North American organisation FaZe Clan has announced the launch of FaZe Academy, a new programme designed to find the organisation’s ‘new generation’ of esports talent, content creators and streamers.
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FaZe Academy’s first-ever freshman class has already been picked by the organisation, with the participants set to be revealed in January 2021. Moreover, the winners of the FaZe 5 Challenge, the organisation’s public try-out, will also be included in the inaugural class.
The programme will be split into four stages – Scouting, Bootcamp, Apprenticeship and Acceptance – titled ‘The Journey’, before being officially accepted into FaZe Clan. The organisation has also confirmed that there is no set amount of participants who will graduate from the academy.
Ahead of the launch of FaZe Academy, Esports Insider spoke with Darren Yan, FaZe Clan’s Vice President of Talent, to delve into the reasoning behind the organisation’s new programme.
“We very much invest into personal strategies and personal individual brands,” commented Yan. Moreover, each participant of FaZe Academy will be given a customised regime, alongside dedicated staff, which will be tailored to the individual.
Yan explained: “Once you come in each candidate would be given what’s called a ‘Hit Squad’. The Hit Squad includes a talent manager and a representative from the comms and PR team. They have a representative of the production team, should they ever need help on any technical stuff. They also have someone from the audience development team that helps them out with strategies on all their socials, including streaming and branding. Then of course, they have their talent manager under my group who is there day-to-day.”
According to the announcement, FaZe Academy will officially begin with the participants travelling to Los Angeles for a five-day bootcamp, under COVID-19 guidelines. The bootcamp will cover a variety of topics including media training, content strategy, audience development, along with cultural and sensitivity training.
Each student will also be given a camera in order to document their experience. However, the exact content that will be made from this has yet to be revealed.
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Tan revealed that non-profit organisation Rise Above The Disorder will also work with FaZe Clan to address any mental health issues and raise awareness over the topic. Moreover, participants will be able to use Rise Above The Disorder’s resources whilst in FaZe Academy.
The academy will also feature a three-month apprenticeship programme in which individuals are vetted whilst being coached, trained and evaluated by FaZe Clan’s staff.
“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,” said Jaci Hays, COO of FaZe Clan, on the announcement. “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.”
Finally, the organisation has announced that it will release apparel for FaZe Academy today at 12pm PT (8pm GMT).
Esports Insider says: FaZe Academy is yet another example of esports’ professionalisation. We’ve seen academy systems similar to this specifically for competitive sectors, along with a range of collegiate initiatives, however, the programme has been adapted to match FaZe’s ethos. The academy looks to not only create the next generation of streamers, content creators and esports stars, but to find long term acquisitions for the organisation.