FaZe Clan is the first esports org to grace the cover of Sports Illustrated

FaZe Clan is the first esports org to grace the cover of Sports Illustrated

This story about transcending the boundaries of gaming, boiled down, in 1:57 minutes.

What's the fuss?

The July 2021 issue of Sports Illustrated recently featured one of the most globally recognized esports organizations in the world on its cover. This has been a long time coming.

The situation

In the 67 years that Sports Illustrated has been in publication, not once has a gaming-related figure been featured on the cover - until now. 

  • Even if you know absolutely nothing about gaming, there's a chance you may have heard of FaZe Clan, one of the few gaming organizations that has transcended into a cultural phenomenon. 
  • Currently worth $305 million, FaZe Clan is an empire spanning esports, apparel, and entertainment with millions of die hard fans around the world.

Now, the organization can add cover star to its list of achievements. 

  • Joining the likes of Tiger Woods and Kate Upton, some of the organizations most prominent stars (including Lebron James' son) were featured on the cover of the print magazine.
  • Starting from humble beginnings of sharing Call of Duty highlight reels to now being the first esports organization ever to cover an issue of Sports Illustrated, this honour surely signifies how relatable the gaming lifestyle can be.

Boiling it down

Being on the cover of Sports Illustrated is an honour for any athlete. 

  • Funnily enough, the cover features the organizations' streamers and some of its management team - but none of its esports players
  • As these featured figures are more widely well known, perhaps this was done to sell more copies given the established magazine has struggled in sales for many years concurrent with the rise of online content.

FaZe Clan isn't alone in being a gaming-related figure on the cover of a sports magazine. 

  • The most followed streamer on the online platform Twitch, Tyler "Ninja" Blevins, was the first pro gamer to be featured on the cover of ESPN magazine back in 2018.
  • As gaming begins to attain further relevancy in both casual and professional circles, we'll likely see further cover features and industry crossovers in the future.

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