Tfue vs FaZe Clan lawsuit: Court statements refute FaZe claims of New York jurisdiction - Dexerto
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Tfue vs FaZe Clan lawsuit: Court statements refute FaZe claims of New York jurisdiction

Published: 25/Sep/2019 17:22 Updated: 27/Sep/2019 5:49

by Richard Lewis

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In what is one of the most important lawsuits in the world of esports and gaming right now, popular Fortnite competitor and streamer Turner Tenney is going head to head with his organization FaZe Clan over a contract dispute.

The broad strokes of the legal arguments are deceptively simple; FaZe argue that while the contract was terrible it was still legally valid and needs to be honoured by their player. Tenney’s legal counsel say that the contract is invalid for a variety of reasons, principally among them that FaZe were in violation of California labor laws. 

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The organization have always flatly denied that California labor laws should apply to them as the contract states that it is New York laws that are applicable to both parties.

The subsequent argument about jurisdiction has played out in public with FaZe counter-suing Tfue in New York for emphasis. In an interview with The Score eSports, Bryan Freedman, Tenney’s lawyer, described the lawsuit as a gift.

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“After I read the complaint, I actually had to check the date on the calendar because I thought it was Christmas,” said Freedman. “I thought someone had given my client a present. This complaint filed in New York is an absolute gift.”

YOUTUBE:TFUETfue and his teammate Cloak (left) both left FaZe Clan in 2019.

He added: “The real fact is that FaZe Clan asked the labor commissioner to try and delay that case – to try to avoid responsibility for violating California’s talent agency act by operating as an unlicensed talent agency. They’re trying to avoid judgment day in the state of California by picking a jurisdiction of New York that has nothing to do with anything other than to allow them to violate California law.”

This month, Tfue’s attorneys have made the first steps towards attempting to establish which jurisdiction should apply to the case. Several statements have been submitted to the court that aim to show why the jurisdiction should be California and why the counter-filing by FaZe in New York should be dismissed on merit or to consider application of forum non conveniens, a discretionary power judges can use to dismiss a case if it is agreed another court is more appropriate.

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One such statement comes from Melissa Bowden, FaZe’s former Director of Brand Partnerships. In the court document, she states that not only were all of FaZe’s business apparatus based in California but also that they have no offices in New York.

Twitter: TeeqoFaZe Teeqo outside the organization’s ‘Clout House’ in Los Angeles.

“While I worked at FaZe Clan, FaZe Clan only had offices in Los Angeles California” it reads. “It did not have any offices out of state, including New York.

“While I worked at FaZe Clan, FaZe Clan’s entire upper management team was located in California; FaZe Clan’s entire talent management team was based in California; FaZe Clan’s entire merchandise / e-commerce team was located in California; FaZe Clan’s entire esports business team was located in California; FaZe Clan’s entire human resources team was located in California; FaZe Clan’s entire marketing team was located in California; and FaZe Clan’s entire business development team was located in California.”

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Tenney himself has also offered a statement in regards to the location of FaZe’s business during the time he signed with the organization.

“During that trip to Los Angeles I stayed at FaZe Clan’s ‘Clout House. The ‘Clout House’ was a house in Los Angeles rented by FaZe Clan and occupied by talent who were represented by FaZe Clan. During that trip to Los Angeles I met with various FaZe personnel, including individuals who I believed to be FaZe Clan’s management and owners.”

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He added: “Ultimately, I signed a ‘Gamer Agreement’ while meeting with FaZe Clan in Los Angeles. That agreement was negotiated in Los Angeles.

“I have only interacted with FaZe Clan personnel who were located in Los Angeles. I have never interacted with any FaZe Clan personnel who were out of state, including New York. FaZe Clan’s Los Angeles ‘talent managers’ would procure or attempt to procure employment for me. Again, those ‘talent managers’ were located in Los Angeles. In addition to visiting and living in FaZe Clan’s Los Angeles ‘Clout House,’ I also visited FaZe Clan’s corporate offices in Los Angeles a number of times. I never met with any FaZe Clan personnel in New York or [have] been to any FaZe Clan offices in New York. I am not aware that any even exist.”

