Popular Streamer Turner ‘Tfue’ Tenney has sued Faze Clan for an oppressive Gamer contract. The lawsuit filed by one of the most popular content creators is shaping up to be a milestone moment in player contracts and talent representation in the industry. There have always been allegations of players and content creators being deprived of their worth due to oppressive contracts. Organisations and companies are always on the lookout to ensure maximum profits for themselves, sometimes at the cost of the content creator.
However, this has to be one of the rare moments when a top tier content creator Tfue has filed a lawsuit against his gaming organisation.
Who is Turner ‘Tfue’ Tenney?
Turner ‘Tfue’ Tenney is an extremely popular Fortnite streamer who streams on multiple platforms such as Youtube and Twitch. Tfue has around 30000 to 40000 viewers when he streams on Twitch. His Twitch streams have had more than 120 million views and he commands a high viewer base on a regular basis. In addition to this, his social media following is also quite impressive. He has 10 million Youtube subscribers as well as 5.5 million Instagram followers.
Turner’s popularity rose with Fortnite and he has seen massive following since 2018. He secured a spot for the $30 million Fortnite World Cup that will take place in June 2019.
Problems with Faze Clan
Tfue first signed the contract with Faze Clan in April 2018. This time period coincided with the increase in popularity for Fortnite and Tfue’s popularity exploded. However, as we saw his popularity increase exponentially, it soon became apparent to the player that the gamer contract with Faze Clan was limiting his opportunities for earning more revenue.
In September 2018 Tfue tried to terminate his contract with Faze Clan. However, Faze Clans informed Tfue that he has to follow the terms of the contract. It has now come to light in a report by the Hollywoodreporter that Tfue is now suing Faze Clan for limiting his ability to pursue his profession.
You can check out the lawsuit Tenney v Faze Clan by on Scribd.
Content Creators, Followers and subscribers form the majority of esports revenues at present. Unfortunately, it is not uncommon to see agents and companies taking advantage of the young content creators.
The complaint alleges that the contract is illegal since Faze Clan violates the California Talent Agency Act. The company does not possess a license to act as a Talent Agency. They also do not possess the requisite permissions to act as a talent agency.
Tfue’s lawyer Bryan Freedman mentions that while Faze Clan has received sponsorship money for Tfue, they have not distributed the same to the player so far. The original contract was only for six months, with an additional extension clause for a period of 36 months.
Faze Clan alleges that Tfue has certain obligations as per the Gamer contract which he has failed to fulfil. Tfue on his part alleges that the company has failed to pay him monies owed and is therefore in breach of the contract. Tfue also disputes that he has pending obligations as per the gamer contract.
Faze Clan responds to allegations
Faze Clan has come out with a response to the lawsuit and the allegations on social media. Their official response claims that while the revenue split was 20:80, it was Tfue with the larger share of 80%. This stands directly in contrast to Tfue’s claim in the lawsuit which states that Faze Clan take up to 80% of his earnings.
Below are a series of Photos which display Faze Clan’s official response. The response is an attempt by Faze Clan to set things right. They admit there are lapses in the contract however, they have been working on the contract since the past year. They refute allegations by Tfue which state that the company takes 80% of brand deals thus robbing Tfue of revenue.
Faze Clan asserts that while there is a clause that allows the organisation to take up to 80% of a brand deal introduced to the gamer. However, Faze Clan has never collected on these terms and conditions in their deal with Tfue.
Faze Clan has been in constant communication with Tfue since September 2018 when he tried to terminate their contract. They have offered him numerous deals with seven-figure bonus amounts. The player has either ignored or rejected any such deals.
Faze Clan’s response to the allegations of them taking money for the player :
- Tournament Winnings :$0
- Twitch Revenue :$0
- YouTube Revenue :$0
- From any social platform :$0
Faze Banks caught by surprise at this news
One of the most prominent members in the Faze Clan, Faze Banks was surprised when it comes to this particular lawsuit. Faze Banks was instrumental in signing Tfue to the organisation and he has always been in constant communication with the content creator.
He had multiple tweets in social media following the outbreak of this news.
I recruited Tfue to FaZe Clan in April of 2018. These are graphs from both his YouTube & Twitch channels following the mark of our relationship. pic.twitter.com/c7m3QwsoTZ
— FaZe Banks (@Banks) May 20, 2019
Yo this whole thing with @TTfue is pretty unbelievable. The first thing I’d like to say is we do NOT and have never taken 80% of anyones prize money. Not sure where that came from, but a contract like that has NEVER existed. We’ve collected $0 from Turners prize money. ZERO.
— FaZe Banks (@Banks) May 20, 2019
At the end of the day this is all about money. More and more and more money. Clearly Tfue felt he deserved millions of dollars in salary in the addition to all the millions he earns on his platforms. He was unhappy and this was his attempt at getting out of the contract.
— FaZe Banks (@Banks) May 20, 2019
The Community has definitely expressed shock at some of the numbers in the lawsuit. With 80% of brand deals going the way of Faze Clan, it does seem a very oppressive and extreme ratio between the player and the company.
I genuinely feel so fucking bad for @TTfue
— Myth (@TSM_Myth) May 20, 2019
This was a long time coming in esports. The industry has shown little to no respect to actual labor or fair competition laws. Faze getting the blame for what has become industry standard. Repeated to death, but all players should have an agent and a lawyer. https://t.co/0qfiwve5yT
— Video Game Attorney (@Morrison) May 20, 2019
There are technical details in the contract which provide context to these numbers. While the true story unravels in the upcoming days, this situation has definitely highlighted the need for proper legal counsel in order to understand the contract.
Ninja’s opinion on Faze Bank’s reaction to the Tfue Lawsuit.
Faze Clan seems to be caught by surprise with this lawsuit filed by Tfue’s lawyer. For Faze Banks, it does seem to be a surprise considering he personally had contact with the player who won’t take his calls right now. He even released a video directly addressing Tfue after his lawsuit.
Banks mentions that Faze Clan has collected $0 on his Twitch revenue, his prizemoney and from his Youtube. The $60000 that they have collected from Tfue is not just about 0.1%
The incident further emphasises the importance of having proper legal counsel
The Esports industry is already growing at a very fast pace. The Global esports revenue is slated to touch $1 billion in revenue by 2019. With the growth of esports, there are already talks to establish professional college competitions and a framework for the development of the scene. Esports is popular due to its ease of access and the extremely young audience. The industry will continue to grow over the next few decades.
However, with the growth of esports, there are always sharks waiting to take advantage of content creators and players. With big organisations representing players having millions of followers and subscribers, the contracts are often worth a lot of money.
It is important for players to ensure proper legal counsel before signing any contract with a company. A contract is legally binding and it can make or break the finances of a content creator. With the growth of any content creator’s platform, the organisation continues getting more and more money.
It’s important for content creators and anyone in the esports scene to continue to find proper legal counsel before signing the contract. However, the high costs of retaining legal counsel often discourage young and upcoming players from using the services of one. In such cases, a players union would be extremely helpful to provide the basic legal counsel to explain the terms of the contract to the player. It would reduce instances wherein the content creator cries foul several months after the signing of the contract.