Fortnite pro player and popular Twitch streamer Turner 'Tfue' Tenney is suing the FaZe Clan organization over an oppressive contract, arguing they took a significant portion of the revenue made from his branded YouTube and Twitch content, among other allegations.
Tfue officially filed against FaZe Clan on May 20 for allegedly limiting his ability to pursue his profession in violation of California law, according to a report by Hollywood Reporter.
Signing to an esports organization can give the org access to a certain amount of revenue, which varies depending on the contract signed. Tfue alleges FaZe is only leaving him with 20% of the revenue from his branded videos on social media, with the org taking an 80% cut.
Tfue and his lawyer argued esports players' representatives should be regulated like agents of film or TV stars, saying there is little to no regulation or oversight for how things run right now.
The report reveals that Tfue attempted to terminate his agreement with FaZe back in September, claiming the organization had breached their deal. The attempt was rejected and he remained a member of FaZe.
His lawyer argues that not only is FaZe taking the majority of his revenue from branded YouTube and Twitch content, in addition to his touring and appearance revenue, but he also says the organization is jeopardizing the health, safety, and welfare of its members.
Tfue said FaZe pressured him to live in one of their homes with other young YouTubers where he was given alcohol before being legally able to drink.
"Faze Clan also continuously pressured and encouraged Tenney and others to undertake dangerous stunts while performing in videos," said Bryan Freedman, Tfue's lawyer. "During one video, Tenney suffered an injury to his arm while skateboarding which resulted in permanent disfigurement."
Tfue also alleges the organization signed an 11-year-old player and pressured him and his family to lie about his age. He's trying to find out if the contract is unenforceable, which would require FaZe to give the player his full earnings.
“Tfue and my law firm are sending a message," Freedman said in a statement to The Hollywood Reporter. "The time is now for content creators, gamers and streamers to stop being taken advantage of through oppressive, unfair and illegal agreements. The significant legal actions taken today will be a wake up call that this behavior will no longer be tolerated. The gaming community deserves a safe environment that allows gamers the freedom to control their own careers.”
You can read the full lawsuit below.
Tenney v Faze Clan by on Scribd
FaZe Clan released an official statement to the accusations, calling them false and saying no money has been taken from Tfue's tournament winnings, Twitch revenue, YouTube revenue or from any social media platform.
FaZe Clan’s response to today’s press article regarding Tfue: pic.twitter.com/eVdRVMnRpl— FaZe Clan (@FaZeClan) May 20, 2019
Following the above response, FaZe Clan issued a further clarification on the clause called out by Tfue's lawsuit stating that FaZe was entitled to 80% of Tfue's earnings from branded deals.
According to FaZe Clan, not only have they never collected any money from that clause, they state that they have been working to rework Tfue's contract since every other contract made since last summer has given 80% to the gamer and 20% to the org. They further state that they have offered Tfue several new agreements that featured seven-figure signing bonuses, but Tfue has rejected or ignored them all.
A follow-up from FaZe Clan on today's unfortunate situation. pic.twitter.com/qm6sK8v88B— FaZe Clan (@FaZeClan) May 21, 2019
FaZe Clan's founder Ricky Banks was the first to respond to the situation on Twitter, denying the allegations raised by Tfue.
"The first thing I'd like to say is we do NOT and have never taken 80% of anyone's prize money," he tweeted. "Not sure where that came from, but a contract like that has NEVER existed. We've collected $0 from Turner's prize money. ZERO."
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.— FaZe Banks (@Banks) May 20, 2019
Banks continued by saying this will affect him personally for a long time.
"I’m pretty bummed out man," he tweeted. "Like fuck all the business stuff, the money stuff.. like this is gonna fuck with me personally for a really long time. I met Tfue when he was getting 100 viewers on Twitch. I attached myself and fully committed to helping him succeed, and it worked."
I’m pretty bummed out man. Like fuck all the business stuff, the money stuff.. like this is gunna fuck with me personally for a really long time. I met @TTfue when he was getting 100 viewers on Twitch. I attached myself and fully committed to helping him succeed, and it worked.— FaZe Banks (@Banks) May 20, 2019
He also added he doesn't believe Tfue knows the extent of his accusations.
"And to have all this dropped on my head, without any warning," Banks tweeted. "It blows my mind. I still don’t fully believe Turner knows understands what these claims are. I believe his team put this in front of him and encouraged him to follow through. I’m heartbroken homies."
And to have all this dropped on my head, without any warning. It blows my mind. I still don’t fully believe Turner knows understands what these claims are. I believe his team put this in front of him and encouraged him to follow through. I’m heartbroken homies 💔— FaZe Banks (@Banks) May 20, 2019
Banks continued by saying the situation goes beyond numbers and contracts and refers to how he considered Tfue family.
"Honestly fuck being professional," he said "This is so beyond numbers and contracts. Homie I called you my family Tfue and not only did I get blindsided but you can’t return a call? I’m fucking crushed dog."
Honestly fuck being professional. This is so beyond numbers and contracts. Homie I called you my family @TTfue and not only did I get blindsided but you can’t return a call? I’m fucking crushed dog— FaZe Banks (@Banks) May 20, 2019
Daniel "KEEMSTAR" Keem, the host of YouTube's Drama Alert, says he spoke with FaZe Clan and they say they have only collected $60,000, as mentioned in their official response, from Tfue since he's been in FaZe. The organization also says the contract for brand deals is 80/20, with Tfue getting the 80%.
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— KEEM 🍿 (@KEEMSTAR) May 20, 2019
setting up interview with @Banks !
Tfue and his partnership with FaZe go back to 2018 when he became the fourth member of the Fortnite team.
As a member of FaZe, Tfue has risen to the top of the Fortnite scene, won back-to-back solo events in the Fortnite Fall Skirmish and won the Fall Skirmish Grand Finals with Cloak. More recently, he qualified for the Fortnite World Cup.
Tfue has since removed all mention of FaZe Clan from his social media accounts.
Last updated on May 20 4:28 PM EST.