If you’re in the gaming community, you’ve probably heard of the influencer group known as FaZe Clan. For those of you who aren’t familiar with it, don’t feel bad … I wasn’t either until I started researching its spectacular loss of clout and value.
A brief history
Dating back to 2010, FaZe Clan rose to prominence on streaming platforms like Twitch and YouTube. It grew to include a number of rising e-gaming stars who competed in a range of video games.
Pretty soon, the group’s appeal extended beyond gameplay as fans took an interest in the lives of its members. Their content started to include videos that resembled a reality show, such as footage that showed the influencers inside a common residence known as the Clout House.
This group of gaming influencers attempted to ride the wave of e-sports popularity all the way to Wall Street riches when it went public last year. There was some initial excitement over the news as celebrities and industry insiders began to tout the potential for growth.
At that time, the company cited its value at a staggering $700 million — but it only took about six months for almost all of that supposed value to evaporate.
As of Jan. 20, the price of one share dipped below $1 and it has only gotten worse since then.
Much like any other social media influencer, the key to profitability for FaZe Clan was its penchant for selling ads. Its partnerships with cultural icons like Snoop Dogg and Pitbull seemed promising enough, and CEO Lee Trink had a range of lofty ideas that could help the company bring in even more revenue.
So far, it hasn’t paid off — and FaZe Clan is in danger of being delisted from the New York Stock Exchange.