An Esports Fashion Line Is Today’s Awful Idea

Behold, the utterly tone-deaf designs of the company that would rule Esports fashion, which is a real thing, I guess

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Jun 15, 2016 at 3:34 PM ET

If the gaming industry wasn’t having enough trouble finding the proper pitch and tenor for their marketing packages during this year’s Electronic Entertainment Expo, I’m sure the powers that be are just thrilled with Ultimate Media Ventures, which has propped up a booth to hawk their new line of Esports clothing, “ULT Kills.”

Head on over to their website, and you too can purchase some super-cool embroidered hoodies, caps, and t-shirts, at not-at-all inflated prices ranging from $28 to $78 bucks, with the word “KILL” or “DESTROYER OF WORLDS” plastered on the front and back in various streetwear-esque fonts. If you’re into the whole minimalism thing, one fine tee just has a tiny skull logo, or perhaps you can hide yourself from would-be hunters by donning a bit of camouflage.

Good job, good effort, ULT Kills. This is exactly the fashion-based message people want to hear mere days after the deadliest shooting in US history. Congrats on your well-timed product launch.

In any case, why do ULT’s fire jawns murder so? You see, they’re plugged straight into the zeitgeist. They know, they just know, that Esports athletes can’t continue to risk being seen trotting around in sloppy jeans and “super-embarrassing … kitschy, nerdy gamer wear” like “all-over print, colorful fabric, splash art and big throw-up characters on a shirt that costs $2,” as co-founder Nate Eckman explained to the Los Angeles Times. “If people keep designing products for nerds in basements, they are going to keep ending up with that.”

Yes, the entire question of who and what a “gamer” is and hence what kind of clothing he or she should wear to identify him or herself as such should probably be chucked into the dustbin of history, given that we’re talking about an industry that’s projected to amass $107 billion in worldwide sales by the year 2017. Like any other diverse group, there are scores of gamers that do, “have an eye for art and design, as well as an appetite for premium and exclusive products that identify us with our community,” as Eckman said in a previous interview with Fortune.

But when you have a booming industry, in this case the fast-growing world of esports, projected to net an estimated $900 million this year, all manner of venture capital-backed dudes with a big idea and a thirst to sell some overpriced merch are going to come crawling out of the woodwork, no matter how tone deaf they might be.

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