As a new industry, it’s no wonder that many entities in the esports ecosystem try this and that in order to find the right formula for success. Competition might be the main thing if we talk about esports. However, the esports industry has grown from competition, from the age of the fight to score in ancient times to become a global competition today.
Along with the development of the times, esports are no longer rigid for a long time, so it’s not just a matter of competition. The competition and everything that is involved in it becomes so interesting that it is discussed into content, not forgetting that infotainment or even gossip is also a seasoning for hot competition.
Apart from these two things, an interesting thing that may still not be touched by many esports business entities is their selling points as a lifestyle. Of the many esports organizations in the world, FaZe Clan is one that is quite active in combining gaming culture, competition and lifestyle.
And it all started with the Call of Duty community in the United States
360 no Scope, Vlogging, and FaZe Clan
For those of you FPS gamers, you might already be familiar with the term 360 no scope. 360 no scope is like the type of force in a skateboard jump. In the FPS game, 360 no scope is done by jumping, rotating the body 360 degrees, then shooting the enemy using a sniper type rifle without using scope or oversight.
Quoting from one site that documents various popular cultures on the internet, the origin of 360 no Scope is from the Call of Duty 4 community through a player named zzirGrizz. The movement’s first trick came out on October 11, 2008, when a YouTube user named Devin LaBrie uploaded the montage video game zzirGrizz, and named it the top 10 no scopes of all time.
After that, the term became popular after a YouTube user named nomercysoldier0 uploaded his game on Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 which was viral because it managed to get 2.1 million views and 7300 comments in the first 4 years.
Then what’s the deal with 360 no scope with FaZe Clan? After the 360 no scope trickshot became a culture in the Call of Duty community, everyone finally tried to do that.
Finally, May 30, 2010, FaZe Sniping, a Call of Duty clan created by 3 players, Eric Rivera (CLipZ), Jeff Emann (House Cat), and Ben Christenen (Ressistance). The trio of players became known to many people for innovating in doing trickshots, moreover they could be said to be one of the first to do trick shots as a team.
From then on, FaZe routinely created montages or recorded results of the games they did in a YouTube video series that they named ILLCAMS. Content after content was created until finally FaZe Clan became a well-known group in the Call of Duty community. After a while, the FaZe Clan became increasingly popular, especially when they started recruiting well-known trickshot figures in the Call of Duty community to join the team.
After several episodes of ILLCAMS, the figure of Thomas Oliveira or known as Temperrr appears. Little was known about Temperrr’s figure before FaZe was introduced. But one thing is certain, this figure seems to be a magnet for FaZe fans. When it was first introduced on August 2, 2010, Temperrr successfully absorbed 1.5 million views.
FaZe Temperr itself is arguably one of the founding members of the Faze Clan, this figure is perhaps arguably one of the most important of FaZe’s developments. Jumping a few years into the future, FaZe again presents a new member that makes it more skyrocketed. He is Richard Bengston, the figure of gaming celebrity also known as FaZe Banks.
Banks was first introduced on March 25, 2013. At that time, he joined as part of FaZe Clan’s trickshot content actors. Until February 2014, Temperrr and Banks conducted face reveal content, while announcing that Banks would move to live with Temperrr to create more video content.
After about 4 years FaZe Clan showered the internet with super cool trickshot content, now they are starting to evolve. “We are the first gamers to really show our faces on the internet.” Temperrr told the New York Times. From then on, FaZe Clan began to include their faces in gameplay content. Not only that, the members began vlogging and showing their daily lives that had nothing to do with gaming.
“People like that (vlogging content). People will want to know about activities outside of our gameplay. They play COD every day but they also have to see how our lifestyle and how we are cool kids. ” Said Banks in the New York Times article written by Taylor Lorenz, published November 17, 2019 ago.
Dive into the Competitive World of Call of Duty and Domination in CS: GO
Trickshots, vlogs, and trends have been in the FaZe Clan’s veins for a long time. But esports and the competitive world are new to FaZe Clan. While the trickshot and vlogging content of gamers’ lives continues, they explore the competitive world of Call of Duty and create one of the hottest rivalries in the scene, namely between FaZe Clan and Optic Gaming.
The two teams pioneered their lives in much the same way, creating Call of Duty content and making their content a space for popularity for their players. FaZe and Optic became the names with the biggest echo in the Call of Duty scene.
FaZe starts from small tournaments. Their debut for the big tournament was in 2013, through the game Call of Duty Black Ops II. They took part in the Call of Duty main caste competition, Major League Gaming (MLG). Unfortunately in that year they did not get the best performance.
They have to settle for being ranked 5th in the MLG Spring Championship losing to Optic Gaming. The team also experienced a massive roster shuffle, which led to failures in achieving a better position in subsequent tournaments.
The struggle of the ups and downs continued until 2014 they got a player named ACHES. This player is often considered a big enemy of Optic Gaming, because he repeatedly succeeded in making Optic bowed. Compete at the MLG Columbus Open in 2014, they managed to get fresh air by driving smoothly on the upper-bracket.
