The Power Up chats with 100 Thieves and cosplayer Maweezy

Our host Narz is bringing you a breakdown of everything happening in the world of gaming, introducing you to rising stars in the industry and special guests every episode in this collab with Complex Networks.

In this episode of The Power Up, Narz sat down with 100 Thieves COO John Robinson and cosplayer and ICU nurse Maweezy. Robinson spoke about how investors like Drake helped shaped the vision of 100 Thieves and Maweezy spoke about her viral video highlighting cosplayers who are also frontline medical workers.

100 Thieves on esports, lifestyle content and Call of Duty

When John Robinson teamed up with former Call of Duty pro Matthew “Nadeshot” Haag to create 100 Thieves, he knew he was doing something big. 100 Thieves is one of the pioneering esports organizations that integrated lifestyle content into its branding rather than focusing purely on competition.

“The first time I met Matt, the guy had the craziest idea I’ve ever heard,” Robinson told The Power Up.

The organization has attracted some high-profile investors, including Drake, Scooter Braun and Dan Gilbert. These three figures in particular invested not only their money but also their perspectives. Robinson credited them with helping shape 100 Thieves into the hybrid esports-lifestyle brand it is today.

100 Thieves built its audience first and foremost on first-person shooters, which was a given considering Nadeshot’s background. Despite this, the organization was absent during the Call of Duty League’s first season.

But now, with the formation of the Los Angeles Thieves, Robinson said 100 Thieves will now be a part of the CDL for good.

“100 Thieves and L.A. Thieves are going to be in Call of Duty for forever now,” Robinson said.

Cosplay healthcare heroes are on the frontline fighting COVID-19

Marie Chante Ramos, better known as Maweezy, went viral in 2017 for her Khaleesi White Walker cosplay. It was a what-if costume imagining what Daenerys Targaryen would’ve looked like if she was corrupted into a White Walker. The costume made such a buzz that HBO plugged it on their official social media channels.

Maweezy caught the cosplay bug around 2012 and 2013. Cosplaying felt like the perfect fit for her since she grew up being immersed in both geek culture and crafting.

“Ever since I was a kid, I was always into comics, anime, mangas,” Maweezy told The Power Up. “I also always really loved doing arts and crafts. I actually learned how to sew from my grandma.”

Maweezy also used cosplaying as a way to explore her own history. One of her costumes was Gabriela Silang, a Filipina revolutionary who led the Ilocano rebel movement after the death of her husband, Diego Silang.

The cosplayer, like Silang, is also of Ilocano descent and her family hails from Ilocos Norte. As a second-generation Filipino American, the costume both celebrated her heritage and pointed out a problem: representation for people of color in gaming is still very, very lacking.

“Going forward, the more that we see that type of representation, I feel that it’s super important,” Maweezy said. “It’s great. But, going back, I still think there’s a long way to go. There’s so much still to be done.”

But as a registered nurse working in an ICU, Maweezy has largely had to put cosplaying on hold because of the pandemic. As someone who grew up immersed in both geek culture and crafting, that was tough.

During the pandemic, Ramos noticed that a surprising number of cosplayers were also healthcare workers like herself. That’s when she got the idea to shoot “Hereos Behind the PPE,” a video that highlighted various cosplayers in the PPE gear they use for their day jobs.

“Even though I put the video together, even though I reached out to all these people, this video would not be what it is without them,” Maweezy said.

Maweezy’s last words to Narz were a good reminder to all of us: Stay safe and stay healthy. Wear your masks, everyone!

If you liked this story, check out this The Power Up episode on esports, streetwear and inclusivity.

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