One of the best professional esports players in the world is suing his gaming organization for allegedly restricting his business opportunities, and receiving up to 80 percent of his winnings, in a complaint that the representatives of the esports players should be regulated as agents of films and television stars.
Turner Tenney, a 21-year-old professional player known as Tfue, sued FaZe Clan on Monday for allegedly limiting his ability to practice his profession in violation of California law, approving a lucrative brand deal due to a conflict of interest and not achieve it to pay her part of the sponsorship income.
“In clear terms, these players are artists, artists and content creators: they act, act, direct, edit and broadcast,” writes Freedman attorney Freedman + Taitelman in the complaint. Unlike traditional entertainment, sports is a new industry, and Freedman argues that there is “little or no regulation or oversight,” and there are no unions or guilds to protect players who are often young and trusting.
There’s big money at stake. The best sports player, Tyler Blevins, known as Ninja, in December told CNN that he had raised $ 10 million last year playing Fortnite. It has more than 20 million subscribers on YouTube and has accumulated more than 450 million views on Twitch. Its sponsors include Samsung, Uber Eats and Red Bull.
Tenney says he is losing those opportunities due to the illegal activity of FaZe Clan in connection with an agreement he signed in April 2018, and he only gets 20 percent of the revenue from the brand videos that are published on Twitch, YouTube or social networks. and half of their income from tours and appearances. His Twitch transmissions have been seen more than 120 million times, and he has more than 10 million YouTube subscribers and 5.5 million followers on Instagram.
“That Gamer Agreement is extremely oppressive, burdensome and unilateral,” writes Freedman. “Faze Clan uses its illegal Player Contracts to limit Tenney to agreements obtained exclusively by Faze Clan and prevent Tenney from exploring offers submitted by others, agreements that are potentially superior to agreements made by Faze Clan, and agreements that are not they are charged with an eighty.percent (80%) of the search engine fee “.
Tenney tried to rescind the agreement in September alleging that FaZe Clan had broken his deal. According to the complaint, the group rejected Tenney’s termination and maintains that he is still bound by his contract. Tenney is asking the court for a statement that the player agreement is over, and is seeking fair payment for his services and the return of the FaZe Clan’s profits, as well as punitive damages.
FaZe Clan on Monday afternoon sent THR a statement in response to the complaint. “We are surprised and disappointed to see the news of the press article and the Tfue demand,” reads in part. “We have only raised a total of $ 60,000 from our association, while Tfue has earned millions as a member of the FaZe Clan.”
Meanwhile, Freedman argues that Tenney’s contract is not only anti-competitive, but that the company also opposes the Talent Agency Law through its practice of obtaining commitments and employment for players. State law requires that any person or company “engaged in the acquisition, offer, promise or attempt to obtain employment or commitments for an artist” must have a license from the labor commissioner and comply with professional regulations. His definition of “artist” includes a set of “people who provide professional services in film, theater, radio, television and other entertainment companies.”
On March 15, Freedman filed the TAA violation complaint with Tfue to the California Labor Commissioner, and Tenney claims that the FaZe Clan contracts may be the least of his problems.
“Faze Clan not only takes advantage of these young artists, but endangers their health, safety and well-being,” writes Freedman in the petition to determine the controversy. Tenney says FaZe Clan pressured him to live in one of his Hollywood Hills homes with other YouTubers youth, where he says he was given alcohol before he turned 21 and encouraged him to gamble illegally.
“Faze Clan also pressed continuously and encouraged Tenney and others to perform dangerous stunts while acting on videos,” Freedman writes. “During a video, Tenney suffered an injury to his arm while skating, which resulted in permanent disfigurement.”