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Interview with Santana of the Nuke Squad

The new Warzone season is coming around and with a new Call of Duty coming out in a month, many streamers are beginning to try and adapt to the ever-changing game mode. One group that is starting to change the way Warzone is played is FaZe’s Nuke Squad. The squad consists of Warzone streaming juggernaut, Swagg, and his friends JSmooth, Santana, and Booya. 

One Nuke Squad member continued to up his game with his comedic persona and lighting fast playstyle. This being Dante Rene Santana, aka Santana. 

Santana joined FaZe back in March of this year, shortly after the creation of the Nuke Squad.

He has since gained a huge following amassing 139,000 followers on Twitch, 40,000 subscribers on Youtube, 72,000 followers on Instagram, and 65,000 followers on Twitter. 

The Game Haus’, Chaz Kawamura, was lucky enough to sit down and talk to the up-and-coming Warzone streamer to get a look into the mind of what it is like to be part of the Nuke Squad and also how JSmooth first started out. 

Why the Name Santana? What made you make the decision of making your Gamertag your last name? 

“I never really had a Gamertag where people were going to remember that name. I have been in a couple of clans before, but everything has been kinda silly. I thought, since I’m joining FaZe, I might as well make it personal to me. And my last name is something I take with pride.”

How did your love for streaming start? 

“When I first started streaming, it was on Youtube. I was just doing it for fun. I didn’t really think anything of it. I was playing Call of Duty and Fortnite when it was popping. I didn’t think much of it. I didn’t start taking streaming seriously until I moved over to Twitch where I was playing with Swagg, JSmooth, and Booya.” 

When you began your journey as a streamer, what are some of the initial challenges you faced? 

“Some of the challenges I had to face would be trying to find the time to stream. When I first started on Twitch, I was going to school and working full time. So I had to balance doing homework and working. Other than that, it would be consistent.”

What convinced you to not only join the Nuke Squad but join FaZe as well? 

“At the time, we were all just playing the same game at the same time together. The one achievement we were going for would be to call in a nuke. Since we played every day, we figured we should have a name.  Kris(Swagg), actually looked in his chat and it said ‘why don’t you guys just call yourself the Nuke Squad?’, and we were like ‘okay’. We always watched FaZe. We were always huge fans. When Kris joined, but when we found out they were interested in us and wanted to have the whole group join. It was the best day of our lives.” 

The Nuke Squad is diverse, with a lot of backgrounds, how has the diversity of this group shaped the way you are with one another and the community? 

“I think diversity is really good with any group. It even travels to your chat. Me being Hispanic and Puerto Rican, I have a lot of people from my hometown that love me for putting them on and raising awareness for Hispanics. But overall, it is a good diversity that we have.” 

Besides any Nuke Squad Member, what streamer do you love playing with and who is the one streamer you would like to play with in the future? 

“I played with Timthetatman a couple of times. And when you are with him, the energy is amazing. He is just a funny dude and has a great community. It is always a blessing to play with him. He is someone we looked up to for a long time and is just a great guy all around. The streamer I would like to play with though is probably Hamlinz. I have been a huge fan of Hamlinz for a while before he took his big break. I see myself being like him because I like to bring the comedy aspect to our group which is why Hamlinz would be the best choice for me.”

What is one thing that separates you from any other Warzone streamer? 

“That thing would be having a balance between being good at the game and being funny. When I am playing with the boys or I have to do something, I would see comments in the chat like, ‘where’s Dante at?’, ‘Where’s Santana at?’ I think mine is just comedy and being good at the game. 

I see that you are a pretty good singer, what genre of music do you like to sing the most? 

“It would have to be old school R&B, the 90s and 2000s R&B.”

For you personally, who is someone that has influenced you the most and has helped you push through some hardships you faced early on in your career? 

“It would be my dad and Swagg, Kris. My dad has taught me from a young age that I have to do stuff for myself, I gotta speak up. When I want something or when something is not right, I gotta speak up for myself. He has just taught me from a young age that things are not going to be easy and that I have to be a man. With Kris, I can talk to the guy whenever I feel like something is coming up. He always got some good advice for me. I appreciate all of those guys and my dad a lot.” 

Are there any further dreams or aspirations that you would like to pursue in the future? 

“I am a big shoe guy. I would love to do a collaborate with Nike. My favorite shoes right now are the Nike Dunks. And if sometime in the future the Nuke Squad could do a collaboration with Nike, whether it be clothes or shoes, that would be awesome. A collaboration with Nike would be super dope.”


Featured Image Courtesy of FaZe Santana. 

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1 comment

Anonymous October 5, 2021 at 5:30 pm

Great interview. It’s great to see different sides of the players and listen to their thoughts and dreams also.

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