Esports attract kids, not just as spectators, but as players. Kids playing video games is obviously nothing new. If you’re anything like me, you’re already cycling through memories of childhood games and how they turned you into the gamer you are today. However, gaming now offers new opportunities, and some of them are life-changing. For kids and their gaming families, events like the FaZe 5 Recruitment Challenge are incredible chances to build an amazing future in esports. For others, it’s questionable, particularly for kids and teenagers that might choose video games over a familiar and traditional path like college.
In 2019, UCLA carried the largest number of college applicants out of any other college in the 2019-2020 admissions cycle. More than 100,000 applied to be a student at UCLA. FaZe 5 applicants nearly doubled the number with over 200,000.
colleges w/ the most applications in 2019:
1. UCLA: 111,322
2. UC San Diego: 99,133
3. UC Irvine: 95,568
4. UC Berkley: 93,457
5. UC Santa Barbara: 87,839
applications to join @FaZeClan this year:
kids still want to go to Cali- just for different reasons#FaZe5
— Jeremy Barbara (@JeremyBarbara) October 27, 2020
To some, it’s an era of instant success. Becoming a part of even the top 100 in the FaZe 5 Recruitment Challenge can funnel in a wave of success in a way that college just can’t immediately provide. FaZe 5 is a goal, whereas college is an investment that more people are becoming hesitant to jump into. So what is the future of success?
The youngest applicant to make the top 100 is Warzone prodigy Rowdy Rogan. Should he join the team, he would become the youngest member so far. Currently the youngest creator on FaZe is H1ghSky at 13 years old. Rowdy Rogan is only six, but he knows how to build an audience.
With over 100 thousand followers on Twitch and 130 thousand subscribers on YouTube, the six year old Warzone player can already be labeled as a successful content creator. However, he also has the support of his parents, particularly his father Harry Drew who helped Rowdy Rogan create his viral video for FaZe 5.
In the clip, Rogan’s account is seen to be locked in the main menu, showing that he has been banned from the game. Viewers watched as Rogan, obviously upset, goes to his father who promises that they’ll get his account back. The clip stirred up an incredible amount of outrage toward Activision, as many assumed Rogan’s ban was due to his age. No one wanted to watch a kid lose his dream.
As some of you know, Rogan was banned from Warzone on stream tonight. The Team and us are currently trying to handle the situation and will keep you guys updated. Thank you for all the support. #FreeRogan pic.twitter.com/df1B28Fa8R
— RowdyRogan (@RowdyRogan) December 10, 2020
Soon after, it was revealed that the clip was a stunt created by Rogan’s parents specifically for the FaZe 5 competition. Even if Rowdy Rogan fails to make it into FaZe Clan, the kid is already becoming one of the most popular content creators today. Should he (and his parents) continue to cultivate his Twitch and YouTube career after the recruitment challenge, Rogan’s future could already be sealed. In addition, his fame and success could ignite the same mission for other families who want to push their own skilled gamers into the spotlight.
Esports > College?
Only time will tell.