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FaZe Dirty, Legendary FaZe 5 Winner, Talks History-In-The-Making

In the vaunted FaZe Clan history books there lie special chapters reserved only for a select few destined winners of “FaZe 5.” The prolific organization throws down the competition for up-and-coming gamers to stand a chance at being recruited, changing their lives forever.  Seven years ago to the day, FaZe ushered in a new member among its ranks who’s grown to become a staple within the organization.

To know one 27-year-old Curtis Henke, better known as FaZe Dirty, is to know an integral part of FaZe Clan’s history. On June 12, 2014, he joined them as the first chosen winner of the second FaZe 5 Recruitment Challenge. On June 12, 2021, he stands as an icon among icons, carving FaZe’s history into the esports record books.

FaZe Dirty

Washington Is The Reason: A Kid Named ‘Durtii’

Dirty was born in Utah, but grew up a little north of Seattle, Washington, after moving there when he was five. Bouncing around ten different homes by the time he was 12, he was always on the move and frequently pulled away from friend groups as a result. “My parents were indecisive,” Dirty jokes (pun adamantly intended.)

In third grade, the young upstart moved into a cul de sac of ten homes, seven of which housed kids his age—perfect for a young, adventurous kid who was always in the woods riding bikes. What’s more, growing up, gaming was as big a part of his life as anything else. Dirty showed signs of being a gaming maestro in the making as early as four years old when he hopped on a game of Quake (“wasn’t supposed to,” he admits) at a LAN party amongst his dad’s coworkers. Legend has it that lil’ Dirty took over in place of a departing guest and “was just dominating everybody.”

“I don’t remember that,” Dirty admits, “I’m sure he stretched the story a bit.” Nonetheless, Dirty was forever hooked on video games ever since. Early on, it were MMO-type games like World of Warcraft that really fascinated him. To this day, he credits WoW as his favorite of all time, with fond memories of playing with his friends, sister, and Dad, who got him into video games. Around 9th grade, that love would carry on into multiplayer shooters like Halo and Call of Duty 4 – a game that would change his life forever.

FaZe Dirty
Courtesy of Blizzard Entertainment

The bustling CoD scene was full of heavy-hitters back in the late 2000’s & early 2010’s. Names like Smoky Drft, zzirGrizz, OpTic Predator, and OpTic Rated were among the first to put high level Call of Duty gameplay/sniping on the map and were big inspirations for Dirty. Then, of course, there were the FaZe Clan members and their ILLCAMS, holy grails in the chronicles of trickshotting.

By this point, he was developing a style which would carry through to the present day: aggressive sniping in close-quarters combat. “I like to get close and personal with a sniper,” he says. “That’s just always what I loved doing.” With that kind of strategy, he’d soon put the name “Dirty” to good use.

Fun Fact: Dirty’s name originated as part of a CoD clan tag with friends. Each member was to choose a name ending in “ii” and starting with the letters of the alphabet staring with “A.” Dirty was the fourth member so his letter was “D.”—the icons before him were “Artzii,” “Boszkii,” “Cheekii,” and then “Durtii,” as it was spelled at the time. Stropse exclusive insight!

As an elite sniper “obsessed with battle royales,” Dirty is a natural at Warzone, his current game of choice. He was also heavy into Fortnite in its early stages, and even made a few lit Fortnite montages. Fans tune in daily on Twitch to watch the dirtiest player in the game rack up W’s and killstreaks. FaZe Dirty has built a sizable, supportive following as one of FaZe’s ace snipers with over 169k followers on Twitch, 125k on Instagram, 490k on Twitter, and over 500k YouTube subscribers and more than 52 million views.

Winning FaZe 5

The two FaZe 5’s in 2013 and 2014 were WILDLY different from last year’s iteration. Only Call of Duty gamers were invited and the objective was simply to hit as many quality, raw clips as you could within two-week periods. One thing that was the same though was FaZe’s mission to recruit five new members to the squad.

Last year’s extraordinary FaZe 5 was certainly a spectacle to behold, and all of FaZe Clan was watching very closely. “There was just so many different talented people who entered. When I did it, CoD, trickshotting, and sniping– that was the categories,” Dirty said, thinking back on the RC. “It was really cool to see from the inside now that I’m in the team, but if I was on the outside, I’d be terrified.”

