The Games and Lifestyle Organization 100 Thieves has joined the Call of Duty League as Los Angeles Thieves, and it was announced Friday morning.
The team will operate from the 100 Thieves Cash App Compound in Los Angeles, which the organization unveiled earlier this year. LA Thieves will celebrate the 13th team in the league, second in Los Angeles, after the Los Angeles Guerrillas.
100 Thieves was founded by Matthew “Nadeshot” Haag, one of the most decorated stars in Esports’ Call of Duty history. He retired from competitive play in 2017 and founded 100 Thieves, which, in addition to her own clothing collection, owns teams in League of Legends, Fortnite, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive and Valorant.
Given Haag’s own history with Call of Duty, it came as a surprise to many fans that the 100 Thieves did not have a team in the inaugural season of the Call of Duty League in 2020. In a Sad video in August 2019Haag spoke of the organization’s absence from the league, saying at the time that the costs associated with joining the franchise system “could jeopardize everything the company does.”
“We won two Call of Duty Championships in 2019, so this year we reminded us away how awesome the Call of Duty fans are, and how much we’ve missed them,” Haag said in a statement on Friday. “Our fans deserve the best Call of Duty team in the world – and we will do everything we can to give it that.”
This news comes as the latest title in the “Call of Duty” series, “Black Ops Cold War,” gearing up to release on November 13th. The Call of Duty League season 1 concluded on August 30 with Empire Dallas. They were crowned champion, after a turbulent few months saw the league remake its look, which was largely planned around personal events in the city, in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.
However, it ended on a high note, with the number of viewers closest to the season, Champs, peaking at 330,000 viewers on its exclusive YouTube domicile, making it the most watched “Call of Duty” esports event in history.
“We were impressed by the Call of Duty League’s performance in its first year,” said John Robinson, president and director of operations for 100 Thieves. “The partnership with YouTube, record ratings, and the addition of ‘Warzone’ events have shown us that Activision Blizzard Esports has the ambition and ability to make the Call of Duty League a world class esports.”
“The Call of Duty League seeks to transform competitive entertainment on a global scale, and 100 Thieves share the same vision,” said Joanna Farris, Esports’ Call of Duty Commissioner. “Our inaugural season brought fans amazing new teams, competitions and stories – and elevated what the competitive” Call of Duty “scene could achieve. Adding LA Thieves to our team franchise roster only increases the stakes for what is sure to be an exciting future for all of us.”
In addition to Haag, the 100 Thieves are owned by Drake, Scooter Braun, and Cleveland Cavaliers, owner and president of Quicken Loans, Dan Gilbert.