Rating: Buy Low / Hold
The Rust Belt tells the tale of the rise and fall of Manufacturing in America.
In the early 1900’s, the cities of this region were the largest, fastest growing in the nation. They teemed with immigrants and new arrivals and they collectively produced an incredible share of all of the most important products on earth: automobiles, glass, machinery, rubber, and steel.
Of all the cities in America – it was Buffalo, NY that was chosen to host a World’s Fair in 1902.
In 1948, it was Niagara Falls, NY that was nearly chosen to be the site of the United Nations headquarters.
American manufacturing peaked in 1953 and the region has been gutted ever since. Over the years, factories sat idle, slowly decaying to color the cityscape in a hue of rust.
By 1910, Pittsburgh – the 8th largest city in America – was a major hub of this thriving industrial belt.
I say all this, because it gives context to the ethos — the drive and the branding of the Pittsburgh Knights. Being from the Rust-Belt is a literal “badge of honor.” It is to understand hardship and make friends with it.
Finding resolve, stamina and joy in challenging times — the Rust Belt is the underdog personified – and leveraging that underdog mentality is a psychological weapon for success in any competition.
To be sure, the Pittsburgh Knights are a global e-sports team. But utilizing the team’s origins as inspiration, helps illuminate the meaning of the symbolism found in the Knight Commander collection.
So let’s dig in.
1250 editions of the Knight Commander Collection were released on April 10 for a mint price of $99. The drop sold out immediately.
The Pittsburgh Knights website has the most detailed information about the utility aspects of the project going forward. The general flavor of the offerings seems to most appeal to e-sports gaming die-hards – who want to get in on the action.
E-sports is growing rapidly. By 2027 e-sports will be a $7+ billion dollar market – probably much higher with inflation. The pandemic could have only contributed to more growth in the industry and the birth of the Metaverse is certain to give online gaming ever more credibility.
The Knights hailing from Pittsburgh is poetic, in a way. As America exits it’s century of economic dominance, the entire country is likely to experience what the Rust-Belt has been living through for decades.
It isn’t difficult to envision the price of gasoline going higher, natural gas is doing cartwheels currently, the EU is talking about embargoing all Russian oil – the time of cheap commodities are coming to an end.
Travel, tourism are going to take big hits. It seems obvious that the emergence of the metaverse will become a stand-in for many of these entertainment outlets. And in response, we are even seeing corporations beginning to adopt Web3 strategies that can increase revenue going forward.
In summary, a niche e-sports gaming team from Pittsburgh may not be all that under the radar in two years time. The culture is shifting and The Knights are uniquely positioned.
The Knights also sport an A-List hip-hop artist by the name of Wiz Khalifa on their roster. NFL wide receiver Ju-Ju Smith Schuster is associated with the team as well as Evegni Malkin, superstar forward for the Pittsburgh Penguins.
The art was created by Stephen Holding, a graphic artist that has worked with the likes of Nike, NBC, NFL and Reebok. Speaking of the art: crisp, bright, deep symbolism.
Suits of Armor, Swords of the Steel City, Knight Commander Badges of Honor. E-sports is intense, tactical, high-level virtual war. Regardless of the arena. These symbols are the ethos that teams require for success. A general guide to rarity aspects of the collection is available here.
In conclusion, the Knights are the real deal. Professional, through and through. Star powered roster. Solid art. And a dizzying potential for growth.
Keep watch: “the lidless eye of evil never closes. That is why the Knight Commander must always be on guard and ready for action.”
Knight Commander Collection