When it comes to video game content creators, Eric “ClipZ” Rivera has done it all.
ClipZ started out on YouTube in 2010 as a co-founder of FaZe Clan. FaZe earned a reputation because of their trickshotting and creative use of the killcams in Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2. Since then, FaZe has grown into one of the most popular esports organisations in the world.
ClipZ himself has added music and fashion alongside gaming to become a more rounded content creator. He is popular on all social media platforms, with his TikTok in particular taking off, with nearly 14 million likes acros his videos.
ClipZ has also collaborated with various celebrities and professional athletes, helping to bridge the world of esports with pop culture. His recent signing with Ford Models is another step in broadening that connection.
We had the chance to ask ClipZ some questions about his career and his approach to his content, as well as about the industry in general. Check it out!
Let’s go back to the beginning: what originally got you interested in posting clips on YouTube?
ClipZ: Originally, I was interested in the early Call of Duty YouTubers: HECZ, M40A3 Predator, zzirgrizz, and a few others. They inspired me to create videos of my own.
You co-founded FaZe in 2010 with House Cat and Resistance. In an era where online gaming clans were a dime a dozen, what do you think made FaZe stand out?
ClipZ: I feel like what made us stand out was the fact that Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 was the first Call of Duty game that incorporated killcams (a replay of the last kill of the game) and we made videos of doing trickshots for that last kill. We created a play on words for the title of the series: we called them “illcams!” Pretty much just flashy eliminations for the last kill and we were the ones who created that. Being innovators so early on definitely played a huge part in FaZe becoming what it is today.
You’ve mentioned before that Temperrr was originally a graphic designer for FaZe before starting to run more operations for the group. How did you two connect originally?
ClipZ: Originally, Resistance and I were hosting competitive sniping tryouts for Call of Duty and Temperrr stood out in the group of players we were looking at. He also had experience with graphic design so that made it much more of an easier choice to bring him onto the team.
You’ve been able to replicate your initial success on multiple platforms, and have moved outside of gaming to include fashion and music in your content. How do you approach the different social media platforms?
ClipZ: I like to approach it like I do anything else in life: be myself, create what I would like to watch or consume, and incorporate my lifestyle into my brand.
It’s been said that influencers should “go where their audience is”; rather than trying to have a presence everywhere, they should allocate time and resources to where they are getting results. Do you follow this same viewpoint? How valuable is it to be on all platforms?
ClipZ: When it comes to being a tastemaker in any industry, it is very important to be on all platforms. You need to see what’s working and what’s not. How can you stay ahead if you’re not touching all bases? Part of finding out what works is figuring out what doesn’t.
You’ve played games with celebrities and athletes; there’s a growing trend of public figures from other areas of pop culture coming into the streaming and esports sphere. How important is it for established content creators and organizations in esports to link up and try to connect with these people?
ClipZ: Bridging the gap between these industries and individuals is so important. Entertainment isn’t going anywhere; every day, music, gaming, fashion, and sports become more and more popular. So when we all connect and share a light on everything we all have to offer is opening doors for so many people.
Without these crossovers we wouldn’t have Fortnite and Ninja’s popularity, esports on ESPN, and so much more. In my opinion, It’s definitely a crucial part for content creators and influencers to find ways to connect with pop culture.
Finally, with the recent wave of sexual misconduct and harassment in streaming and various competitive communities, what role do you think public figures and organizations have in setting a better example for the future? What do you think needs to be done to create as welcoming and safe a community as possible?
ClipZ: Sexual misconduct and harassment is never okay and as someone with a platform I think it’s my job to make sure I carry myself in the most professional way possible. It’s sad to see so many stories of people going through this especially in the gaming community. I hope to find ways I can use my platform to create awareness for this.
(Questions and answers have been edited for clarity.)