Post Malone helps Envy deal with a small image problem
ESports are for everyone, including the unwashed.
As a branding-improvement move, it couldn’t have been more badass. Hold that—actually, it could have. Envy Gaming could have hooked up with “Fuck ’Em”-era Geto Boy Willie D, circa-’98 50 Cent, or a pre-stool-pigeon Tekashi 6ix9ine. But sometimes you have to be happy with who you’ve got, not who you could’ve had. And right around the time the calendar was flipping from August to September, Envy made an important hookup. Suddenly, Post Malone was officially in the house.
First, a little refresher on what qualifies as ancient history in these hyper-accelerated, information-overloaded times. At the end of last month Envy announced that Austin Richard Post had decided to come aboard as an investor.
More importantly, the rapper and walking argument for regular bathing was quick to celebrate his new relationship with Envy. Taking to Twitter, he proudly trumpeted, “Happy to announce i’m now part owner of @DallasEmpire. Let’s take this throne and win these playoffs:).”
Dallas Empire or Dallas Green?!
For those that wouldn’t know the Dallas Empire from Dallas Green, the Empire is a Call of Duty League team operating under the Envy Gaming umbrella. The gaming and lifestyle organization also owns squads in Rocket League (Team Envy) and Overwatch League (Dallas Fuel).
Post Malone suggested that his involvement makes sense on a number of levels. Chief among them is that when he’s not in the studio, he tends to be glued to the couch in front of a Sony 85-inch 4K UHD HDR LED Android Smart TV, gaming controller in one hand and a baseball-bat-size blunt in the other.
Recall, if you will, his Rolling Stone profile from 2017, where the opening line was this: “Last night, the new Call of Duty came out, and Post Malone was so stoked about it that he parked himself in front of his Xbox until 6 a.m. Right now it’s 4 p.m. and he’s back at it.”
Gamer for life!
In the press release announcing his partnership with Envy Gaming, Malone stated: “I grew up in Texas and I’ve been gaming my whole life, so this just really felt right. I have always wanted to be a part of bringing gaming into the professional sports world so to be involved with what Envy is doing in my hometown feels like such a perfect fit.”
Envy meanwhile hailed Post Malone as a “cultural icon” who brings a massive fan base to whatever he does, whether it’s music or ESports.
“I first met Post at Posty Fest in Arlington last November,” Envy Gaming owner and chief gaming officer Mike Rufail said. “We had a very real chat about his love for video games. He’s a genuine gamer who brings a lot of effort and personality into everything he does. I couldn’t be happier to have him invest and build with us.”
So what does Post Malone bring to Envy, other than 6.6 million followers on Twitter, 22.6 million on Instagram, and 17 on MySpace?
Image problem hangs over ESports!
That’s easy: his involvement helps address an image problem that continues to hang over ESports.
Rightly or wrongly (which is to say mostly wrongly), there’s still a perception that ESports tends to attract those who majored in math, computer science, and the audio-visual club during high school.
Deny that all you want, but not before you google “Call of Duty League 2020 champions” and take a good look at the Dallas Empire team. “Clean-cut” and “respectable” are good starting descriptions, along with “already richer and more successful than you’ll probably ever be”. They also look like they’ve got their shit together, which gives them everything in common with their pro-calibre ESports brothers and sisters.
No one in sports—gaming or otherwise—rises to the top without endless hours of razor-focused dedication to their craft. And that makes it easy for those on the outside to play hater. The sad reality of life is that the burnouts and cool kids always feel superior to the straight-A students in high school.
Lifesize Snoop Dogg bong!
And that persists well into adulthood. It doesn’t matter that you’re renting a South Surrey basement suite, with a life-size Snoop Dogg bong being your most prized possession—at least you didn’t spend high-school playing Minecraft in the computer lab.
As ESports has taken off across the planet, it’s attracted overachievers on the investment side of things. Think the legendary Jimmy Iovine spearheading a $40-million round of funding for FaZe Clan this past April. Google “celebrity ESports investors” and you’ll get an instant shortlist that includes heavy hitters like Michael Jordan, Drake, Kevin Durant, Sean Combs, Steph Curry, Ashton Kutcher, and Mark Cuban.
You know what all those folks have in common? They’ve gone their entire lives not only proving they have their shit epically together, but also somehow looking like it. Which is why they’re celebrities and you’re not.
None of those high-watt success stories look like you or your people. Which is to say the odds of achieving what Combs, Curry, or Cuban have are roughly the same as you making the world forget about Johan Sundstein, Jesse Vainikka, or Topias Taavitsainen. All of whom also look like they have their shit together.
The brilliance of Post Malone!
The brilliance of Post Malone is that he sends a message that ESports isn’t just for those rolling through life as loud-and-proud members of the one-percent club.
He’s a new ESports poster boy making a statement that ESports and Envy Gaming are for everyone, including the common rabble. Secretly convinced of your complete worthlessness as a person? So is Posty, whom you might remember sheepishly telling Nardwaur a couple of years back “I still only have one good song.”
Got a weed addiction or a drinking problem? So, evidently, does Posty, and that hasn’t held him back one bit from overachieving in his field.
Post Malone is here to say it’s okay if you have a life-long aversion to bathing, and don’t see anything wrong with tattooing the shit out of your face.
Post Malone sends a message!
Mostly, he’s sending a message that there’s only thing that’s holding you back from joining the Envy Gaming family, not as a PR flack, or an office grunt, but as a shining star on the Dallas Empire, Dallas Fuel, or Team Envy.
Here’s what he once told Nardwuar: “Believe in yourself even if no one else does.”
The message? The only person stopping you from realizing your own ESports dreams is you. Take that throne.