The esports industry has grown considerably over the years, and professional online gamers earn a handsome living from it.
However, being a relatively new industry means that it is not as regulated as the traditional sports industry.
As such, gamers are often at loggerheads with their agencies, as is happening currently with famed Fortnight superstar Tfue and a Youtuber Faze Banks.
One of the Best
Turner Tenney, known as Tfue in the gaming world, is a professional online gamer and he’s one of the best on the planet. He is particularly good at Fortnite, and has recently sued his team (FaZe) for what he terms as bad faith on their part, in addition to breaching the contract he has with them.
In the case filing, Tfue claims that FaZe, owned by Youtuber Faze Banks, has been retaining 80% of all revenue he generates from his ad deals and sponsored videos, and another 50% of all he makes for personal appearances.
The lawsuit claims the FaZe Clan aims to own Tfue and others in his craft, controlling their entire careers. Not holding back, the gamer claims that the organization is exploitative and lures content creators into long contracts while having no license to operate as a talent agency.
Tenney is just 22 years old, but the young lad has already won over $500,000 competing in Fortnite tournaments. He also has a commanding social media presence, boasting over 10 million YouTube subscribers and a six-million following on Twitch, making him one of the top three most popular gamers on the platform. Ninja Blevins and Shroud Grzesiek are the two only gamers who have bested him.
FaZe Clan is in bed with multiple gamers, managing a number of esports teams and their members’ YouTube presence.
In April last year, Teeney signed a contract that kept him with the Clan for six months, but it was later extended to thirty-six months. Before this deal, the young gamer’s YouTube account had only 150,000 subscribers. Owing to FaZe Clan’s antics, the number of subscriptions to the page grew exponentially, reaching the 10 million mark in a year.
Despite this seemingly fruitful partnership, the lawsuit seeks to have Tenney released from the binding contract, and get financial restitution from the Clan while at it.
According to Tenney, the contract was restrictive in the sense that it kept him from getting into sponsorship deals unless FaZe Clan negotiated them. He, however, argues that the organization has no legal capacity to act on the behalf of an artist.
Tenney also states in his lawsuit filing that FaZe Clan pressured him into living with fellow online gaming personalities in Hollywood Hills, in a house referred to as The Clout House.
Here, the gamer claims that the Clan promoted underage drinking by holding numerous parties and providing alcohol to him and his counterparts. According to him, they were also pressured into performing dangerous stunts to post on YouTube.
Ricky Barns (FaZe Clan’s owner) reacted to Tenney’s lawsuit via a YouTube video, saying that it misrepresented the gamer’s relationship with his organization. He feels that the misrepresentation is intentional, and states that Tfue declined to settle the matter out of court.