Entering the second day of the match, a disaster occurred. ACHES ‘hand was injured for whatever reason, making him have to be in the hospital all night. Even so ACHES decided to keep competing. Of course this misfortune made FaZe difficult, so they were forced to go down to the lower bracket. However, they managed to rise until finally in the final round met with Optic Gaming and won two best-of-5 matches.
This victory made them a respected team in the Call of Duty scene. Even now the name FaZe is still part of the competitive scene in the Call of Duty League, under the name Atlanta FaZe.
Since then, the rivalry between FaZe and Optics has become even tougher because they are both stronger. Had experienced a roster shuffle storm again, but FaZe again gained momentum in victory in 2015. They managed to win the 2015 UMG Dalls, Gfinity Summer Championship, and MLG Season 3 Playoffs. This victory succeeded in making the name FaZe Clan even more brilliant in the Call of Duty scene.
One year after becoming the dominant name in the Call of Duty scene, FaZe began trying to expand into other competitive scenarios. Their characteristics remain the same, namely the FPS game. On March 2, 2016, FaZe announced their CS: GO roster, the acquisition results from the G2 Esports team which contained Maikel Bill (Maikelele), Havard Nygaard (Rain), Ricardo Pachecho (Fox), Joakim Myrbostad (Jkaem), and Philip Aistrup (Aizy), Havard Nygaard (Rain), Ricardo Pachecho (Fox), Joakim Myrbostad (Jkaem), and Philip Aistrup (Aizy) .
Roster is rumored to be purchased at a price of US $ 700,000 from G2 Esports. This acquisition makes them called the most expensive roster in the history of CS: GO according to Dot Esports. However, they began their first year with quite heavy.
Citing liquidpedia notes, their performance is less satisfying for the most expensive roster in the history of CS: GO. On their initial debut, they were repeatedly stopped in 12th place. In fact, they had fallen in the group phase with a 0-2 win-lose record in the 2016 DreamHack Masters title.
Learning from the experience in the Call of Duty scene, FaZe became known as a team with cold hands. Experiencing a series of unsatisfactory performance during 2016, FaZe became a team that was not afraid to dismantle the roster in order to get a better performance.
In October 2016 they included Finn Andersen (Kariggan), a former in-game leader of Astralis, who had long been sacked because of the series of bad results he got. This recruitment immediately provoked a polemic, because it seemed odd, but considered a steady movement because it was felt to provide leadership to the team.
Entering 2017, the roster shuffle returns, Karrigan survives. Until one that was quite astonishing was when they took The Bosnian Beast, Nikola Kovac (Niko). This recruitment shows the intention of FaZe, that they want to win and are not afraid to pay dearly.
2017 will soon be a golden year for CS: GO FaZe Clan. They managed to win several major tournaments such as ESL One: NewYork 2017, ELEAGUE CS: GO Premier 2017, and even had time to defeat Astralis to win StarLadder Season 3. With more or less the same recipe as they dominated Call of Duty, the golden age of FaZe Clan in 2017 succeeded in bringing their brand into a vocal name in the CS: GO scene. Even now, Rain, Niko, Olofmeister, Coldzera, and Broky are still a tough team in various world class CS: GO competitions.
Fortnite, Tfue, and FaZe Clan’s Global Expansion
Still in 2017, Fortnite was released on the market. After their main game Fortnite: Save the World was released in July 2017, the free-to-play Fortnite Battle Royale was released in September 2017. Have cool cartoon graphics, shooter games that promote creativity in playing and become a showroom of style – besides showing off ability – Fortnite seems to be a calling for FaZe Clan.
This game might be like bringing FaZe back to the era of Call of Duty, when defeating enemies with a popular trickshot again. Especially at that time Twitch was increasingly popular as a platform for streaming content platforms for gamers, making FaZe like finding its new home; when gaming, personality, and reality television become one container.
They try to repeat the formula for their success on Call of Duty, win in competitive, look cool in various content. Therefore, at Fortnite, they took a team that could compete but still become internet celebrities through the streaming content they presented.
Turner Tenney, or better known as Tfue, is at the forefront of FaZe to strengthen their brand at Fortnite. But FaZe at Fortnite isn’t just Tfue. They also have a myriad of streamers recruited to carry the name FaZe including one of them is a 13-year-old deaf woman named Soleil Wheeler who is also known as FaZe Ewok.
The name FaZe appears everywhere through various parts of Fortnite, both competitively, streaming, including content that emphasizes the personality that is the hallmark of FaZe Clan. Soon FaZe became the leading organization in Fortnite, again securing its status as the most dominant organization in this scheme, like FaZe on Call of Duty long ago.
But it feels incomplete if FaZe can only look stylish, without a show of ability. This they show through the Fall Skirmish mat, which was held at the 2018 Twitch Con.
At that time, FaZe Clan was represented by Tfue and Dennis Lepore (Cloak), two players who were not only proficient in style, but were also considered the two best in the scene. Compete in six rounds, Tfue and Cloak managed to appear very dominant, winning them a prize of US $ 500,000.
