Turner “Tfue” Tenney is suing his organization, FaZe Clan, for unlawful practices related to his signed contract. Earlier today, Tfue and his representation announced the suit against FaZe for oppressing his business opportunities.
Tfue, who makes almost all of his money streaming Fortnite on Twitch, has been a part of FaZe since April 2018. He was signed as a competitive player but has blown up for his content creation on YouTube and Twitch.
The suit goes on to accuse FaZe of violating the Talent Agency Act and breaking California law.
This is quite the bombshell. Tfue and FaZe seemed to be on great terms up to this point. However, as evident in the report, this is far from the case.
Attorney Bryan Freedman, of Freedman and Taitelman, is representing Tfue in this matter. Speaking on the streamer’s behalf, Freedman explains how exactly FaZe is oppressing Tfue.
“That Gamer Agreement is grossly oppressive, onerous, and one-sided. Faze Clan uses its illegal Gamer Contracts to limit Tenney to deals sourced exclusively by Faze Clan and to prevent Tenney from exploring deals presented by others; deals that are potentially superior to deals procured by Faze Clan; and deals that are not saddled with an eighty percent (80%) finder’s fee.”
Essentially, what Freedman is saying is that Tfue isn’t being given the right to explore his options. FaZe is making it so he can’t venture out from under their umbrella to pursue his own opportunities. However, not only are they suffocating his capitalistic rights, they are taking 80% of his earnings.
Any video revenue from Tfue’s Twitch, YouTube, or social media is being funneled into FaZe’s pockets. Only keeping 20% of his actual earnings is significant since this is where almost all of Tfue’s revenue comes from.
While Tfue did sign the contract limiting his revenue, FaZe has no right to restrict his other business options. There are reports of Tfue receiving lucrative brand offers but having to decline them due to FaZe’s authority.
Even though everything FaZe is doing contractually is horrible, their other practices are even more shocking. According to Freedman, FaZe pressures its members to participate in “dangerous stunts” for videos.
“Faze Clan also continuously pressured and encouraged Tenney and others to undertake dangerous stunts while performing in videos.”
If you’ve been following FaZe for a while, you know their videos are often daring. While many thought this was the personality of FaZe members, it could be that management actually encourages this kind of video.
This is in the suit not only for the other members of FaZe but for Tfue specifically. In a skateboarding video, Tfue injured himself attempting a hazardous trick. This ended with Tfue permanently damaging his arm.
Along with pressuring its members into threatening situations, FaZe also supposedly broke U.S. law. Freedman says that before Tfue turned 21 years of age, FaZe purposefully gave him alcohol and allowed him to gamble.
This isn’t the first time FaZe has been accused of breaking the law. In a video posted to the FaZe Clan YouTube channel two years ago, viewers clearly saw marijuana scattered around their house.
As if the debacle with Tfue and the law wasn’t enough, Freedman brings another name into the fold. FaZe Highsky, signed as a Fortnite competitive player, was apparently told to lie about his age. While FaZe informed their fans Highsky was 13, it turns out he’s actually 11. This breaks the Fortnite competitive guidelines as well as the Twitch Terms of Service.
Tfue and Freedman are asking for a court to declare FaZe broke the Talent Agency Act. The damages associated with this would repay Tfue all of the revenue that FaZe received as a result of his labor. The California Labor Commissioner is overseeing this case.
Freedman makes it clear he wants this kind of practice in gaming stopped. He argues organizations are unfairly taking advantage of gamers through illegal contracts. With this suit, he hopes that this serves as a wake-up call to other organizations that behave this way with their members.
What do you think of the accusations against FaZe? Let us know in the comments. Keep up with Daily Esports for all updates regarding this story.
Joey Carr is a University of North Georgia Journalism graduate. He has 4+ years experience covering Esports and traditional sporting events, including Dreamhack Atlanta, Call of Duty Championships 2017, and Super Bowl 53.