lot of people That I love but if sponsorships aside And nothing mattered yeah it’d be a tie Between ten to tabman and doctor Disrespect oh I would be on Tim the top Man yeah they’re both fantastic human Beings and phenomenal entertainers but They have their own individual Businesses and sometimes those two don’t Intersect right but they’re they’re Friends of the team they represent the Organization well by wearing our apparel They’re fantastic so those are two of my Favorites cool thank you guys thank you Much I really appreciate it you fit a Guy’s big round of applause okay thank You okay I have a surprise for you guys It’s a really big one you’re not gonna Want to leave you know how I’ve been Talking about Game of Thrones all

Morning There was a reason I’m not just a psycho I’m not a crazy person there’s a big big Reason that I did that and I would like You all to join me in welcoming to the Stage our next guest Maisie Williams [Applause] Yeah Hi Maisie hi thank you for having me Hey for coming how about that don’t put It that way yeah no this is great this Is lovely up here so how many of you Guys know Maisie from Game of Thrones Obviously she yes she defeated evil so We all love her she’s also a very Talented entrepreneur she started a Company called Daisy I was hoping you Would tell us kind of how where did that Come from where the why yeah so I have a Co-founder Dom who’s backstage right now And we work together on a movie Dom was On the crew and I was acting and he came To me one day and said that there’s a Huge problem with breaking into creative Industries and the series of events that Had got me to where I am now were mainly Based on luck and timing and difficult To recreate so we spoke about the Problems and and how people really Struggle with connectivity and finding People

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