Esports organisations usually take a while to get off the ground, team and player loyalty can be fierce and making in-roads into gaming can be a tough business. Some gamble on signing an up and coming roster or purchasing a franchise in a nascent esport, others take defunct organisations riven with scandal and try to detox their image.
XSET, an org created by former executives at FaZe Clan, are taking another approach by creating an esport organisation that prides itself on inclusivity and making efforts to champion causes like the Black Lives Matter movement, environmental consciousness and mental health.
They will also look to sign players of colour, woman, and people who find a home in the LGBTQI+ communities more than has historically been the case in esport organisations.
It's early days for the org but the signs look promising and only the very worst could find a reason, at least for now, to not wish them the best in their venture.
We have put together an explainer, giving you the lowdown on XSET.
Who are XSET?
XSET Gaming are the brainchild of ex-FaZe executive Greg Selkoe, he is also bringing along Clinton Sparks, FaZe's director of business development and Wil Eddins, FaZe's president of apparel and projects and Framerate founder Framerate Marco Mereu, any suggestion though this is FaZe mark II was quickly dispelled by Selkoe who says he wants to move away from the "frat" culture that dominates gaming and introduce to a more inclusive space.
Part of that is basing the org on the east coast, with Selkoe describing most of existing high-profile orgs as part of a "Southern California bubble both culturally and content wise." To counteract that they have set up their headquarters in Boston.
"We’re getting back to our East Coast roots. From Boston, New York, Philly, Atlanta, Miami, we’re working with kids in the places and spaces they know with the music they know, the fashion they know," Selkoe told the New York Times.
From the outset, they have signed players for Call of Duty, Fortnite and Valorant, as well as a number of professional athletes. Plans to add musicians, celebrities and partner with brands point to an esport organisation with one foot firmly in the entertainment business.
An apparel line featuring headwear, hoodies, and t-shirts is already available in their online shop, with the org stating their ambitions for the XSET logo to become the "Nick swoosh of gaming".
They also plan to reach their fans in a myriad of ways focusing on Discord and TikTok to expand their reach.
Who is signed to XSET?
AshleyBTW, star of Twitch and TikTok has joined "The Set". (Picture: XSET)
Describing them as "The Set" the members of XSET at launch are:
- Alexander "AV" Vanderveen
- Tyler "KnightFN" McDougal
- Ethan "Rogueshark" Kammerman
- Shortly after launch Christian "Snood" Hastie also announced that he had joined XSET.
Call of Duty
- Jordan "Proofy" Cannon
- Cory "Bartonologist" Barton
- Zander "Thwifo" Kim
Sports & streaming stars
- Ashley "AshleyBTW" Morales - Fortnite streamer and TikTok star
- Erin Ashley Simon - Host, producer and consultant
- Kyle Van Noy - Lineback for the Miami Dolphins
- Minna Stess - 14-year skateboarding phenom and the youngest member of the USA Skateboarding team
What does the name stand for?
The origins of the name hint at the brand's overarching mission - inclusivity. The "x" in XSET represents the variable meaning, similar to the way Latinx is used, with "set" to signal the group.