YouTube: FaZe ClanTfue moved in to FaZe’s ‘Clout House’ in LA in September 2018.

Perhaps most damning of all is the statement made by Jesse A. Kaplan, a partner in Freedman’s firm, who obtained documents submitted by FaZe to the California Labor Commissioner’s Office. While these documents include a statement from Jeffrey W. Bullock, the secretary of state for Delaware, saying that FaZe Clan is incorporated in that state, the same documents list FaZe Clan’s executive office as being in Los Angeles, California.

In addition to these documents, Kaplan also submitted examples from other lawsuits where FaZe had chosen to file in California courts, further suggesting that they are happy with that jurisdiction when it suits them.

Beyond the declaration about the company becoming incorporated in Delaware in 2016, it isn’t clear at this time what counter-arguments FaZe Clan will put forward to challenge these statements.

Should the court decide that on the basis of the above statements and evidence that the appropriate jurisdiction is indeed California, this makes the case significantly more difficult for FaZe, who have always maintained that California labor laws would not apply to them. 

Dexerto will keep you up to date with further developments in the case.

Entertainment

Hashinshin claims FBI cleared him of sexual harassment allegations

Published: 8/Oct/2020 4:00

by Andrew Amos

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Popular League of Legends streamer Robert ‘Hashinshin’ Brotz has claimed the FBI investigated him over allegations he was sexually harassing minors, and cleared him of any wrongdoing. He was permanently banned on Twitch over the claims.

Hashinshin was ostracized from the League of Legends community back in July, after claims the 30-year-old Twitch streamer sexually harassed underage girls by abusing his platform of power.

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Other popular content creators, like Joedat ‘Voyboy’ Esfahani, stated that “Hashinshin is a manipular, predator, and worst of all [a] pedophile who used his platform to abuse so many underage girls over the years.”

However, the disgraced streamer has claimed he was investigated by the FBI and cleared of all wrongdoing.

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“There has been an FBI investigation into me, and I have neither been jailed or charged with a crime. Some of you might not believe that. I have a freedom of information request [to prove my innocence publicly], but that can take up to a year,” Brotz said in a October 7 statement.

Numerous women came forward stories in July of Hashinshin grooming them while they were underage. However, Hashinshin has always maintained his innocence, claiming these stories were false, and that many of those who came forward have since deleted their statements.

He also stated that he was potentially looking into suing some of the alleged victims for defamation, stating they did a “public assessment of [his] character” that distorted what people thought of him.

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“I was going to sue Alli for defamation ⁠— and I probably should have ⁠— but Alli is not a victim, and people started getting these really distorted views on what was happening,” he said, referring to one of the victims.

“Things aren’t as they seem, regardless of what they seem. I’m not a rich and powerful figure. They didn’t find that I did anything. I think a lot of this was a public assessment of my character, and a lot of people did this because they didn’t like me.

“I’ve been working on bettering myself over the last two years, and I think I’ve become a better person overall. It hurts a lot…to see all these people denying that.”

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Brotz claimed that while he believed his accusers weren’t “all terrible people,” they betrayed his trust. He also said that while he believes they should apologize, he hopes no one in the community attacks them. He just wants to “go back to living a normal life.”

“I thought these were nice people, I thought I could trust them and work with them. That’s why my response to this was all sh*tty because I shouldn’t really have trusted anyone. I don’t think they’re all terrible people, but things really escalated,” he said.

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“I don’t want anyone to attack them. I just want to go back to living a normal life. I just want to exist peacefully, and I hope people can start letting me do that. I hope this can change their minds in some way.”

Hashinshin remains permanently banned on Twitch despite his attempts to clear this name. He has also lost his Twitch partnership, and has instead moved to streaming on YouTube.