Callum is a veteran in the Call of Duty online community, writing and engaging with social media platforms for over 6 years - IPlayCOD is his bread and butter, now excitedly expanding into the VALORANT space
In the vast world of social media, it’s easy to believe your voice isn’t being heard. It’s almost as if you’re alone, among a sea of people – shouting aimlessly into the void. Isolation. But imagine, for a moment, a group of like-minded people coming together to share their passions with each other, and the world – creating content that expresses those passions, and allows strangers to participate in an open conversation about the things we love the most. Video Games. Today, we are going to take a deep-dive into the world of KARNAGE Clan, a family like no other.
KARNAGE Clan came from humble beginnings, originally a group created for Modern Warfare 3 in late 2011 by Landon “Apollo” (CEO of KARNAGE), with the intention of meeting new people who loved gaming as much as Landon does. It became clear rather quickly that Landon would not be the only one sharing in the ideology of “togetherness” and family. KARNAGE would continue on to become one of the most successful, and highest placing Call of Duty clans in Modern Warfare 3, and thus the KARNAGE Clan YouTube account was born.
Now boasting close to one million subscribers on YouTube, KARNAGE is proving that it’s not just about the views, the followers and the fame, but about the people it brings together. Whether that be new team members, or those who follow them. Through community events such as “Recruitment Challenges” – in which users are encouraged to submit their most creative and entertaining work, in order to be considered for joining the team, and partnering with brands such as; Scuf; Respawn; KontrolFreek and GFUEL, this extraordinary group of creators is taking the medium by storm.
We were lucky enough to sit down with a few of their longest running and most influential members in order to understand more about them, and why content creation teams really are the future of entertainment. We wanted to know more about why KARNAGE is different to already established teams and how they help creators find a footing in a saturated and done-to-death space like YouTube.
We’d like to start off with words from the CEO of KARNAGE, Landon “Apollo” on why he created KARNAGE. We want to find out what it means to him, and others, and what the future of KARNAGE Clan looks like.
“KARNAGE started out as a Call of Duty Elite clan in Modern Warfare 3. With how much time I was spending gaming, I thought to myself…”Why not start something of my own? Build something, with the intent of meeting other people who also enjoyed gaming as much as I did.” So, that is what I did.
KARNAGE grew quickly to become one of the highest placing, and most consistent teams, eventually creating a YouTube channel and focusing more on high quality gameplay/commentary. Inevitably we would move into the space of true content creation. I have always been a people person and with gaming, it can be lonely – but only if you choose for it to be.
With gaming, it can be lonely – but only if you choose for it to be.
A big part of starting this team was the idea that we could bring people together, start a brand that we could all collectively get behind and support, be proud of, and push. KARNAGE has evolved over the years to become what it is today: family. When we say family, we mean it in its truest form. Not only do we spend massive amounts of time gaming with each other, hours in calls talking about life but we hangout in person all the time whether it be meet ups with fans, photoshoots in New York/Texas for Collection X and GFuel Shaker launches, capture events in Los Angeles, massive gaming events like the Fortnite World Cup, partying at the Lavo in Manhattan with the GFUEL crew or hanging out around the pool at the KARNAGE House in Houston – one of the newest expansions for the team. We’re always hanging out, supporting each other, and helping our teammates out where they need it. Hell, it even gets more personal – ProHenis and eColiEspresso both came out to my college graduation…and I can see many of us attending each-others weddings in the future (at least I know everyone in KRNG is invited to mine).
I love my teammates like family and I am so excited for the future. We still have so much work ahead of us. Our future involves bigger and better apparel launches, apparel that makes you feel good and fashionable, lifestyle clothing is what you could refer to it as. Our content will only get better, though it will always involve gaming, our personalities will continue to shine in future content created at the KARNAGE house like our “GFuel Pong” and “Gingerbread building competition” videos. Our community building skills will continue to grow and strengthen as we find more ways to involve those who support us the most in our brand – directly. We will always be about community. Always. It is why we are here – so our love for those will never dissipate or be neglected.
eSports is another space KARNAGE will venture into. Building incredibly skillful teams with strong personalities that will win in competitions and our community will want to stand behind. Our ability to support future eSport teams is growing and we will enter into the scene like no other. There is no other team, in my own opinion, that can compete with the level of skill, passion, and dedication that those in KARNAGE obtain. Those in KARNAGE are what makes us successful, the personalities. I could not be more excited about the future of KARNAGE.”
I love my teammates like family and I am so excited for the future
We also took the time to sit down with YouTube personality eColiEspresso, who progressed through the ranks to find himself co-owning KARNAGE, to find out what the team has done for him.
