FaZe Rain interview: Staying private, going public, and returning to YouTube - Dexerto
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FaZe Rain interview: Staying private, going public, and returning to YouTube

Published: 24/Mar/2022 22:21

by Theo Salaun

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With FaZe Clan set to go public in 2022, we spoke with one of the org’s owners who has remained relatively private this year: FaZe Rain. From the moves he’s been making in silence, to his and the org’s future, here’s what he had to say.

Nordan ‘Rain’ Shat joined FaZe in September 2012, becoming just one of 10 co-owners and earning 10-plus million followers in the process. Now, on his 10th year anniversary with the org, FaZe will go from the Super Bowl to Wall Street.

As the first member to post daily vlogs on YouTube, the past few years have been a departure from the norm for Rain. He hasn’t posted on YouTube since May 2021 and has been, by his standards, fairly quiet on social media.

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So, in this unprecedented time for his soon-to-be public company, we asked Rain where he’s been, his perspective on FaZe’s growth, and what fans should expect moving forward.

Catching up with Rain

faze rain apex
Twitter, @FaZe_Rain
Until recently, FaZe fans were accustomed to enjoying even the most intimate moments of Rain’s life.

First things first: Yes, Rain hasn’t been streaming, but he’s still gaming. The former CoD trickshotter is enjoying “lots of Warzone” and, despite having zero football background, has randomly gotten into Madden. 

Completing the trifecta, he’s also dropped back into Fortnite thanks to the no-building update.

As far as music, Rain’s “been f**king with Yeat.” And, as far as a FaZe member who he’s been proud of or most impressed by this past year, “Apex. Always Apex.”

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faze apex faze rain
Twitter, @FaZeClan
Few FaZe duos are as memorable as Apex and Rain.

The question on everyone’s mind, though, is where FaZe Rain has been and what he’s been up to in the time since his last video.

In response, Rain was candid: “Obviously, I’ve been hurt. I haven’t been feeling like making YouTube videos and all that. It’s been mostly focused on my recovery, working on the backend of FaZe, more on the business side. Mostly backend stuff and a few of my other side businesses that I’ve been working on.”

When speaking with FaZe, they told us that Rain played an “integral role” in the org’s signing of DJ and producer Kaysan. Compared to his original content days, such backend operations could feel like a very different style of work.

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Rain says the experience has been a hectic, but positive one: “It’s good, there’s a lot going on. Every department has its ups and downs, but it’s good overall and we all have very high hopes for FaZe, so we are all working at it.”

FaZe’s growth: Going public & coming full circle

As mentioned, this has, and continues to be, a massive year for FaZe. Looking back, a key highlight was Snoop Dogg surprising fans by wearing a FaZe chain during the Super Bowl LVI halftime show in February.

That moment wasn’t lost on Rain, who called it “pretty crazy.” 

Continuing, the co-owner noted that Snoop “only had his Death Row chain on and the FaZe chain on. So for him to put a FaZe chain on, while he’s showing love to Death Row – which he just acquired – it was obviously a huge deal for FaZe clan. And, of course during the Super Bowl, one of the biggest stages in the world.”

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At the time, the public didn’t know that Snoop’s chain was a precursor to even bigger news: The 17-time Grammy-nominated artist joining FaZe’s Board of Directors

The org officially revealed their full board on March 22. As I got ready to ask about another entertainment figure on the team, Rain interrupted: “Gotta be Stephanie McMahon. That’s who you are about to bring up, right?”

With my mind successfully read, I confirmed that the WWE’s McMahon was the next line of questioning. Unlike Snoop, we had no idea she was going to be joining the organization and, apparently, her addition means a lot to Rain.

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“One of my biggest passions as a kid was the WWE … The first job I ever wanted to be was a wrestler for the WWE. I loved it. So to see it come full circle and see me not really work with the WWE the way I thought I was as a kid, but still have someone like Stephanie McMahon be a part of FaZe Clan’s Board of Directors and maybe help us pivot into the WWE in some way, shape or form, we can do something together, that’s honestly a dream come true for my child self.

For me and Apex both, because we were both that level of fan of the WWE. Jeff Hardy all day.”

jeff hardy wwe
Wikimedia Commons
Shoutout Jeff Hardy, man.

Aside from the Board announcement being a full-circle moment for Rain, it’s also a key step in FaZe’s history. The co-owner described what this process of becoming a publicly traded company has felt like for someone who’s been in the org for so long.

“It obviously shows what we’ve done with FaZe and it shows that we’re capable of doing something as large as going public. And it’s just a huge moment for the gaming community entirely. I hope even people that may see us as competitors still realize how big this is just for the gaming community. Period.”

The return of FaZe Rain

While FaZe are looking to reach the NASDAQ, Rain now seems ready for a return to YouTube. Asked if he intends to start putting out content again, he was quick on the draw: “Absolutely.”

“The closer I get to my recovery, which is now actually, I’m gonna definitely make a video probably in the next couple weeks as an update video and then just keep going from there.

I’ve honestly just been losing my identity I feel like, not making content and stuff like that. I did that for half my life, so I gotta continue to keep doing that, but in an evolved way for what my life needs now.”

For someone who’s created so much content for so long, moving away from that side of the business can feel foreign. In some ways, creating new space in one’s lifestyle can bring perspective to your identity, and Rain reflected on how this break from content has impacted him.

“It’s just been an up-and-down thing because, you know, that was such a huge part of me as a person and sometimes without it I feel a little bit lost. So I just kind of gotta get back into that and find this new version of me with the old version of me and just mix it together.”

faze rain faze adapt fans
YouTube, MoreRainAdapt
Dating back to 2014, Rain, Adapt, and the FaZe team have always had a tight-knit relationship with their fans.

Just as this break from content has affected Rain, it’s surely been different for the fans who were accustomed to daily interaction with the content creator. What’s perhaps been most heartwarming to see from his community, through these past few years, is just how supportive they’ve been – regardless of content schedule.

To finish, Rain shared a message for his fans.

“To be honest, I was gonna pour my heart out to them in my video. But, of course, them being…” As if struck by a trail of thoughts he’d like to save for another day, Rain stopped himself for a moment, recollected, and continued.

“A lot of people that I thought were there in my life weren’t there for me during my hardest time the last couple of years and just to know that every single one of my fans was still there for me, still rooting for me every single day, and still having my back through it all no matter what it looked like. It’s just. It’s deeper than words can explain.

It’s been such a warm feeling and I have just an eternal gratitude for my fans. Forever. For real.”