Grace Van Dien’s FaZe Clan controversy explained: Timeline of events
A new recruit joining FaZe Clan is usually a big deal, celebrated by their community and the wider FaZe fanbase. But when Stranger Things actor-turned-streamer Grace Van Dien joined, and became FaZe Bluefille, a storm of controversy ensued that few expected. Here’s a breakdown of what has happened in the saga so far.
FaZe Clan, one of the longest-running and best-known esports, gaming, and lifestyle brands today, started as most esports orgs did with humble beginnings; Young gamers uploading clips and commentaries, and banding together to make content.
It is now a household name and publicly traded on the Nasdaq, but is also facing some of the most challenging periods in its history, as some of the original founders and members continue to lash out publicly at the org.
Against this backdrop, the signing of Grace Van Dien, a Stranger Things star with limited experience in gaming content creation, sparked a furor among some pockets of the community. FaZe was criticized for ignoring existing female content creators in favor of a ‘celebrity’, and it gave further ammunition for OG members like Rain and Banks to continue taking shots.
Here’s a recap of the FaZe Bluefille saga so far, in case you’ve lost track of all the drama.
- Rain leaks Grace joining FaZe
- Grace announcement sparks debate
- Rain vs Grace feud
- Rain & Grace meet-up
- FaZe Clan issues statement
- Grace removes FaZe from bio
May 18: FaZe Rain leaks Grace Van Dien signing
The figurehead of the criticism is Nordan ‘Rain’ Shat, one of the original FaZe members, who has been publicly critical of the org throughout 2023. Before Van Dien was even announced officially, Rain spoiled the surprise, and claimed she was only joining “[because] she was on one episode of Stranger Things.”
Rain also remarked that Grace wouldn’t even know what a trickshot is – referencing how FaZe originated as a sniping clan in 2009’s Modern Warfare 2.
May 26: Grace Van Dien announcement sparks debate
Following the announcement, on May 26, newer FaZe member Santana called out the OG members for their comments about Grace, saying he was “disappointed” in them. This lit the fire, and Santana even showed death threats he had received.
Grace was also quick to fire back at Rain. “I’m sorry sir, were you in the meeting with us? Were you there?” She questioned on her stream. “No, I’ve never f**king met you and that is not why FaZe signed me. That is definitely how I got the meeting, yes, I will give that credit. That is how I got the meeting.”
“But, that is absolutely not why I’ve signed. The things that we spoke about in the meeting are why I have. So, get f**king wrecked to everyone saying that, to Rain saying that. Like, you weren’t there, you have no idea.”
May 28: Rain vs Grace feud heats up
Reacting to Grace’s comments, Rain called her “mid” – a remark he later backtracked and said he felt bad about.
But, this prompted a further response from Van Dien, who was also accused of going low, by referencing Rain’s past drug problems and overdose.
These comments from Grace were perhaps her first slip-up, where the ire shifted from FaZe Clan’s decision-making to her own actions, and caused some to turn on her.
However, a number of big-name streamers, including Asmongold and Hasan, reacted to the feud and backed Van Dien. “If you take the low road, I will meet you there”, Asmongold said of Grace’s comment about the overdose, as it had been in response to Rain’s comment on her appearance.
Hasan called Rain a “loser”, and mocked him bringing up trickshots in 2023. Disguised Toast was equally critical of the OG members.
xQc also weighed in – but targeted his criticism at FaZe itself. He argued there were “deserving” women in the gaming scene, and implied Grace had only been signed because she was ‘a girl’: “Why do people have to go out of their way and pick girls on the basis that they are girls, that aren’t even interested in the space. There’s so many girls out there that are doing good.”
May 30: Grace and Rain meet – and make it worse
Fans thought a resolution may be at hand when Rain confirmed he was going to meet with Grace on May 30. The pair were expected to explain their points of view and come to an understanding.
However, before the video of the meeting was posted, Rain said “It took a terrible turn”, despite being “nice respectful & understanding.” He said, “I genuinely don’t understand how it turned into that, I reiterated over and over I mean no harm and it’s literally just jokes on the internet and it just wasn’t enough.”
When the video was uploaded, Rain had spliced in his own reaction to the meeting, providing explanation and defense to Grace’s criticisms, such as old tweets of his that were deemed misogynistic.
Grace eventually left the room in tears and proclaimed she would leave FaZe if the video was uploaded.
May 31: FaZe Clan speaks out and defends Grace Van Dien
Following the video posted by Rain, FaZe Clan issued a public statement – it is the first since the signing of Grace and the ensuing drama.
“The mistreatment of our newest member is in no way OK. Grace joined in hopes to bring her voice to FaZe & we stand by her,” the statement read.
The statement was instantly met with derision from FaZe members Rain, Banks, Temperrr, and Censor.
Thomas ‘Temperrr’ Oliviera, formerly the CEO of FaZe Clan, tweeted, “corporate skull f**ked our brand, squeezed every last drop imaginable & is continuing to repeat that same process. I was building this brand long before money was even possible to be made. It’s always been about legacy first.”
June 1: Grace removes FaZe from bio
A small but possibly significant update on June 1, as Grace changed her Twitter bio from ‘faze bluefille’ to simply ‘bluefille.’ She also made her account private.
FaZe member Nate Hill, who featured in Grace’s announcement video, tweeted “Anybody wanna join FaZe?”, to which Grace replied, “Is this a joke?”
That’s the situation as it stands now. The original FaZe members continue to rally against what they describe as the “corporate” side of the brand. This corporate side is facing an even more meaningful challenge though – its share price, which continues to languish outside of Nasdaq compliance.