​FaZe Clan’s Hollywood Pop-Up Shop
Courtesy of FaZe Clan

FaZe Clan Announces New West Hollywood Pop-Up Shop

Though it’s not an invite to FaZe Clan’s Burbank mansion, fans of the Los Angeles-based esports and entertainment organization will soon be able to plug themselves into its hype house vibes with the launch of a new pop-up store.

Founded in 2010, FaZe Clan has grown from a small group of gaming YouTubers into a conglomerate of professional esports games, celebrity investors and brand partnerships.

Open during select times and days from May 14 to June 10, The Armory—located at the primo L.A. retail coordinates of Melrose and Fairfax—will be FaZe Clan's first-ever immersive gaming lounge and retail store, the company said in a statement Monday. Livestream shopping platform and FaZe Clan partner NTWRK will oversee the store, designed by FaZe's newly-appointed creative director Jay "JVY" Richardson.

Operating in both physical and digital realms, The Armory will sell FaZe Clan’s custom gaming products and merchandise. Some of the drops will necessitate actually being physically present at the store—a page taken from the playbook of its new retail neighbor, Supreme.

The Armory will also host tournaments and events for the length of its installation, giving fans an opportunity to experience the events that FaZe Clan is known for. Different showrooms will host retail offerings, esports gaming setups and a central screen for console gaming.

“Our approach with this pop-up is showing the fans what's next and where we're at in the future already,” Richardson said in a statement. “The store itself is essentially the vortex entry point and it's being conveyed through the graphics of all the featured items you'll see.”

While this move is set to get the blood of FaZe’s millions of young fans pumping, it may be a smokescreen masking legitimate concerns about the financial state of its business. After announcing plans to go public in a merger with a valuation of $1 billion last year and jumping the gun by adding Snoop Dogg to its board of directors, Sports Business Journal reported last week that SEC filings revealed FaZe to be operating under heavier losses than they’d originally claimed.

The amendment showed FaZe’s EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization) currently sits at an adjusted loss of nearly $29 million. (The brand’s original estimated EBITDA showed a $19 million loss.) And since the December 31 deadline for its merger with special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) sponsored by investment bank B. Riley has blown by, FaZe will be unable to access the 75% of proceeds from the SPAC’s $173 million trust account and a planned $118 million private investment in public equity (PIPE) investment it was counting on, SBJ reported.

Meaning: FaZe isn’t making anywhere near enough money to sustain its costs—and with no way to tap into investment funds, the only thing it’s managed to raise is skepticism that FaZe is esports first real unicorn.

Whether or not a flashy pop-up like The Armory can generate enough money to keep a household of gaming influencers in their accustomed lifestyles—let alone sway a market that’s seen scores of SPAC mergers terminated amid bearish market conditions—is anyone’s guess.

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Kristin Snyder

Kristin Snyder is dot.LA's 2022/23 Editorial Fellow. She previously interned with Tiger Oak Media and led the arts section for UCLA's Daily Bruin.