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Esports and content creation collective FaZe Clan is now a publicly traded company, following a merger with a special-purpose acquisition company, or SPAC. The new company is listed on the Nasdaq under the ticker FAZE.

FaZe Clan first announced its intention to go public in October 2021, with the goal of expanding its revenue sources and international presence. In an interview, Lee Trink, the company’s CEO, said that FaZe’s popularity with Gen Z audiences is why it will thrive as a publicly traded company.

“We’ve placed ourselves in the top echelon of a youth culture company,” Trink said. “And now, and not just this minute, we have started to shift our focus to monetizing that massive audience. I think that’s really critical for this moment of going public.”

FaZe began in 2010 as a collective of Call of Duty players who got famous for trickshotting — a style of flashy, difficult shooting that highlights a player’s skill. (For example: spinning 720 degrees in the air before sniping someone in the head without bothering to scope in.) Since then, the brand has burgeoned into a gaming media and esports company, fielding competitive rosters in a range of titles. FaZe’s “Counter-Strike” team is currently the best team on the planet, according to the Counter-Strike news and stats portal HLTV. On July 17, the team won first place at the Intel Extreme Masters tournament, netting the organization $400,000.

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FaZe is perhaps best known for its cachet as a lifestyle brand with a vast stable of content creators. The rapper Lil Yachty streams for FaZe (and even made a “Fortnite” song) under the tag FaZe Boat. So does LeBron James Jr. FaZe has done streetwear collaborations with Champion, Disney and famed artist Takashi Murakami. Its members have appeared in a Batman comic. Snoop Dogg rocked a FaZe Clan chain during his Super Bowl LVI halftime performance. He’s also on FaZe’s board of directors.

The company has been exploring a number of ventures beyond video games. Gambling, virtual dining and ghost kitchens, fan clubs and subscription models are some of the potential revenue generators Trink said the company is exploring.

FaZe is also eager to engage with its followers outside of the United States. Trink told The Post that while 50% of the brand’s audience is based outside of the United States, only 5% of its revenue is international.

To that end, FaZe has also been looking at subscription models. Trink said FaZe been discussing possible partnerships with Web3 companies to cut out the middleman of social media platforms. Web3 is a hypothetical concept for a decentralized internet utilizing blockchain technology and cryptocurrency. If this version of the internet comes to pass, Trink hopes it will also lead to FaZe-sponsored play-to-earn games (games where players can earn NFTs or cryptocurrency) and a way to deliver content that bypasses platforms such as YouTube or Instagram.

“Migrating our community to a Web3 community allows us to be directly connected,” said Trink. “It allows us to own the relationship. It allows us to create a bespoke set of engagement around what that relationship is. We can deliver content as we see fit, however we see fit. We can exchange information, we can converse in an environment we see fit and we think serves our community best. We’re enabled to monetize how we see fit, as well.”

This story is developing and will be updated.

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