The next gaming personality we'll tell you about in our influencer series is Richard Bengston, better known as FaZe Banks. Controversy is this man's middle name, so you're in for an interesting read.
FaZe Banks' most recent activities on social media involved him sharing footage from a New Year's Eve party, for which he received a lot of well-deserved scrutiny. In case you haven't heard of the guy, here's a short version of his journey: FaZe Banks was first a YouTuber, then a Call of Duty player, a member of FaZe Clan, and is now COO of the latter. Not a bad CV. He's come a long way with a very... acquired style, which has also caused one or two controversies along the road.
Beef With Jake Paul
Among other things, FaZe Banks got into a spat with none other than Jake Paul. In 2017, Jake claimed FaZe Banks had hit a woman from his team. Banks knew nothing about it, then spoke of a possible accident. Eventually it was all cleared up and Jake Paul retracted the allegations. A failed attempt to damage Banks' reputation maybe? If that was the case, it did not work.
Stress With the Ex
For about two years, FaZe Banks was dating YouTuber Alissa Violet. The relationship ended suddenly, but Banks maintained that it was a mutual decision. Then Alissa started talking of serial cheating by Banks and up to eight broken smartphones. Fits of aggression were a common thing for Banks if his ex is to be trusted. He did admit a lot of wrongdoings on his part within the relationship, but the whole thing was swept up quickly under the carpet. Weird in these times of online judging without proof.
Accusations by Tfue
All this was nothing compared to the allegations made by then FaZe Clan member Turner "Tfue" Tenney in 2019. He accused FaZe Clan, and Banks in particular, of forcing a suffocating contract on him, according to which he would have to give up large parts of his income (e.g., through merchandise or prize money from tournaments) to the organization. He leaked the contract, which was probably legitimate. He was also allegedly incited to drink alcohol, although he was under 21 at the time, i.e., underaged according to US law, and engage in other questionable activities.
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FaZe Banks responded to the allegations in a YouTube video entitled "Dear Tfue," expressing shock and confusion. He said he had enabled Tfue to do everything and never made a single dollar off him. The dispute went on for over a year before dying out without a clear public conclusion.
What's Next for FaZe Banks?
The video aimed at his ex-buddy Tfue is the most recent one on FaZe Banks' YouTube channel. Since then, he wanted to concentrate more on his company and make FaZe Clan big. Along the way, he was always involved in minor drama, especially on Twitter, but overall it seems to be working out well for him. FaZe Clan has been able to attract many top players and even hosts its own Fortnite tournament, the FaZe City Cup, together with football team Manchester City.
As promised, that was a dramatically interesting read... we hope. If you have anything to say about Banks' New Year Eve party or his general persona, feel free to do so on our Facebook, Twitter and Discord.
Check out our YouTube channel for some visuals, if reading and writing's not your thing.
Original article by EarlyGame's Laura Pippig.