Dirty’s four-month FaZe 5 grind in 2014 was powered by nothing more than G FUEL, innate skill on the sticks, and a desire to be a part of the world’s greatest gaming organization— hitting clips all Day ‘N’ Nite with very little sleep while working a full-time job at The North Face. His top-notch sniping carried him throughout the competition, but it was his final submission—a Call of Duty addiction skit—that he heavily credits as his “golden ticket” into FaZe.

“…everybody loved it. I think that if I never made that video, then I don’t think I would’ve joined. That was around the time they were starting to transition to personal {IRL} YouTube stuff.”

Dirty emptied the proverbial clips on the competition en route to becoming FaZe’s no. 1 overall selection in 2014 and earning a spot amongst the elite. A week later, he joined his FaZe brothers at a Call of Duty event in Anaheim, which is still one of his favorite memories with FaZe.

“It was such a grind,” he says of his FaZe 5 experience. “I would just play all day. I did a really good job at managing my time while still working. {Or} I guess I just wasn’t sleeping much.”

Living in the G FUEL Mansion + Present Day

From living in ten different homes as a youth to ridin’ dirty with a scooter through a mansion—now that’s a come up.

The partnership between FaZe and G FUEL is one of the longest-running in esports. G FUEL has been a FaZe sponsor since 2012, and at this point, the identities of the two brands are practically synonymous with one another. As a result, Dirty has a close relationship with some of the top brass of the brand. 

One day, during a snowboarding trip in Vail, Colorado, Dirty casually pitched the idea of moving to NY sponsored by G FUEL to Chief Partnership Officer Sal Triolo—a thought he described as “a shot in the dark.”

In typical FaZe sniper fashion, that “shot” penetrated the thoughts of management and shortly thereafter a plan was set in motion to make it happen. In February of last year, Dirty moved into the G FUEL mansion in Long Island alongside teammate and close friend FaZe Thiefs and formerly FaZe Tilts.

He even finessed the master bedroom.

COVID-19 unfortunately shut down the bigger plans for the mansion. The initial goal was to have five FaZe guys living there, but the global pandemic and delayed Visas rainchecked that idea. Nonetheless, living in such a grand residence while making a living playing video games has been a gamer’s dream for Dirty.

“I love it. It’s been so dope. G FUEL has been a huge help. I love those guys.”

As a seven-year vet, Dirty is one of the longest tenured members in all of FaZe and one of only three previous FaZe 5 winners (minus last year’s recruits) still with the team today—an accolade he shares with the Agony twins, who joined alongside him in 2014.

“It’s crazy to think about. Even the three years that I wasn’t in FaZe {since they started in 2010} feels like a lifetime ago,” Dirty explained. He also explains that he doesn’t consider himself a FaZe OG, to which he says everyone tells him, “Bro, you’re an OG to FaZe.”

As he approaches the seventh year of his FaZe career, Dirty’s presence has become a crucial chapter in FaZe lore. From FaZe 5 hopeful to FaZe Clan OG, Dirty is a prime example of what a passionate gamer can accomplish in the flourishing esports and gaming scene.  

“When I joined it was literally life changing. Over the years, my ‘amaze for FaZe’ has only gotten bigger,” he says.  “What FaZe is doing now is just so crazy. Back then it was only about Call of Duty clips, but now the people who are a part of FaZe is just crazy!”

Over quarantine, the Warzone sniper has even established friendships with NFL star Odell Beckham Jr. and rap star Schoolboy Q, which he enthusiastically proclaims is “mind-blowing” to him.

As he continues to grind with the organization of his dreams, Dirty shows no signs of slowing down anytime soon. The many FaZe memories and experiences still in store for CurtieDirty promise to be exciting ones, and we look forward to another successful seven-year-and-beyond run for him!

FaZe Up.

Follow Dirty on all of his platforms:

Twitch: twitch.tv/dirty

Twitter: twitter.com/FaZeDirty

YouTube: youtube.com/user/ImCurtiz

Instagram: instagram.com/FaZeDirty/

TikTok: tiktok.com/@fazedirty?

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