In 2020, Gabriel Gelinas participated in FaZe5, a recruitment challenge that searched for the next member of the prestigious FaZe Clan. Gelinas, known online as Proze, finished in the top 20 in that contest, but it wasn’t enough. He was eliminated and had to “go back into [his] cocoon” to work on his skills and wait for his next opportunity.
Flash forward two years: In 2022, FaZe launched a new recruitment challenge called Faze1, and Gelinas put himself back in the running. After several months of online competition and an in-person finale at the FaZe Warehouse in L.A., the Quebecois gamer emerged victorious. He will stream under the name FaZe Proze and will take home FaZe1’s grand prize, which includes a $1 million crypto payout from MoonPay.
How many people can say they snagged a million-dollar prize while snagging a partnership with an iconic gaming brand at the same time? We wanted to hear from Gelinas about what the experience was like, so we talked with the 24-year-old about his big win.
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Note: This interview has been lightly edited for clarity and length.
Tubefilter: I saw that you refer to yourself as a “sniper since day one.” Does that mean you’re a fan of Temperrr and FaZe’s other trickshot creators?
FaZe Proze: I truly am. It’s the whole reason why I started this, to be honest. I got inspired by the FaZe guys back in 2012 and that pushed me to actually pick up a controller and start sniping, too. So being here today is such a surreal experience.
TF: Any skills you think you’re particularly known for?
FP: Just like the FaZe boys, I’m a sniper. I’m a sniper on Call of Duty, on Warzone, on every single game. So that’s what I’m the best at.
Introducing the $1,000,000 #FAZE1 Champion, and the newest member of FaZe Clan:
🏆 @simplyproze pic.twitter.com/jkra2krGoC
— FaZe Clan (@FaZeClan) May 27, 2022
TF: What emotions were you feeling while you were competing in FaZe1?
FP: Honestly, it’s been the same since day one. I came in with a lot of confidence because I have a saying: If you don’t believe in yourself, who’s going to do it for you? During the show, I had a lot of people believing in me because they could see I was really confident and was being myself. I was having fun and I was portraying myself as the best version of who I can be. Whether I won or not, I was at peace with it because I had no regrets. I gave it everything I had, I was being myself, and I was ok with whatever happened.
TF: I hear a lot of people express a mentality of “FaZe or nothing.” Where do you think that comes from?
FP: It’s one simple thing: It’s the family. FaZe has always said “FaZe is a family” and you can clearly see it from day one. The people who are on the team have no interest in leaving. This is a culture of family, of supporting each other, and moving as a big unit. People are working toward the same goal and helping each other at the same time. I just got in yesterday and I can already feel this whole family. I’ve been welcomed with open arms, and I couldn’t be more grateful that what you see on the outside is actually what it’s like on the inside.
TF: Since winning FaZe1, have you had any memorable conversations?
FP: All my biggest inspirations from FaZe already reached out to me and said congratulations. I’ve also had really great tips given to me by the people who are working at FaZe. So publicists, people who work with the social media team, everyone. I’m already taking notes and looking forward to what I can do with them.
TF: Your channel is about to experience a lot of growth. Are you prepared to step up to the next level?
FP: I really am. I’ve been creating content for eight years. I’m no rookie in this business, and I’ve been a full-time content creator for a while. I felt ready for this one, and I’m glad FaZe saw that too, because there will be challenges but I’m up for it.
TF: You speak both French and English. How much do you plan to stream in each language going forward?
FP: It’s still to be determined. I’m fluent in both languages which is really cool. Does that mean I’ll create new channels, one in French and one in English? I don’t know, but it will be a good challenge, and I’ll find a way to blend those worlds together. That’s the beauty of my place in FaZe Clan, is being able to do that internationally.
TF: FaZe is also known for mixing gaming content with lifestyle content. What interests do you have outside of gaming?
FP: There was one video where I did acting for a whole month. I rented a mountain and did a whole scene. It was really deep, it was really challenging for me walking in the snow. And then I did another video which was me lighting myself on fire. So I’m pushing myself in every different direction outside of gaming, but it’s still the same brand of going further than anyone else and pushing yourself to be something more, which is the whole brand of FaZe Clan in my opinion.
TF: Now that you’ve joined FaZe Clan, do you have any plans to move, or are you staying in Quebec?
RP: To me, it is important to stay grounded, especially in these times. A lot has changed in the past 24 hours, so I want to keep myself grounded for a bit. But I will be traveling a lot, that is the big difference. I will be taking a lot of planes, going a lot of places, and meeting a lot of new people. I want to keep a place back home, but I want to travel as much as I can to be there for every opportunity.
For more from FaZe Proze, check him out on YouTube and Twitch.