Streamer & Esports Pro Tfue Sues FaZe Clan Over Contract

by Collin MacGregor
May 20, 2019 | 5:03pm

photo: 'Tfue'| (Credits: none give)

One of the most popular and well-known streamers/pro players is suing the gaming organization FaZe Clan over his restrictive contract. First covered by the Hollywood Reporter, Turner Tenny – better known as Tfue – accuses the company of restricting his ability to work in California along with taking up to 80% of his earning. Freedman + Taitelman is the law firm representing Tfue after Tenny attempted to end his contract with FaZe Clan, only to have the organization decline his termination.

For the unfamiliar, Tfue is a wildly popular pro player and streamer who quickly made a name for himself during the rise of the battle royale genre. Most known for playing Fortnite, Tfue currently boasts over 10 million Youtube subscribers, 6 million Followers on Twitch, and 1.62 million followers on Twitter. Alongside Tyler “Ninja” Blevins, Tfue is one of the most recognizable streamers in the Fortnite community.

In the lawsuit, attorney Bryan Freedman explains that are almost no regulations in esports. Stating that “There are no real organizations such as unions or guilds. to help protect the content creators/streamers…” The lawsuit goes on to explain that ” Most of these content creator/streamers are also very young, and are often unsophisticated, unseasoned, and trusting.” It’s then explained that Tfue was pressured into living in one of their homes in the Hollywood Hills where he was given alcohol before turning 21 and illegally gambled.

On March 15, this Talent Agency Act violation claim was given to California’s Labor Commissioner, which also claims that FaZe Clan signed an 11-year old player who was encouraged to lie about his age. Additionally, Tfue suffered a permanent injury to his arm that left some disfigurement while shooting a video for FaZe Clan.

But the real issue with FaZe Clan revolves around their monetary and employment control of Tenny. Given how popular Tfue is, he currently only makes 20% of all branded videos put on Youtube, Twitch, or other social media accounts. Given how popular Tfue is, this is a considerable sum that he is missing out on. Tfue also only makes 50% of the revenue earned from making in-person appearances.

Youtuber Keemstar claims to have spoken to FaZe Clan, who told him that they have only made $60,000 from Tfue. While there is an 80/20 split, the organization claims that Tfue is the one receiving the larger percentage.

@KEEMSTAR | 11:23 AM - May 20, 2019

Talked to @FaZeClan They said they have only collected $60k from @TTfue since hes been in FaZe. And the contract for brand deals is 80/20 with Tfue getting 80%. #DramaAlert

setting up interview with @Banks !

As pointed out by esports consultant Rod Breslau, Tfue does keep his entire earnings from esports competitions. There’s also a very good chance that he keeps all of the money gained from his Twitch subscribers and any ad revenue.

@Slasher | 11:30 AM - May 20, 2019

two days ago tfue spoke on stream chastising other esports orgs

"if you're in the [fortnite] world cup or think you're going to qualify, don't sign to an org unless they don't take any earnings from tournaments

none of these orgs are doing anything worth the cut they're taking"

it is important to note though that the 80% number is ONLY for branded video/streaming deals. tfue admittedly keeps 100% of his prize winnings without faze taking a cut, and presumably all the revenue from streaming (subs) and videos (ads) without faze taking a cut either

The “Gamer Agreement” that Tenny signed with FaZe Clan is described as “conspicuously anti-competitive.” This agreement denies Tenny the ability to explore “deals presented by others.” FaZe Clan is also being accused of retaining payments from sponsorships without giving any of the money to Tfue. This is in contrast to what the Gamer Agreement allegedly states which requires FaZe Clans to give Tenny that money.

Currently, Tfue is seeking for the Gamer Agreement to be terminated, punitive damages, and payment for his services. The lawsuit goes on with Tenny requesting “restitutionary relief” from FaZe Clans “unfair and unlawful business practices.”

@Banks | 11:11 Am - 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.

The founder of FaZe Clan, Ricky Banks took to Twitter after news broke, denying that the organization ever took 80% of his prize money. However, the lawsuit itself focuses on the revenue earned through sponsorships and third parties. FaZe Clan has not responded to this or the other allegations at the time of writing this. Along with Banks, a plethora of FaZe members posted their support for the organization on Twitter.

Update 1 – 4:31 p.m. ET

@FaZeClan | 5:06 PM - May, 20, 2019

Faze Clan's response to today's press article regarding Tfue:

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, - inluding 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 waht we've accomplished together over the past year with Turner and will continue to support him.

FaZe Clan has issued an official statement regarding the lawsuit from Tfue. In it, they claim that the organization has collected no money from his Youtube revenue, tournament winnings, Twitch revenue, and social platform.

Update 2: 4:57 p.m. ET

Earlier today Ricky Banks did an interview with Youtuber Keemstar about the allegations. In the video, he claims that the allegations are “complete bullshit” and that Tfue presented this lawsuit as leverage to get out of his contract.

We will update this story as new information is revealed.