Kris Lamberson, popularly known as FaZe Swagg, made it on the Forbes 30 under 30 List in 2022 for turning his passion into a money-making avenue. He was born a triplet in Santa Monica and moved to Phoenix Arizona with his family when he was very young; turning towards a career in basketball when he was growing up.
He won many trophies as a basketball player, which earned him a scholarship at the Arizona Christian University. His nickname, Swagg is short for ‘Serve Worship and Glorify God,” according to Sportskeeda.
Lamberson discovered video games during his high school days and began with Call of Duty Ghost, which he wasn’t good at. However, in a bid to prove himself and get better at playing the game, he dedicated early mornings to playing video games before he went to school.
His father, Bill Lamberson who doubled as his basketball coach, noticed his son’s fixation on video games. “I told him as long as he’s doing the video games and he’s keeping up with this school and he’s keeping up with basketball, I’m fine with it, but I never knew it was going to be this big,” he told Fox10 Phoenix.
Lamberson ultimately injured his right arm, which caused him to retire from playing basketball for his university. His dreams of one day playing for the NBA had been cut short. However, his injury gave him an opportunity to pay more attention to his gaming passion.
In an interview with Victory Journal, he explained that his successful basketball career was a bubble he found himself in and when his labrum tore, that bubble opened up. He also shared that he found solace in video games.
“I was trying to find something to fill that void and gaming was there. It was just all-encompassing. By the end of the six months, by the time I recovered, my whole passion had already changed from basketball to gaming, ” he said.
Lamberson recorded his games and shared them online. Variety notes that he pleaded to his mother to allow him to take a semester off to test how well he could do if he focused on just playing and streaming video games.
In 2020, Lamberson was approached to join FaZe Clan, the famous eSports organization, as part of their team of creators. He was very excited about the opportunity because according to him, he had been following them for many years and he looked up to them.
On joining the team, Lamberson became the first Black member of FaZe Clan, as well as the most visible and most viewed Black gamer on Twitch. He desires and encourages more Black gamers to join Twitch.
He said “An aspiring content creator who’s Black, they see that, and maybe they get a little discouraged. So for me, I just try to be that inspiration where they see me having 20,000 viewers and go, ‘Wait if he can do it, maybe I can as well. I can actually make this a career because I really love gaming.’”
With his help, three of his friends joined him to form the Nuke Squad – together, they have won many gaming tournaments.