The victory further strengthened the name FaZe Clan at Fortnite, until finally the Tfue scandal surfaced. May 2019 Tfue sues the FaZe Clan on charges of taking 80 percent of his income and forcing himself to gamble and drink when he is under legal age.
In the scandal Tfue’s lawyer told Holywood Reporter that Tenney was forced several times to carry out dangerous stunts for the sake of video content. “In one video, Tenney suffered a severe injury to his hand while playing skateboard which resulted in permanent physical disability.” Said Bryan Freedman, Tfue’s lawyer at the time.
The lawsuit was eventually sued back by FaZe Clan, because they felt they had never taken Tfue’s income. “We only received US $ 60,000 from this partnership, while Tfue could receive up to millions of US dollars as members of the FaZe Clan.” Said the FaZe Clan in a statement. Until now, the case is not yet known how it ends. But one thing is certain, Tfue left FaZe since then.
But the case did not stop FaZe Clan from expanding globally. The popular shooter game has always been the best place for FaZe to develop. After beginning 2017 they began their careers in the PUBG scene, in January 2020, they expanded considerably by taking the PUBG Mobile team from Thailand named Bulshark to become part of FaZe.
FaZe expansion did not stop there, after getting a lot of success in the gaming scene, now they are beginning to colonize other lands.
Fighters in the World of Competitive Gaming, the Glamorous Lifestyle of Celebrity
Looking cool in front of the audience has indeed been in the veins of FaZe Clan since they filled YouTube through the tricky Call of Duty content shotshot. Becoming the king of the competitive gaming world, appearing through compelling game content, and showing off cool gamer personalities has become a surefire formula for FaZe Clan to survive and become as big as it is now.
Indeed it is a unique strategy, which is not carried out by many other esports organizations. Lee Trink who served as CEO of FaZe Clan even boasted to the New York Times by saying that companies like FaZe Clan had never existed before. Furthermore, Lee Trink explained FaZe was like a joint American Football Team Dallas Cowboys sports team, the Hypebeast Supreme brand, and an MTV reality show.
The claim is indeed true. FaZe Clan competes in various realms of esports and won in several scenarios like a sports team. The reality show is a meal for loyal fans who watch the FaZe Clan YouTube channel, including vlogging content that showcases the glamorous lifestyle of celebrities. The glamorous lifestyle is also down to fashion, through merchandise and brand collaboration that they do.
The Verge even said that FaZe Clan is like Supreme esports. One difference might be just a matter of where these two brands came from, Supreme grew from a skateboard culture, while FaZe grew from a gaming culture. Since 2018, FaZe has been cooperating with celebrities.
December 2018, they took rapper Lil Yachty. Using the alias FaZe Boat, Lil Yachty is part of the content creators list in the FaZe Clan. During that time they also opened a series of rounds of investment, which immediately attracted various celebrities to invest in them such as rapper Ray J and DJ Paul, basketball player Meyers Leonard, and Josh Hart.
One of the biggest is probably in August 2019, when the rapper Offset disbursed an investment of which the figure was not mentioned to the FaZe Clan. Lee Trink, the CEO of Faze, at the time emphasized the position of FaZe Clan, which was not just a gaming or esports brand, but also wanted to lead a cultural transformation through gaming and esports.
“FaZe Clan is now evolving beyond gaming and esports, we are leading a cultural transformation as well as entertainment. Offset symbolizes a new generation, leaders who understand the cultural movement. FaZe Clan is now redefining the meaning of being an iconic brand in the entertainment world. Working together with Offset will be the next step forward in the future. With this we will not only dominate the competitive gaming realm, but we will also create trends in content, merchandise, brand partnerships and more. ”
The FaZe Clan collaboration is so aggressive in 2019, especially in the non-gaming realm. From the fashion side they had collaborated with Sportswear Champion, Kappa, and various other fashion brands. They also collaborated with Manchester City, for collaboration in terms of content and also co-branded to create the Manchester City x FaZe Clan jersey.
They also collaborated with the American Football association, NFL. This collaboration was carried out to create NFL x FaZe Clan-themed merchandise and content around the first round of the NFL Draft or the transfer market within American Football. Because of this aggressive collaboration, they also get investment from the music industry businessman, Jimmy Iovine and NTWRK merchandising platform. That will certainly strengthen the position of the FaZe Clan in the realm of merchandising. As stated by Lee Trink, the investment will be used by them to strengthen their position in the apparel and merchandising business.
But, it turns out that Faze Clan’s crazy idea to continue to grow does not stop there. After content and merchandising, the next development is television. On April 29, they announced a collaboration with director Sugar Sugar’s platform Michael Sugar, to create FaZe Studios, which will become the center for the production of new films and television series.
Starting from trickshot content, FaZe Clan evolved into the realm of esports, internet celebrities, and merchandising. FaZe Clan developed so large that it colonized various realms of the entertainment industry. This trip gives us a lesson in how the vision to look cool in front of people, has brought the FaZe Clan from mere gamers to nerds, to a glamorous brand that is a cultural symbol for young people.