21-year-old professional gamer Turner Tenney, known to the Esports world as Tfue sued his organization FaZe Clan on Monday (May 20) for allegedly keeping him from pursuing his profession and missing out on lucrative brand deals and is not paying him his fair share of sponsorship earnings.
Tenny alledges FaZe Clan is violating California Law and Talent Agency Act with the “oppressive” contract they signed him keeping him from the coin he deserves.
Tenney says he’s missing out on those opportunities because of FaZe Clan’s unlawful activity in connection with a deal he signed in April 2018 — and he only gets to keep 20 percent of the revenue from any branded videos that are published on Twitch, YouTube or social media and half of his revenue from touring and appearances. His Twitch streams have been viewed more than 120 million times, and he has more than 10 million YouTube subscribers and 5.5 million Instagram followers.
His attorney Bryan Freedman of Freedman + Taitelman had this to say in the complaint:
In no uncertain terms, these gamers are artists, entertainers, and content creators — they perform, they act, they direct, they edit and they stream,”
That Gamer Agreement is grossly oppressive, onerous, and one-sided. 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.
FaZe clan responded to the accusations in a statement to THR:
We’re shocked and disappointed to see the news of Tfue’s press article and lawsuit. We have only collected a total of $60,000 from our partnership, while Tfue has earned millions as a member of FaZe Clan.”
FaZe Clan also claims in a statement that it was a “previous legal team” that drafted the player’s current agreements that are in question and claim every contract written since last summer provides FaZe Clan a maximum 20 percent share of tournament winnings.
Freedman took Tfue’s Talent Agency Act claim to the California Labor Commissioner back on March 15 and stated that FaZe Clan’s contracts are the least of its worries. He also added that the organization also puts its players at health at risk as well.
“Not only does Faze Clan take advantage of these young artists, it jeopardizes their health, safety, and welfare.”
“Faze Clan also continuously pressured and encouraged Tenney and others to undertake dangerous stunts while performing in videos. During one video, Tenney suffered an injury to his arm while skateboarding which resulted in permanent disfigurement.”
FaZe Clan is standing by its innocence in the matter and claims they offered Tfue numerous revised contracts offering “a seven-figure bonus” with FaZe Clan taking “zero percent,” but Tenney rejected all of them. In another statement, the organization added:
“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.”
We hope this situation gets resolved amicably.
Photo: Sean Drakes / Getty