Grand Rapids gamer turns video game passion into esports career

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Luke Sharretts began playing video games in 2005 after his dad bought him a PlayStation 2 from Circuit City. Courtesy FaZe Clan

A few years ago, high school was ending for Luke Sharretts, and his parents were encouraging him to get a job or go to college.

He wasn’t interested in either.

“The only thing I really, really, really wanted to do was play video games because that was my passion,” Sharretts said.

That passion turned into a reality at the beginning of 2021.

Sharretts, better known as “FaZe Scope” to the esports world, was announced as the sixth winner of FaZe Clan’s #FaZe5 challenge in January. FaZe Clan, an esports organization, aims to recruit new members through this challenge. This year, the challenge attracted more than 211,000 applicants, and due to the intense competition, FaZe Clan expanded the winners from five to six, creating an open spot for Sharretts.

Winning the challenge and joining FaZe Clan was a dream come true for Sharretts.

The path to FaZe

The 22-year-old Maryland native and current Grand Rapids resident began playing video games in 2005 after his dad bought him a PlayStation 2 from Circuit City.

“That’s when it began; the addiction started,” Sharretts said.

He remembers playing games like “Tony Hawk: Underground” and “Guitar Hero.” Then in 2007, he was introduced to the first-person shooter “Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare.”

“That was it,” he said. “Call of Duty all day.”

In 2008, Sharretts made a specialty out of sniping, and when a group of sniping “trickshotters” named FaZe Clan formed in 2010, Sharretts paid attention. Sharretts said he remembers the FaZe Clan YouTube channel hitting 100,000 subscribers. Currently, the channel has 8.62 million subscribers.

Sharretts began working on his own content creation, posting videos of gameplay on YouTube. Around the same time, in 2013, FaZe Clan started its first esports team. He said he remembers members of FaZe seeing his content and giving him shoutouts, or “props,” for impressive gameplay clips.

“When I saw that, I was like, ‘Man, if I can get their respect, if I can get their attention, I can actually do this,’” he said.

Toward the end of high school, with a career playing video games now a conceivable option, Sharretts began doing livestreams of his gameplay on Twitch and producing more content for YouTube. He also set his eyes on joining FaZe Clan.

“Wait, I can actually turn this into something,” he remembered thinking. “And if I’m going to turn this into something, if I’m going to make money off of video games, I want to do it with FaZe.”

Shortly after graduating from high school, Sharretts moved to Michigan, rooming with a long-time friend he’d met online in “Call of Duty.” This same roommate can be seen in Sharretts’ #Faze5 challenge reaction video.

“It felt like everything came full circle,” Sharretts said. “The fact that I met him in 2010 over the internet: we were just kids having fun. Now, we’re living together playing ‘Call of Duty,’ and I got recruited to my dream organization with him right next to me. It was the best moment of my life, for sure.”

Making an impact

Sharretts said he often hears people say that video games make you antisocial.

“It seems like people can’t really understand — this is a (career) now,” he said.

He contends that video games aren’t just a single-player game with no human interaction. Sharretts thinks it’s the exact opposite, remembering Xbox Live conversations he had as an 11-year-old with people from Portugal and the Netherlands, “People that I normally would have never talked to in a million years.”

When asked about the community that has grown around him, Sharretts said they’ve changed his life.

His Twitch community allowed him to start making money and pursue video games as a career in the first place, and he continues to interact directly with these viewers during livestreams, answering their questions, sometimes having “heart-to-heart” conversations. Sharretts also has a “top plays” series on YouTube, where he shouts out viewers for impressive gameplay clips.

Meeting the members of his community face to face is something Sharretts said he misses, as conventions and other in-person events have been made virtual due to COVID-19.

Sharretts said he is excited to inspire people as he represents FaZe. He remembers the huge impact the FaZe members had on him growing up and hopes to do the same — influencing people to pick a path they love and continue pursuing it when it gets hard — even if he can only make “a fourth of an impact as those guys did.”

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