Mike Sepso has joined the board of directors for 100 Thieves, an esports and content creation brand.
Sepso co-founded Major League Gaming in 2002, bringing the first true semblance of infrastructure to competitive gaming. MLG became the biggest independent esports league in the world, and played a big part in the evolution of esports as we know it today. In fact, MLG secured the first televised esports series ever with NBC sports, and eventually launched its own esports streaming platform.
MLG was acquired for $46 million by Activision Blizzard in 2016, but still lives as an esports content hub for Activision Blizzard titles like Call of Duty and Overwatch.
Sepso joins the 100 Thieves board alongside 100 Thieves founder and CEO Matthew “Nadeshot” Haag, president and COO John Robinson, Jake Cohen from Detroit Venture Partners and Scooter Braun (entertainment industry mogul who represents Justin Bieber and Ariana Grande).
“Mike is the godfather of esports,” said Haag. “The most influential thing that happened in my career was seeing Halo 2 competitions on Major League Gaming on TBS on the weekends. It was just mind-blowing that kids like me could play games competitively.”
Currently, Sepso serves as chairman and co-founder of the Electronic Sports Group, which is an advisory firm for executives across the finance, media, advertising and sports industries as they navigate esports deals.
“[Haag] been able to move quickly and build something that transcends esports and esports teams and has become an increasingly significant mainstream brand, and that opens up a lot of business opportunities,” said Sepso. “The strategy that 100 Thieves has put in place, using esports and gaming personalities as a way to bring this brand to market, I think it could eventually be much more than that.”
Before founding 100 Thieves, Haag was a decorated pro player in his own right and continues to be a popular Twitch streamer and YouTuber. Many esports orgs are founded by former pros, but Haag has taken a Silicon Valley approach to building out 100 Thieves, at least with regards to pace.
100 Thieves built out professional teams for a variety of titles very quickly. The company also secured capital from the likes of Sequoia, Marc Benioff, Drew Houston, Dan Gilbert, Tao Capital and Advancit Capital. Alongside traditional VCs and tech angels, 100 Thieves has also gotten investment from Scooter Braun and Drake.
Total funding for the org is $25 million.
Beyond titles and professional teams, 100 Thieves is diversifying its product early as well, with a content creator house and a line of apparel coming this spring.
The company recently signed a deal with Totino’s (yes, the pizza rolls) that includes an upcoming docuseries that offers a look behind the scenes at the 100 Thieves Call of Duty team.