Pro gamer Tfue files lawsuit against esports org over ‘grossly oppressive’ contract
Turner ‘Tfue’ Tenney, one of the world’s premier streamers and esports pros, has filed a lawsuit against esports organization Faze Clan over a ‘grossly oppressive, onerous and one-sided’ contract, according to THR.
The complaint alleges that Faze Clan’s Gamer Agreement relegates up to 80 percent of the streamer’s earnings from branded content (sponsored videos) to Faze Clan, and that the contract hinders Tfue from pursuing and earning money from sponsorship deals that Faze Clan hasn’t approved.
Tfue’s lawyer, Bryan Freedman of Freedman + Taitelman, took the complaint to the California Labor Commissioner with issues that span far beyond financial contracts. Freedman wrote that Faze Clan takes advantage of young artists and actually jeopardizes their health and safety, noting an incident where Tfue was allegedly pressured to skateboard in a video and injured his arm. Freedman also wrote that Faze Clan pressured Tfue to live in one of its homes where he was given alcohol before being 21 years old and encouraged to illegally gamble.
From the complaint:
In one instance, Tenney suffered an injury (a deep wound that likely required stitches) which resulted in permanent disfigurement. Faze Clan also encourages underage drinking and gambling in Faze Clan’s so-called Clout House and FaZe House , where Faze Clan talent live and frequently party. It is also widely publicized that Faze Clan has attempted to exploit at least one artist who is a minor.
Faze Clan issued the following statement on Twitter following the news:
Faze Clan claims that it has taken no more than 20 percent of Tfue’s earnings from sponsored content, which amounts to a total of $60,000. The owner of Faze Clan, Ricky Banks, took to Twitter to make his case, showing the incredible growth of Tfue’s popularity across Twitch and YouTube since signing with Faze Clan.
As it stands now, Tfue boasts more than 120 million views on Twitch, more than 10 million YouTube subscribers, and 5.5 million followers on Instagram.
Banks also reiterated Faze Clan’s official statement saying that the company has taken 20 percent of Tfue’s earnings from branded deals, totaling $60,000.
The Tfue claim, however, seems to take issue with the content of the agreement, not necessarily its execution, and the general legality of these types of gamer agreements across the esports landscape. Moreover, the complaint alleges that Tfue lost potential earnings due to his agreement with Faze Clan and their own conflicts of interest with various brands interested in a sponsorship.