The US esports organisation FaZe Clan is stepping up their recruitment and training efforts by introducing its brand new FaZe Academy. The FaZe Academy is a new programme that is designed to recruit and train the next generation of the organisation’s players, content creators, and streamers.
They have already selected the first class of 2021 with the participants to be revealed in January next year. They will also be holding a public try-out for the Academy, the FaZe 5 Challenge. The winners of the Challenge will also be included in the 2021 inaugural class.
The programme will be split into four stages which together are called “The Journey”.
The Academy Bootcamp
Those chosen to participate in the Academy will fly to Los Angeles for a five-day Bootcamp, under Covid-19 guidelines. It will be a five-day intensive that will cover a whole host of topics, a lot of which are not directly related to esports.
- Media training
- Content strategy
- Audience development
- Cultural and sensitivity training
The students will also be provided with a camera to document their training and experiences at the Bootcamp. Just attending the Bootcamp is not a guarantee that you will be selected for the esports organisation. FaZe Clan has confirmed that there will not be a set number of graduates from the programme. Some may be selected to work for the organisation and given the FaZe moniker, others may request extra time to work at the Academy, and some may simply be asked to leave.
Comments from the COO
COO of FaZe Clan, Jaci Hays, wrote in the announcement:
“FaZe Academy is seeking the best in the world – from the undiscovered charismatic vlogger to the elite multi-hyphenate global content creator who is already making waves. It is designed to help them achieve their goals, and better understand how far they can take their entrepreneurial spirit and unmatched talent. We want to support their personal brands, help them navigate superstardom while also achieving our larger vision for FaZe Clan.”
The future of FaZe Clan
Esports only makes up 20% of FaZe Clans profits. They still maintain very healthy and vibrant esports teams but looking at the FaZe Academy, a significant amount of the training is not esports related. They focus on entertainment value and content creation. You still need to be good in-game, but the most important thing is personality. Darren Yan, FaZe Clan’s Head of Talent Management spoke to the website Dexerto about their recruitment and training plans:
“The reason why we have an Academy for creators and streamers is that, at its core, FaZe was founded by content creators as opposed to competitors. At the very beginning of our company, it was just kids doing trick shots. Back then, the prerequisite of recruitment was whether or not you can hit the craziest trick shots and that was pretty much it.
As our organization evolved, the standards for talent evolved and so too did the standards of how we recruit. That hasn’t really caught up at the speed of which the company was growing so this was long overdue in order to really identify who the long-term creators and streamers will be for FaZe.”
What does this mean for esports?
This new FaZe Academy is not just a funnel for the esports stars of tomorrow, it is an in-house training ground for content creators and streamers. Unlike most talent recruiters, who may take up semi-established personalities who need a boost to bring them to the next level, FaZe Clan are committed to plucking stars from obscurity. We may see some upsets in the esports betting odds considering that there may not be much info available for upcoming rookie teams under the FaZe banner.
FaZe Clan does have an established esports brand, but their history lies in content creation. If it remains the most viable source of revenue, especially now that the pandemic has decimated the live esports tournament market, we could see a significant downturn in the company’s interest in esports.