Turner ‘Tfue’ Tenney is FaZe Clan’s biggest star, and now he is coming after his own organization.
According to a report from Hollywood Reporter, Tfue alleges that FaZe Clan is violating California law with its contract.
Tfue alleges that FaZe Clan takes a high percentage of his earnings (up to 80% in some cases) and has pushed him into making decisions that aren’t in his best interest personally.
Tfue signed his deal with FaZe Clan in April of 2018, well after he had begun gaining popularity in Fortnite. The immediate details of that contract are private, but according to Tfue, FaZe Clan has violated their end of the deal.
“That Gamer Agreement is grossly oppressive, onerous, and one-sided,” writes attorney Bryan Freedman in the official complaint according to Hollywood Reporter. “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.”
What exactly is illegal about the gamer contract is not clear. If Tfue’s contract states he can’t explore other deals not procured by FaZe, then it is tough to see what is in violation.
Contracts that take advantage of players are common in esports, thanks to the relatively young age of esports players and the lack of an official legal structure in many games and organizations.
But one-sided contracts aren’t necessarily illegal.
What is illegal, is giving alcohol to people under the age of 21. That, along with illegal gambling, is another allegation Tfue is making against the esports organization.
“Not only does Faze Clan take advantage of these young artists, it jeopardizes their health, safety and welfare,” writes Freedman in the petition to determine controversy obtained by the Hollywood Reporter
The article goes on to state: “Tenney says FaZe Clan pressured him to live in one of its homes in the Hollywood Hills with other young YouTubers, where he says he was given alcohol before turning 21 and encouraged to illegally gamble.”
Also overshadowed in this story was confirmation of a controversy making the rounds on Fortnite boards a couple of months ago.
Tfue alleges that FaZe signed an 11-year-old gamer and pressured him to lie about his age. In all likelihood, that player is H1ghSky1 – who is different from RBG HighSky – a young player who signed to FaZe over a month ago.
At that time, many people mentioned him being younger than the 13 years old FaZe Clan claimed. It seems that may have been true and will be another key point of Tfue’s suit.
Update: 11:51 AM PT. FaZe Banks has responded to the lawsuit and lashed out at 100 Thieves owner Nadeshot for comments. Banks response and the ongoing controversy can be found here.
This is a developing story that will be updated throughout the day.
Update: 4:30PM EST – May 21st – Tfue has followed @Morrison on Twitter. Morrison is a prominent lawyer for esports players and streamers. He founded the law firm ‘Morrison-Rothman’ which serves clients like Tfue on a plethora of cases.
Reactions to Tfue suing FaZe Clan
One of the preeminent video game lawyers, Ryan Morrison, who goes by the name Video Game Attorney on Twitter, was quick to point out this issue is something facing all of esports, not located just to FaZe Clan and Tfue.
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
If there was ever a perfect story for KEEMSTAR’s Drama Alert, this would have to be it. He is going to have a longer in-depth breakdown of the situation later today.
No one else has been able to get a statement from FaZe today, but if someone can, KEEMSTAR is a decent bet.
- Read More: Fortnite concepts of the week
Tfue’s Dad went to Instagram to comment on the post and call FaZe Clan “bully’s.”
Tfue’s playing partner and fellow World Cup qualifier Cloak tweeted that there are “big stuff on the horizon.”
Big stuff on the horizon!— Creator code:fazecloak (@cloakzy) May 20, 2019
That may have nothing to do with the lawsuit, but tweeting that out after the news broke that your playing partner is suing your organization is definitely interesting.
TSM’s Dakotaz also chimed in, mentioning that this issue is wider for all of esports, and California law may need to be updated to account for the ever-growing esports/gaming/streaming industry.
This @TTfue case is absolutely massive for the gaming industry.— dakotaz (@dakotaz) May 20, 2019
It’s going to set precedent for every Gaming Org that is based within California
World Showdown of Esports Commissioner also believes this is the beginning of a shift in talent representation in this space.
It begins … the battle of talent looking to fight for their own value proposition while orgs look to hold onto to justify big valuations and clinch revenue opportunities. Will we see a shift to how talent in traditional sports look for representation?— Christian Bishop (@mrcbishop) May 20, 2019
This story has not been independently confirmed by us and all quotes and references are identified by their source.