Now is a moment that demands action. Label Wars, a merging of gaming and music culture, now stands as an option, offering esports fans a chance to watch a massive multiplayer Call of Duty tournament for charity. Participants in the competition include many of the most massive names in EDM. The event also arrives with a small army of professional gamers from Twitch in tow.
The broadcast will feature live gameplay, with secondary streams linking the webcams of each player so those who tune in don’t have to miss any trash talk between teams. Fans get the option to donate toward the fundraiser on the Label Wars website. After the event, all funds raised will be donated to the NAACP Freedom Fund to aid in the ongoing fight against racial inequality and injustice in America. Specifically, the Freedom Fund is the essential lifeblood of the NAACP’s local initiatives. It’s how they fund all their community-based efforts to mobilize and empower Black youth in America. In addition to providing social and political programs, the Freedom Fund propels youth forward in work and life with tremendous social and political programs. It also provides the fuel that rockets graduates of the NAACP’s Act-So program into the forefront of Black society.
“It’s nearly impossible to find a song or artist in the vast universe of dance music that has not been directly influenced by some pioneering work in the Black community.” Label Wars Co-Founder Cody Harvey tells Uproxx Gaming. “By partnering with the NAACP, we hope to help raise awareness about the BLM movement and inspire others to answer the call.”
In the Label Wars inaugural event last month, the leaderboard of players included staples from the upper echelons of music, specifically EDM. Like Borgore, Jauz, and Zeds Dead, who casually sit atop lineups at Electric Daisy Carnival and Coachella. Other virtuosos on the lineup included Oliver Heldens, Kayzo, Ganja White Night, Ghastly and more.
In the upcoming event, which will be hosted on July 24, icons like Waka Flocka, Surfmesa, and Francis Derelle will be joining returning stars like Steve Aoki.
“When I heard that COV-AID and EDM.com were getting a bunch of record labels together for a COD tourney to raise funds for Boys & Girls Clubs of America, I had to get Dim Mak involved,” Steve Aoki tells Uproxx Gaming. “EDM and Gaming go hand in hand and this seemed like a great opportunity to use our platforms for a good cause.”
The tournament includes more than twenty teams representing a star-studded list of labels, like Astralwerks, Bite This, Buygore, Circus Records, Deadbeats, Dim Mak, Disruptor Records, Divided Souls, DPMO, Elysian, Fresh Blood, Heavyweight, Heldeep, Kursza, Mad Decent, Monstercat, Never Say Die, Protocol, Subcarbon, Thrive, and Welcome Records. In the prior competition, Team Disruptor came out the victor with the advantageous map familiarity and precision marksmanship of professional Call of Duty player, Lost Kings.
The inclusion of pro gamer celebs from Twitch like Thinnd, Zer0, Mox and MissesMae lend legitimacy to the toughness of the competition. For music fans, it’s a rare opportunity to see their favorite artists in a fresh albeit familiar setting. For couch surfing gamers, it’s a way to fuel socio-political change efforts at a pivotal time in history. Pro gamers alone are set to deliver the approximate clout of a combined twenty–five million followers in the forthcoming Label Wars event too, which plugs charity efforts like these directly into a massive and largely untapped generation of potential supporters.
“Winning money last time for The Boys and Girls Club of America and now getting to fundraise for the NAACP is truly amazing. These are crazy times right now and it means a lot that we can help.” Inaugural Label Wars Champion Lost Kings, tells Uproxx Gaming. “We stand with the BLM movement.”
Label Wars is live via Twitch July 24 at 3 p.m. PT.