Judge sides with Twitch over Phantloml0rd ban in final lawsuit ruling

Phantoml0rd vs TwitchTwitter: Phantoml0rd / Twitch

The judge presiding over the James ‘PhantomL0rd’ Varga vs Twitch lawsuit has issued a final statement of decision, in which he highlights many holes in Phantoml0rd’s case, which led to Twitch only having to pay around $20,000 in damages rather than the $100 million initially requested.

In April, the court ruled that Twitch had to pay Phantoml0rd $20,720.34 in damages, over a dispute which arose from Twitch’s decision to permanently ban the streamer in 2016.

Article continues after ad

However, although Varga ‘won’ the lawsuit “on all counts” (in his own words), Judge Curtis E.A Karnow’s statement of decision on September 1 reveals more about the proceedings, and why Varga’s legal team failed in their pursuit of tens of millions in damages.

At the outset, “Varga’s counsel alleged to damages in the range on $15 million to 100 million.” This request was then revised to only $12 million, before later being raised again to as much as $63 million.

Article continues after ad
Phantoml0rd Twitch LawsuitYouTube: Phantoml0rd
Phantoml0rd was banned from Twitch in 2016 after the platform started breaking down on Counter-Strike skin gambling.

In the end, the $20,720.34 was largely due to the jury finding that Twitch had violated a provision in Varga’s contract that he should receive 30-days notice before being banned.

Phantoml0rd claimed he was ‘singled out’

During the case, it was argued by Varga’s team that Twitch had treated him unfairly, compared to other streamers, namely Sodapoppin.

The judge explains it was argued that “Varga was the ‘scapegoat’ and although he was banned, another popular but similarly abusive streamer named Sodapoppin was not banned.”

Article continues after ad

“This was one of Varga’s core themes at trial. Twitch noted Varga’s extraordinarily high number of violations and Varga retorted with Sodapoppin’s 34 violations.” However, Twitch argued that each streamer’s “disciplinary record” is treated separately, on a case-by-case basis.

The judge also went into detail about Phantoml0rd’s violations on the Twitch platform, which include passing out drunk, “simulating sexual intercourse”, as well as sexually suggestive and racist content.

Sign up to Dexerto for free and receive:
Fewer Ads|Dark Mode|Deals in Gaming, TV and Movies, and Tech

Phantoml0rd's actions in Lawsuit

Phantoml0rd testified he didn’t know about TOS

It is also told how Phantoml0rd claimed under oath that he “didn’t know about the TOS” (Twitch’s terms of service), or “didn’t recall”, but the judge found that he was not telling the truth.

Article continues after ad

Because, it was made abundantly clear to all in the courtroom that Varga did in fact know about the TOS, when they were “shown a YouTube video which Varga posted which shows Varga looking at Twitch’s TOS and rules of conduct in 2016.”

The judge also noted that “Varga had other serious issues with his credibility, too.”

Judge sides with Twitch on ban decision

Finally, the judge concluded that Twitch benefitted “the real consumers here who are the viewers (including teenagers) who no longer were exposed to his abusive behaviors.

Article continues after ad

“While consumers might have been disadvantaged by not being able to watch Varga’s high-quality gameplay on Twitch (a consumer injury Varga never argues), they can do so on e.g., YouTube.”

In conclusion, the judge expects Twitch will not repeat its “ham-fisted” response to Varga’s “abusive actions”, as the lawsuit itself cost the streaming platform “almost half a million dollars on its expert, and I expect attorney’s fees far exceed that. That should be enough to get Twitch’s internal legal team motivated.”

Article continues after ad

In the claim of unfair competition law (UCL), the judge states “judgement should be entered for Twitch and against Varga on the UCL claim.”

Related Topics