Getting paid handsomely to play video games competitively is apparently enough for these members of FaZe Clan.
The popular gaming clan that boasts famous members like Offset, Lil Yachty, and Ben Simmons is back in the news. This time, Decrypt reports that FaZe Clan punished four members for their involvement in a pump-and-dump scheme capitalizing off the Save the Kids cryptocurrency project.
According to the report, FaZe Clan suspended Jarvis, Nikan, and Teeqo and gave Kay the boot from the organization for their involvement in the scheme. The players in question promoted “Save the Kids (KIDS), a Binance Smart Chain-based cryptocurrency project billed as a charity initiative.” On the coin’s website, which is now offline, the project was supposed to donate 1% of each transaction fee (3% of the transacted amount) to the Binance Charity wallet that would go on to benefit a kid-centric charity foundation. The influencers claimed that investors would benefit from the growing use of the coin.
But that’s not what happened. Instead, developers pulled out suddenly following the coin’s dramatic dip in value.
After the project went live in early June, the coin’s price dropped nearly 90% in just three days, suggesting that developers used the gaming influencers’ considerable reach to boost the value of the coin before selling and pulling the rug out from investors—a classic pump and dump scheme.
FaZe Clan immediately put out a statement late Thursday (Jul. 1) evening distancing itself from those involved in the scheme announcing it had “absolutely no involvement with our members’ activity in the cryptocurrency space” while pointing out it “strongly condemn[s] their behavior.”
As mentioned above, this isn’t the first time FaZe Clan, known as the “bad boys” of Esports, has been in trouble with crypto schemes. According to Engadget, Kay and clan co-founder FaZe Banks were paid to promote another coin, BankSocial, back in May. They wound up selling before exiting the partnership, raising eyebrows while Banks did not reveal any financial connection in a series of now-deleted tweets.
Banks also famously got in trouble for trashing a Las Vegas hotel room he was staying in, racking up $30K in damages. FaZe Clan and Encore told TMZ at the time it would be working together to resolve the issue.
This is an entirely different situation because the Feds would be watching.
We are interested to see how this story pans out.
Photo: Luke Walker / Getty