FaZe Dirty: The origin story of an original FaZe 5 winner
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There are young people around the world that aspire to do what they love in gaming for a living, but few can make those dreams a reality. Curtis “FaZe Dirty” Henke was one of the few that turned those aspirations into reality when he won FaZe 5 in 2014 and quit his job at The North Face to become a content creator.

FaZe Dirty inspired by FaZe Clan

FaZe Clan was founded in May of 2010, when three players — Eric “CLipZ” Rivera, Jeff “House Cat” Emann and Ben “Resistance” Christensen — began trickshotting during Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2. The groups’ Call of Duty videos took off on YouTube; they focusing primarily on personality and social media instead of other channels that focused on winning tournaments. FaZe Dirty had always enjoyed playing Call of Duty and he was drawn in by the brand that FaZe Clan was creating.

“Ever since FaZe had about 50,000 subscribers, that’s when I first learned about them,” FaZe Dirty said when asked if he had always wanted to be a part of FaZe Clan. “That’s what inspired me to keep making YouTube videos and do what they do. Back then, I was… very bad. The passion kept driving me to get better and better.”

FaZe Clan started “FaZe 5” to showcase upcoming creators in the gaming scene and potentially recruit them to their prestigious organization. Each year, FaZe Clan hosts the same tournament with the prize of five new members joining the organization. In 2014, at twenty years old, FaZe dirty saw this as his opportunity to live out his dream.

“Back then, FaZe 5 was a little bit different because it was mainly just about sniping on Call of Duty,” explained FaZe Dirty. “There wasn’t a lot more to it than that. Whoever hit the most clips stood out more and that was really the main focus back then.”

FaZe Dirty explains how he got into sniping

One of FaZe Dirty’s friends introduced him to quickscoping during the era of MW2; the same platform where FaZe Clan had gotten its start.

He explained that Quickscoping is shooting as soon as a player zooms in with their scope. However, in MW2, if a player died to quick-scoping, it would look as though their opponent hadn’t scoped in at all, he added. This technique inspired the Call of Duty community to form a new way of playing. After MW2, sniping in Call of Duty soon became a must for anyone that was looking for views on YouTube.

FaZe Dirty poses for promotional shoot with new GFUEL flavor.
FaZe Dirty displaying G Fuel, FaZe’s No.1 sponsor. | Provided by FaZe Dirty

“I would try to do it [snipe] and not zoom in all the way like in the kill cams and it would never work,” said FaZe Dirty about his first attempts in quickscoping. “For a couple of days I was down bad and I thought I was terrible. Then, one of my friends finally told me that it wasn’t what I was supposed to be doing.”

It was through practice and montage watching that FaZe Dirty finally got the grasp of quickscoping. He explained that one of the first people he watched and tried emulating was a guy named Smoky DRFT. Smoky made drifting videos, with Call of Duty sniping videos on the side, as a part of the DRFT Clan.

The etymology behind the gamertag “Dirty”

Many members of FaZe Clan have one-word names that distinguish them from other members. Some of the most notable members of FaZe Clan are Thomas “Temperrr” Oliveira, Richard “Banks” Bengston and Nordan “Rain” Shat. However, FaZe Dirty got his name from friends he’d met in his Junior year of high school.

“I met them through Call of Duty but they lived right next to me and they all had matching gamertags,” FaZe Dirty stated. “One of them was Artzii, Bozkii, Cheekii and so they were all matching. The next letter [in the alphabet] was D so I had to come up with something that started with D and ended with ii. I ended up doing Durtii and, ever since then, I went with that gamertag. Whenever I would switch my tag or join a team I would always go by Dirty.”

FaZe Dirty shows off exclusive GFUEL overalls on his Twitch stream.
FaZe Dirty showing off his G Fuel overalls. | Provided by FaZe Dirty

Now, FaZe Dirty is known as one of the best snipers to ever touch Call of Duty and Warzone. He has over 490,000 followers on Twitter, half a million subscribers on YouTube and 166,000 followers on Twitch.

One of his most popular videos was from nearly a year ago, when Warzone first released. FaZe Dirty dropped into a hundred-player lobby and dropped 41 kills sniping with the Kar98. This video has gained nearly half a million views and 11,000 likes.

After over six years with FaZe Clan, FaZe Dirty continues to grind while living in the Long Island, New York, G FUEL mansion. This is alongside FaZe Thiefs and other FaZe streamers and content creators.

FaZe Dirty had dreams of one day becoming a member of the elusive FaZe Clan. After making these dreams a reality, he has a message for others who may want to follow in his footsteps.

“Give it your best but don’t drop everything,” FaZe Dirty said about making a life out of content creation. “When I joined FaZe through Faze 5, I was still working my job and still spent time with my girlfriend back then. All your extra free time, use that. Maybe get less sleep to put more work into what should start as a hobby. If you drop everything, you could be really disappointed quick because not everyone gets viewership overnight.”

Danny Appleford is an esports journalist for Upcomer that started writing for Daily Esports in 2020. He now specializes in articles surrounding League of Legends, Call of Duty, VALORANT and Halo.