Arizona Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray joined a new team Monday, becoming a member of FaZe Clan, one of the largest esports and gaming organizations in the world.
Murray, an avid gamer with 62,800 followers on Twitch, joins LeBron James' son Bronny James and Philadelphia 76ers star Ben Simmons as one of FaZe's 85 "members," often influential personalities across a variety of genres, to represent FaZe, help create "lifestyle content" and continue to stream. FaZe also has nine professional teams that compete in nine esports leagues.
Murray, who's preparing to enter his third NFL season, was "shocked" when he found out that FaZe was interested in having him join its organization.
"I know how big FaZe is as an organization, how kids look up to FaZe, they want to be a part of FaZe," Murray told ESPN. "I've played video games my whole life, so I was already familiar with FaZe, I knew how big FaZe was. And for [a friend who connected Murray to FaZe] to come back and say, 'Yo, like, they're really interested and want you to be part of the family,' that was kind of shocker to me.
"I was all-in just because I play video games a lot, so it was kind of ... the fact that it was mutual love was really, really big for me."
Murray is also in the process of investing in FaZe, which will make him an equity shareholder in the organization. However, Murray didn't receive any compensation for becoming a member of FaZe.
"It's a sign that he recognizes what we're doing and what we're up to on the business side, and so it's great that he has that confidence," FaZe CEO Lee Trink told ESPN. "It was not a condition, it was an opportunity, and we're excited to have him as a shareholder and as a part owner of the business."
The 23-year-old quarterback said he had been looking at getting involved with an esports team at some point because of his interest in and passion for video games.
"I think I'm one of the better players around the athletic community, so tapping into the gaming world was definitely something that I was looking forward to doing," Murray said. "The fact that I get to do it like this is icing on the cake."
Through a mutual contact, FaZe and Murray began talking about him joining the FaZe team months ago, Trink said.
"We're not recruiting people just because of fame," Trink said. "It's got to be connected to what we're doing on a serious level. Like, when you talk to Kyler, it's apparent how much gaming is a kind of foundational part of his life, of both in entertaining himself, him sharpening his competitive skills, using it to decompress.
"It's really a key part of what he does in his regimen and his history."
Murray called FaZe the "Nike of gaming."
"To me, personally, the top of the top, the most elite," he said. "That's how I see it in my eyes."
In December, Forbes ranked FaZe as the fourth-most valuable esports company in the world, valued at $305 million with a 27% one-year return and revenues of $40 million. Some of FaZe's larger sponsors include Nissan, Verizon and Manchester City Football Club of the English Premier League.
FaZe has won $9.6 million in 392 tournaments since it began in 2010.
Being a FaZe member will give Murray access to other, more prominent, FaZe players, which could in turn boost Murray's gaming profile. Through FaZe, there could be opportunities for marketing deals that revolve around the gaming community.
"I think the sky's the limit, honestly," he said. "With FaZe, all the stuff they got going ... the connections they have, the opportunities you can get to be a part of with FaZe -- I've only seen a snippet of it, and to be honest it's pretty crazy what they got going over there."