It’s not scripted, it’s not fabricated, it’s just real
“As a creator, KARNAGE Clan has in the past done a tremendous amount for me. From giving me my first larger scale audience to broadcast myself to back in the early days to opening avenues for business relationships that even to this day have proven to be some of my most valuable takeaways from my entire time on social media platforms, there’s no shortage of what the organization, people like Apollo and all those involved have done for me. Now as a co-owner of the organization, I think that it’s my responsibility to keep growing the organization, networking with industry professionals so that I can in turn give those same opportunities to those who are in the position that I was years ago. I ideally strive to see everyone succeed.“
“I see organizations like KARNAGE fitting into the content creation space much more in the future. I think that organizations of likeminded individuals are always important but in a space where digital content creation is often a new frontier, pioneers of that space can be better suited in numbers for a few reasons. One being that people can rally around a sense of community. It’s relatable, it’s raw and it’s believable to see groups of friends simply having fun doing what they love to do, together. It’s not scripted, it’s not fabricated, it’s just real and I think that resonates with viewers. As well, that sense of community helps all those involved. A friend of mine always says it and I think it’s a great analogy, that a rising tide rises all ships. If KARNAGE, or any other organization has rising stars, that in turn rises all those around them. It’s a communal effort to grow and expand *together*. Even from a business aspect, the lesser seen, financial side of content creation, what can make a hobby into a career, there is power in numbers. Brands seek organizations for the collective, they recognize that a package deal in a lot of cases can be beneficial to all parties involved, even down to the individual creators. From all aspects, the genuine nature of the content to the proper business outlooks, I think organizations will only continue to rise and prove to be a staple in the future of digital content creation.”
Constructive criticism will always take you further than being negative.
The main take-away from this is that content created between a group of real friends having fun in a space that they all love and exude passion for is real, and that’s what viewers crave. All too often the internet is spilling with content that seems, at it’s core, fake and scripted and ultimately unrelatable. So when you are able to really connect with the people you are watching on your mobile/computer screens, you are entirely more invested in what you have to say.
With a large emphasis on Social Media presence in order to create that feeling of family, we thought it would be a good idea to have a word with DEXB0T (Social Media Manager) to see how he influences positive change within the community.
“Overall we are all extremely passionate about growing our brand, as well as the community that supports us. We provide content to the community regarding news/information around the games we play, tips and tricks for said games, and for entertainment purposes. We also use feedback from our viewers, and the community to provide feedback and tips to gaming developers. The majority of our mindset when it comes to using feedback to be constructive. Offering to help with solutions, to solve the problem, or to assist people in understanding why some things, may be the way they are. In life, there will always be topics of discussion that people won’t see eye-to-eye on, but sometimes with a little bit of conversation, we can sometimes understand a reason for something’s existence. Constructive criticism will always take you further than being negative“
KARNAGE Clan is a positive force for change in the online community. Working with viewers and developers alike in order to create a space that everyone can feel involved, respected, and valued. Social media can be toxic, but with a community like the one KARNAGE has managed to build, you’ll always have people you can turn to. A real online family.
However, we have to remember that KARNAGE is not just a group of people online making content for fun, but it is also a business. But how exactly does KARNAGE run as a business, and how does it change the world of influencers and online marketing. And just as importantly, how is running an online business such as this one any different to a business in the real world? We asked THUMP3R (Director of Operations) to find out how KARNAGE cements itself in the world of business.
“There are many differences and similarities. I would have to say the biggest difference is “reach and impact”. As a leader of an org the decisions we make and direction we lead impact it’s members, staff, community and customers. In my other businesses this is limited to the local population and surrounding areas. With an online organization like KARNAGE the reach is truly global and the potential is phenomenal. We have a collective monthly reach that allows us to be a top level producer for all of our partner companies. The numbers just keep getting bigger each month and with them so does our potential impact. The biggest difference between KRNG and my other businesses is KRNG has much more potential and it’s just getting started. ”
The reach is truly global and the potential is phenomenal
“I discovered KARNAGE because of their heavy involvement in the gaming community and recognized they shared the constructive attitude that I believe is incredibly important to the development of the community and helping it impact the future of gaming. I joined KARNAGE because I truly believe there is no other organization better positioned to make a positive impact in gaming while being incredibly profitable for itself, it’s members and it’s strategic partners.“
The main potential of any online business or brand is reach. Millions of users browse Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube every single day and in the world of marketing it’s all about how many eyes you can get on your particular brand. The important thing to note here is that KARNAGE is not one entity, each member of KARNAGE has their own following, forever expanding their online influence and reach with each new addition to the team.
In summary, KARNAGE Clan is a positive force for change in the online community. Working with viewers and developers alike in order to create a space that everyone can feel involved, respected, and valued. Social media can be toxic, but with a community like the one KARNAGE has managed to build, you’ll always have people you can turn to. A real online family.