Turner “Tfue” Tenney is one of the world's top professional esport players and in a sudden move, is now suing his organisation for an oppressive contract that breaches California law along with the Talent Agency Act. The contract allegedly restrains his business opportunities and takes up to 80% of his earnings.
FaZe Clan has publicly responded through social media to issue their response to the situation. The organisation states that they have collected no money from him tournament winnings, Twitch and YouTube revenue along with nothing from other social media platforms. The image shared states that they have “only collected a totale of $60,000” from their partnership while Tfue has earned millions as a member of the FaZe Clan. They claim that contracts are different with each player however, they all have a maximum 20% claim to winning and content revenue while the remaining 80% goes to the player. In the case of Tfue, FaZe Clan reports that they have not collected money from him.
While this does sound very mixed, it's also worth including that Tfue did actually try to terminate his agreement with FaZe Clan in September 2018. It was on the grounds that the organisation had breached a deal made between them but FaZe Clan rejected the terminaion and said he was still bound by contract.
The lawsuit Tfue is pursuing now seeks to end the contract and to collect the payment he believes he is owed along with damages from the organisation.
While FaZe Clan states that the basis of the case is not true, there does appear to be some truth to it as several others have seen the document now and commented on it. Ali “Myth” Kabbani posted on Twitter expressing his sympathy and also an image of the contract. One of the bold sections of text does state that 20% goes to the gamer and 80% to the company.
In another Twitter post by Rod Breslau, an esports consultant, explains the situation a little further in an attempt to shed some light on why FaZe Clan claims to not have taken any money from Tfue. He states that the lawsuit and FaZe's officialy statement do not actually contradict each other since that 80% was for brand deals and not streaming or prize winning. Something important but not taken into account is the fact that Tfue would have found his own brand deals that would have been rejected by FaZe due to it not matching their own sponsors for the whole team despite players being separate entities.
The full court complaint can actually be found online here for those who are interested in reading about the full case in the official file.
One thing to remember is that, this isn't the first time content creators have run intro trouble with companies and networks claiming all of their revenue or blocking them other revenue streams. The MCN issue from several years ago now on YouTube saw multiple large creators speak out on how these companies create contracts and what they include. The issue being that many content creators don't fully understand or have the legal teams to help them understand what the contracts actually mean. This new case created by Tfue against FaZe Clan has the potential to change esports and what organisations are allowed to include in their contracts. Or at the very least, make other players more aware of the potential dangers which may encourage them to check their own contracts for potential problems.