LeBron Raymone James Jr.’s signing with esports and influencer marketing organization FaZe Clan has been met with mixed reactions from the gaming community. James, aka Bronny, was signed on Aug. 30.
Bronny, the son of Lakers forward LeBron James, is an amateur gamer when he’s not turning heads on the high school basketball court. He currently has a modest 4.3 million followers on TikTok and 330,000 followers on Twitch.
FaZe said James will stream “Call of Duty: Warzone,” Epic Games’ “Fortnite” and, of course, “NBA 2K.”
Terms of the deal were not disclosed, but FaZe noted that James will likely both stream games live and produce content for its newly-established video studio. FaZe is clearly looking to capitalize on James’ existing celebrity and brand to boost its own social following, but James will also profit — a Sept. 2019 ruling signed by California Gov. Gavin Newsom allows collegiate athletes to make money off the use of their likeness just as pro athletes do.
The internet’s reaction to James’ recruitment into FaZe was mixed. Some fans were excited the esports organization is recruiting more big-name players from the traditional sports world, like NBA player Ben Simmons, who joined the organization last week after backing a recent Series B raise (terms of that raise have not yet been disclosed). FaZe also recruited Portland Trail Blazers player Meyers Leonard and Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Juju Smith-Schuster to join the organization last year.
Other fans noted that it’s been 18 days since James’ last stream on Twitch, which might as well be an eternity in the ephemeral space of live-streaming entertainment — but FaZe will no doubt capitalize on any viewers James will attract regardless.
One of FaZe’s esports teams, the Atlanta FaZe, came in second place at this year’s “Call of Duty” World Championships event held Aug. 30, taking home roughly $900,000 in winnings out of a $4.5 million prize pool.
Check out some reactions to James’ joining FaZe Clan below.
He's got n̶e̶x̶t̶ now.
Join us in welcoming Bronny James to FaZe Clan ? pic.twitter.com/bbWAPUqHJr
— FaZe Clan (@FaZeClan) August 30, 2020
When u realize FaZe is Ez AF backwards & if that didnt disrespect the gaming world enough they make a move like this? Sorry not sorry, Brony didnt earn this spot his dad bought it. $5 said they didnt even make him try out. PR or bust after losing the COD 2020 championship. Lol.
— Mr. Nickell (@MrNickellJOEPRO) August 31, 2020
I honestly don’t agree bronny being recruited by the faze clan. Bronny has everything, his dad is LEBRON JAMES FOR FUCK SAKE. There are other true gamers who grind their ass off to be in a org and here’s faze signing bronny for clout. Pathetic.
— ᴿᵒᵇ (@killemopps) August 31, 2020
Accurate but bronny is a all around goat. FaZe picks up a lot of different people based on the game they play and more. They picked up bronny mostly for his content. He streams on twitch and pull like 5k avarage. He is the best for his age at basketball and a lot more.
— what tha fawk? (@hextzzz) August 31, 2020
Faze isn’t the only one benefiting from this like I said both of there names get out there from this and a lot of traction has been brought to both parties not all of faze clan fans are all fortnite kids
— Zay (@zay0z_) August 30, 2020