Popular Fortnite streamer and content creator Nick “NICKMERCS” Kolcheff announced during a recent live Twitch broadcast that he’s joining FaZe Clan.
FaZe owner Richard “Banks” Bengtson quickly confirmed the news on Twitter. The decision was made in view of a recent controversy where NICKMERCS publicly called out the owner and founder of his previous esports team, 100 Thieves, for not sticking to a verbal promise of giving him a five percent share of the company.
NICKMERCS served as a content creator for 100 Thieves for three years before parting ways. A former Gears of War pro, he transferred this expertise to Fortnite and built a huge following on Twitch and YouTube. Rest assured, he was a massive asset to the 100 Thieves brand, and his departure will definitely hurt the organization.
Of course, this situation bears deeper implications than a content creator switching teams. The idea that a team owner could’ve promised his employee something as grand as a five percent share of his company might seem ludicrous at first glance. But it’s not as outlandish when you consider NICKMERCS and 100 Thieves owner Nadeshot were long-time friends. In fact, NICKMERCS was one of the first gaming personalities to support the brand. He promoted it often on his live streams.
It’s also possible Nadeshot didn’t understand the ramifications of their verbal agreement, provided, of course, that such agreement existed in the first place. Prior to starting 100 Thieves, the 26-year-old didn’t have any experience managing a business. Thus, giving away five percent of an up-and-coming company may have seemed feasible. However, his outlook might’ve changed when big-time investors like Drake and Dan Gilbert came into the picture.
Perhaps the main thing to take away from this is the fickle nature of verbal agreements. Even if NICKMERCS and Nadeshot did strike said deal, it’s hard to blame either side when they didn’t put anything in writing. There’s big money involved in esports. And while some parties might still view competitive gaming as a grassroots scene, others are treating it like the multi-million dollar industry it is.
Another angle to consider here is 100 Thieves vs. FaZe Clan. Both organizations clash in Fortnite and Call of Duty. NICKMERCS will only add fuel to their rivalry. We fully expect fans of both teams to take shots at each other in their next meeting.
And that’s not necessarily a bad thing! On the contrary, a competition between big-name organizations can create more interest in esports. That’s a net positive for the Fortnite and Call of Duty scenes. Of course, FaZe Clan has its own controversies to sort out, so it remains to be seen whether this rivalry takes off in the first place.
Image courtesy of FaZe Clan.