OKB Designs 100 Thieves Headquarters for E-Athletes in L.A.

Photography by Gage Bentiles.

Cheeky name, 100 Thieves. Who could resist looking into it? No, it’s not a company planning a significant heist, but a major sports team in the gaming arena. These e-athletes practice, train, and compete in tournaments globally, and the events are covered by the likes of ESPN. Big money is there, too. Backers of 100 Thieves include co-founder Dan Gilbert of the Cleveland Cavaliers along with Matthew Haag, Drake, and Marc Russell Benioff of Salesforce. Who knew? Thanks to Jason Kerwin, principal of OKB Architecture + Construction, designers of the team’s headquarters in the Culver City sector of Los Angeles, we found out. “Monetizing gave it legitimacy, sophistication, and professionalism,” he says. “It drove 100 Thieves out of the basement so to speak.” 

Photography by Gage Bentiles.

With completion, the new quarters consolidated players spread out across a number of nearby sites and will welcome them back with COVID’s passing. The bow-truss building dates to 1952, with a portion added in 2017 to replace a burned-out section. OKB’s exterior work was minimal, an ebony paint job to cover the brick façade’s extant lime green. Inside, the 15,000-square-foot space already comprised a floor plus mezzanine. Here, OKB’s job was to organize a rather dense program including a whole new operations aspect. Introducing an apparel line aimed at 20-something gamers and headed up by a designer taken from the well-known Reigning Champ, 100 Thieves was heading toward branding and the life-style market. Above, all, though, the program mandated a failsafe power infrastructure, obviously crucial to operations.

Photography by Gage Bentiles.

OKB started by clearing the place out and providing a minimal, super-clean background. Black and white with red accents. Big moves came with adding a parapet and new stairway for the mezzanine, both blackened steel.  Similarly, OKB used the same material to devise to a stunning design statement for power conduits. They’re floor-to-ceiling cage-like structure that also organize the open work area populated with laminate-clad stations from Herman Miller. This main space comes just past a pristine entry where the company’s logo is deeply embossed in the wall. Just beyond, a swath of red signals one of the training rooms. Otherwise, come allotments for the apparel center, conference and meeting rooms, a web studio, a pair of private offices, influencer rooms, and yet another training room, mostly glass-fronted within black aluminum frameworks. Of course, there’s a kitchen. It’s centered along the back wall and is pristine white with laminate-finished cabinetry and Caesarstone counters. Upstairs, rooms for training, meeting, audio recording face informal lounge space. All of it contributing to the statement, game on.

Photography by Gage Bentiles.
Photography by Gage Bentiles.
Photography by Gage Bentiles.

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