FaZe Clan takes their e-sports company public on NASDAQ

On October 25th, the United States e-sports company known as the FaZe Clan (Formerly FaZe Sniping) was officially listed on NASDAQ, the second most important stock exchange in the United States. FaZe Clan is hoping for a total valuation close to $1 billion, and for the move to give the group about $275 million in cash to accelerate the expansion and monetization of its brand. Rather than an initial public offering, FaZe Clan will be merging with a special purpose acquisition company, in this case B. Riley Principal 150 Merger Corp. The move means the FaZe Clan joins a small but rapidly growing list of e-sports groups that are publicly traded.

History of the FaZe Clan – more than just gaming

FaZe Clan began as a simple three-man Call of Duty clan, making their debut as YouTube content creators in 2010. The trio quickly gained a reputation for their ‘trickshotting’ videos, during a time when the majority of content creators were focused on tournaments and winning matches. Trickshotting is the technique of making the final kill cam – introduced in Modern Warfare 2 – look stylish. Popular shots include long-range knife throws, 360 kills, long-range ‘no scope’ sniping, and various combinations of equipment changes and exploitation of graphical glitches. The channel took off soon after a fourth member joined the clan and their channel launched the ILLCAMS series.

In 2012 the clan began to enter professional e-sports competitions but kept this separate from their content creation, with mostly autonomous teams. In 2015 Norwegian entrepreneur Sebastian Guerts invested in the clan, flying CEO Tommy Oliveira (FaZe Temperrr) out to Norway and giving the clan the resources needed to recruit the top e-sports players for the competitions and also to grow their video channels.

From there the clan, now a true company, expanded into new territories, becoming a lifestyle content creator and collaborating with food supplement and car companies, music artists, and traditional sports teams, with total revenue streams of up to $40 million a month.

Not the first sports team to sell stocks

While the initial idea of a sports ‘team’ going public may seem strange, the FaZe Clan is not the first sports team to sell stocks, nor even the first e-sports team to do so. Manchester United Football Club made a public debut in 2012, and the Danish ‘Astralis’ organization, a company that operates several individual e-sports teams, went public in 2019. Rather than as a group of players, the FaZe Clan is an e-sports conglomerate that offers a variety of content, collaborations, and partnerships. The teams are then simply a highly visible part of the company structure, with most of the revenue coming from merchandising, ticketing, sponsorship, and more, rather than from competition wins.

Increased capital means increased presence

While an initial public offering can take nine months to complete, by using a special acquisition company, the FaZe Clan has been able to fast-track themselves onto the stock market. When asked about the reasoning for taking the company public, Clan Director Lee Trink said, “We believe FaZe Clan is emerging as the voice of youth culture, a brand that sits at the crossroads of content creation, games, entertainment, and lifestyle in the digital world. This transaction will provide us with capital and access to public markets, which will help us accelerate the expansion of our multi platform and monetization strategy.”

New teams, new games, or new media?

FaZe Clan currently has teams entering competitions for Call of Duty, Counter Strike: Global Offensive, PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds (both mobile and PC based), Rainbow Six Siege, FIFA, Fortnite Battle Royale, Rocket League, and Valorant. The group’s YouTube channel hosts their gaming videos, the lifestyle-type videos of the FaZe houses, and a variety of viral-type videos including popular ‘reaction vids,’ along with live-action short films produced by the FaZe studios. 

At this point it is unclear if the clan will be using the capital raised by the special acquisition to create new teams and enter into new e-sports leagues, or if they will focus more on expansion into other media types. In 2021 the clan collaborated with DC Comics to create a limited edition comic book, and they already produce music from their own FaZe artists, so every avenue is open to the FaZe Clan.


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