How FaZe Clan Is Redefining What Celebrity—and a Team—Can Be

You don’t think a gang of gamers count as celebs? Ask Drake, Travis Scott and JuJu what they think. You don’t think esports count as sports? Go beyond the Fortnite effect as part of the B/R POWER 50 Shake It Up list.
photo of Brian MaziqueBrian Mazique@@UniqueMaziqueCorrespondent IIIJuly 23, 2018

Thrust into the mainstream as the result of a late-night Fortnite Twitch collaboration with Ninja, Drake, Travis Scott and JuJu Smith-Schuster, FaZe Clan has become the kind of modern-day movement you can't define.  

But with their infiltration into competitive gaming now expanding into non-gaming media, this esports crew also represents the type of brand with a future nobody but its creators can contain.

What began as a group of friends making "trick shot" videos from Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 has blossomed into a squad—part geek, part startup, all competitive joy—that is down with some of your favorite celebrities and athletes. In addition to the all-star Fortnite session in March, FaZe Clan has interviewed Chris Rock and played COD with Lil Yachty.

Few in the rapidly expanding esports space can boast more complete coverage across all of the most relevant social media platforms than these guys: Combined, FC reaches nearly 71 million YouTube subscribers, more than 6.1 million Twitch followers, 40 million Twitter followers, 35 million Instagram followers and 2.5 million Facebook fans.

Since FaZe ClipZ, FaZe Housecat and FaZe Resistance founded FC in 2010, the California-based crew has built on its base channel's substantial following and spawned several individual clan-member channels. The expansion and diverse personalities have increased the reach of the core group and doubled down on the power of their tough-to-pin-down influence. By parlaying the popularity of their channels and the legitimacy of their gaming skills into esports opportunities, they have assured they will remain relevant in spinoff spaces.

Sports conversations, reality programming and more are now a part of FaZe Clan's catalog of content. Their transition from mere gaming crew to sprawling entertainment powerhouse is redefining celebrity, if not the entire concept of what a team can be.

Brian Mazique is a contributor for Forbes and former member of the Bleacher Report Breaking News Team. Follow him on Twitter: @UniqueMazique.

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