Turner “Tfue” Tenney, one of its biggest streamers and content creators on Twitch and YouTube,who joined esports group FaZe Clan in 2018 is suing his pro team, FaZe Clan, over what he calls a contract that is “oppressive, onerous, and one-sided “, says FaZe Clan is violating California law and the Talent Agency Act.
The Fortnite pro has amassed an audience of more than 10 million YouTube subscribers by playing the game for many hours every night. The lawsuit, first reported by The Hollywood Reporter, was filed by Tenney on Monday.The complaint alleges that FaZe is siphoning as much as 80% from the player’s earnings from third-party deals, and that he was encouraged to participate in illegal gambling and underage drinking while living at a FaZe Clan home in Hollywood Hills.
“Faze Clan uses its illegal Gamer Contracts to limit Tenney to deals sourced exclusively by Faze Clan and to prevent Tenney from exploring deals presented by others; deals that are potentially superior to deals procured by Faze Clan; and deals that are not saddled with an eighty percent (80%) finder’s fee.”
Tfue, who recently qualified for the $30-million Fortnite World Cup Finals in July in New York, has more than 10.7 million followers on YouTube, more than 6 million followers on Twitch, and 5.5 million Instagram followers.”Anti-competitive provisions” in the agreement prevent Tenney from pursuing other deals, the suit charges. FaZe Clan violates state law because it acts as a talent agency but does not have “the requisite talent agency license,” the complaint charges.
“Until now, FaZe Clan has enjoyed the fruits of this illegal business model with impunity because no one could or was willing to stand up to Faze Clan,” the suit says. “Those days are over. Through this action, Tenney seeks to shift the balance of power to the gamers and content creators/streamers, those who are actually creating value and driving the industry. As a result of this action, others will hopefully take notice of what is going on and help to clean up esports.”
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
Tenney has also attempted to terminate the agreement in September claiming FaZe Clan breached their deal. According to the complaint, the clan rejected Tenney’s termination and contends he’s still bound by their contract. Tenney is asking the court for a declaration that the gamer agreement is terminated, and is seeking fair payment for his services and disgorgement of FaZe Clan’s profits as well as punitive damages.
FaZe Clan’s statement: “We’re shocked and disappointed to see the news of Tfue’s press article and lawsuit. Over the course of our partnership with him, which began in April 2018, FaZe Clan has collected:
$0 – Tournament Winnings
$0 – Twitch Revenue
$0 – YouTube Revenue
$0 – from any social platform
In fact, we have only collected a total of $60,000 from our partnership, while Tfue has earned millions as a member of FaZe Clan. While contracts are different with each player, all of them – including Tfue’s – have a maximum of 20% to FaZe Clan in both tournament winnings as well as content revenue, with 80% to the player. In Turner’s case, neither of those have been collected by FaZe Clan.
We’re proud of what we’ve accomplished together of the past year with Turner and will continue to support him.