Of all the big professional brands, few currently stand as tall as FaZe Clan. The dominant force in Counter-Strike: Global Offensive and a mover and shaker in games such as Call of Duty, Valorant, Rainbow Six: Siege, and more, FaZe is one of the most well-known of the esports clubs and holds a reputation as the pro team to the mainstream stars. That label is being reinforced even further with the news that NBA All-Star and Philadelphia 76ers star Ben Simmons is joining FaZe Clan as an investor as well as brand ambassador. The move gives yet another mainstream meatsports name to the world of esports.
After partnering with @FaZeClan for multiple events, @BenSimmons25 announced Monday that he’s invested in the esports org. https://t.co/ZP32TWVWd7
— ESPN Esports (@ESPN_Esports) August 25, 2020
Other celebrity investors and brand ambassadors for FaZe include the likes of Pitbull, Offset, pro skateboarder Nyjah Huston, and NBA players Jamal Murray and Meyers Leonard. Simmons will be “an ambassador to the organization for content, as well as an advocate for gaming and esports and the expansion of FaZe Clan globally.” Simmons himself says “Faze Clan represents the pinnacle of the gaming culture, and I am really looking forward to connecting with new fans around the globe.”
A report by Forbes on the move says that Simmons’ investment is part of Series B funding that has yet to close but is motivated by him wanting to bring together international audiences while also getting more kids into gaming. It’s easy to assume that Simmons’ increased role within the world of esports stems from the pandemic and how he and many other professional athletes found themselves migrating to Twitch when left without a sport to play, though the announcement itself makes no official mention, so this is purely supposition. In fact, it seems like Simmons has always been a gamer to some extent.
“Gaming is an important part of my life, and so it was a natural progression to personally invest in this industry.”