UPDATE 23/05/19: Tenney has released a response to FaZe’s denial, asking them to release the contract (#ReleaseTheContract) as he is legally not allowed to do so himself. Because of the contract.
Tenney has also removed the alcohol and gambling claims from his suit.
FaZe Banks is working on releasing the contract for public consumption.
Last tweet. Our legal team is preparing everything, we will release the contract with all the context in the world when we can. Again all @TTfue you had to do to accomplish that was ask me. We weren't prepared for this so just give us some time. It's coming. Thanks.
UPDATE 21/05/19: FaZe Banks, real name Ricky Banks, has categorically denied Tenney’s accusations of FaZe siphoning money from him. Banks also claims that they only ever earned a total of $60,000 from Tfue despite him being worth millions.
The social accounts for FaZe also issued statements.
FaZe have yet to address the accusations of them signing an underage player.
Tenney is yet to respond.
ORIGINAL STORY: According to a report from the Hollywood Reporter, Fortnite’s most popular player, Tfue, real name Turner Tennney, is suing FaZe clan for allegedly taking up to 80% of his earnings as part of an illegal “Gamer Agreement” contract.
Tenney claims that he only gets to keep 20% of earnings from sponsored/branded content that appears on his social media, as well as his Twitch and YouTube channels. In addition, FaZe reportedly also keep 50% of the revenue from his touring and appearance fees.
Similarly, the lawsuit claims that FaZe has previously in fact kept entirely kept some of Tfue’s money earned from deals with parties.
The suit contests that this revenue split is illegal in the state of California as they breach the state’s Talent Agency Act by not being licensed.
Additionally, Tfue also claims that his chances of earnings are being limited by FaZe not allowing him to independently find brand deals with FaZe at one time torpedoing a deal as it was a conflict of interest.
According to Tenney’s attorney, Bryan Freedman of Freedman + Taitelman:
“Not only does Faze Clan take advantage of these young artists, it jeopardizes their health, safety and welfare.”
This is in reference to Tenney being reportedly pressurised into drinking alcohol despite being under the American drinking age of 21 at the time, as well as to partake in gambling:
“Even though Tenney was underage until he turned twenty-one in January 2019, Faze Clan would 26 furnish and encourage Tenney to consume alcohol.”
The suit also alleges that FaZe pushed Tenney towards dangerous stunts:
“Faze Clan also continuously pressured and encouraged Tenney and others to undertake dangerous stunts while performing in videos. During one video, Tenney suffered an injury to his arm while skateboarding which resulted in permanent disfigurement.”
And also that it would be the start of fairer representation for professional gamers worldwide:
“Tfue and my law firm are sending a message. The time is now for content creators, gamers and streamers to stop being taken advantage of through oppressive, unfair and illegal agreements. The significant legal actions taken today will be a wake up call that this behavior will no longer be tolerated. The gaming community deserves a safe environment that allows gamers the freedom to control their own careers.”
The suit, which was passed to California’s Labor Commissioner on March 15th, looks to free Tenney from his contract after a withdrawal agreement was previously denied by FaZe. It does not mention specific monetary reimbursement, but Tenney wants his money back as well as compensation that “the Labor Commissioner may deem just and proper.”
FaZe have denied the allegations.
Yo this whole thing with @TTfue is pretty unbelievable. The first thing I'd like to say is we do NOT and have never taken 80% of anyones prize money. Not sure where that came from, but a contract like that has NEVER existed. We've collected $0 from Turners prize money. ZERO.
Yo this whole thing with @TTfue is pretty unbelievable. The first thing I’d like to say is we do NOT and have never taken 80% of anyones [sic] prize money. Not sure where that came from, but a contract like that has NEVER existed. We’ve collected $0 from Turners[sic] prize money. ZERO.
If you’re unfamiliar with (or actively dislike) Fortnite, the importance of this lawsuit may initially pass you by. This could be a landmark moment for eSports players and content creators if the lawsuit is successful; a lot of gaming organisations have a reputation of cutting terrible deals for those signed to them. If Tenney wins this lawsuit, some percentages may be about to change.
However, there could be even bigger problems coming the way of FaZe. The lawsuit also alleges that FaZe knowingly lied about the age of an unnamed player when signing him as he was not old enough by law to be signed. They are not named, but the clues point to it being H1ghSky1, who signed a month ago and is listed at 13; the suit alleges he is, in fact, 11.