Turner Tenney, better known as Tfue, is one of the most popular streamers on Twitch, primarily thanks to his Fortnite streams.
The esports pro, who’s employed by FaZe Clan, might be about to be known for more than his streams though, as he’s taking legal action against his employer in a lawsuit that could hugely impact content creators moving forward.
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Tenney has filed a lawsuit against FaZe Clan, alleging that the company has “taken financial advantage of him” by way of an “exploitative contract” and unlawful behaviour.
The lawsuit [via The Verge], states that Tenney has been deprived of business opportunities and had his earnings undercut, sometimes even losing 80% of his earnings to FaZe Clan.
It’s also claimed that FaZe Clan has not paid Tenney his share of brand deal revenue, and argues that Faze is violating California law (specifically, the Talent Agency Act) by not having a proper license, and by not following regulations.
The lawsuit goes on to claim that gambling and underage drinking were also encouraged.
Tenney’s attorney, Bryan Freedman, writes: “Because the esports industry is so new, there is little to no regulation or oversight,
“There are no real organizations such as unions guilds to help protect the content creators/streamers that drive the industry.”
FaZe Clan issued a response to the news on Twitter, where it said it was “shocked” and “disappointed” with the lawsuit.
“We have only collected a total of $60,000 from our partnership, while Tfue has earned millions as a member of FaZe Clan,” says the statement.
“While contracts are different with each player, all of them — including Tfue’s — have a maximum of 20 percent to FaZe Clan in both tournament winnings as well as content revenue, with 80% to the player. In Turner’s case, neither of those have been collected by FaZe Clan.”
In a largely unregulated environment, it seems that young gaming professionals might easily be taken advantage of.
“Most of these content creator/streamers are also very young, and are often unsophisticated, unseasoned and trusting,” Freedman explains.
“As a result, these young content creator/streamers are susceptible to being taken advantage of and exploited -often by those that are supposed to be looking out for their best interests. Unfortunately, this has become industry standard.”
It’s hoped that the lawsuit will pave the way for changes for content creators in the future.
Featured Image Credit: FaZe Clan/Tfue