From YouTube To Nasdaq: How FaZe Clan Transformed An eSports Channel Into A Multi-Million-Dollar Business Backed By Pitbull, Offset And Others

From YouTube To Nasdaq: How FaZe Clan Transformed An eSports Channel Into A Multi-Million-Dollar Business Backed By Pitbull, Offset And Others

By Juan Ignacio Boscato

What started as a community of "Call of Duty" players, became a company listed on the Nasdaq NDAQ 12 years later.

On May 30, 2010, the first video of the FaZe Snipping channel was posted on YouTube. It depicted the skills and trick shots of three players: Eric "CLipZ" Rivera, Jeff "House Cat" Emann (now known as "Timid") and Ben "Resistance" Christensen.

Though their initial focus was on content, over time they evolved into a professional esports team and the channel became a lifestyle and youth culture platform. And this year they made it to the stock market.

The content uploaded by FaZe took off with the arrival of Ted "Fakie" Marks, one of the most famous trick shooters of the moment.

See also: Xbox Bans Almost 5 Million Accounts, Takes Other Actions Against Gaming Toxicity: Reshaping The Gaming Community

In 2012, they reached a million YouTube subscribers and dove into the esports world, taking their first steps with "Call of Duty: Black Ops II."

This is when they achieved success in different tournaments in the United States, such as Iowa Pro Gaming Challenge 2012, UMG Nashville 2013 and MLG Columbus 2013, and also when one of the biggest rivalries in the environment was born: FaZe-OpTic.

However, competitions were not the only key. FaZe’s focus was on audiovisual content, and especially on lifestyle-type of videos. FaZe’s creators became social media personalities and their followers multiplied.

In 2016 they took the leap and got into "Counter-Strike: Global Offensive" by purchasing the G2 roster, in a transaction worth $700,000. They quickly positioned themselves as one of the strongest teams in the world in this discipline, winning championships such as ESL One: New York 2017, ELEAGUE Premier 2017, and ECS Season 4.

See also: The World's Biggest 'League Of Legends' Star, Faker, Could Come To America: Which Teams Could Get Ahold Of The Immortal Demon King?

They took it even further when they collected $40 million in a financing round.

Among the investors were many celebrities. Musicians like Pitbull, Swae Lee, Yo Gotti, DJ Paul, Offset and Disco Fried. Music executives as Sylvia Rhone, Troy Carter, Guy Oseary. Professional skater Nyjah Huston. Football player Gregory Van Der Wiel. Basketball players Meyers Leonard, Josh Hart and Jamal Murray. Actor Chris O’Donnell and radio host Big Boy.

The personalities within the organization did not stop there: rapper Lil Yachty is a streamer for the team. LeBron "Bronny" James Jr., son of the world basketball star, also streams for FaZe.

FaZe Clan FAZEW designed streetwear in collaboration with brands such as Champion, Disney DIS and famous artist Takashi Murakami. The team members fought alongside Batman in the official DC Batman/FaZe Clan comic book.

The team reached its moment of greatest exposure at the Super Bowl LVI halftime show. There, Snoop Dogg, one of the participating artists, came out on stage with a FaZe chain. And after the event, he announced his entry to the team as a member of the board of directors.

See also: Meet Furious Gaming: The eSports Team That Thrives Alongside Soccer Superstar Paulo Dybala As It Seeks To Diversify Revenue Streams

After that, they also won the CS:GO Major, the most important tournament of the game, in its first edition of 2022  which took place in Antwerp, Belgium. There they pocketed $1 million in prizes.

The goal of going public with the company had been announced in October 2021. Lee Trink, CEO of the organization, stated that FaZe's popularity among the Gen Z audience was the main reason for their decision.

On July 20 of this year, they officially became listed on the NASDAQ Stock Market after completing a merger with a SPAC (Special Purpose Acquisition Company), making them the first e-sports company to be listed there.

On its first day on the Stock Market, the opening price was $13.02 but quickly dropped to more than 20% due to a lack of information on the company's post-merger valuation.

FaZe Clan's next goal will be to convince investors that its popularity can be translated into profitability.

 

Posted In: e-sportseSportsFaZe SnippingHouse CatTimidvideo gamesvideogamesGamingPenny StocksGeneral