Update: FaZe has responded via Twitter.
FaZe Clan's response to today's press article regarding Tfue: pic.twitter.com/eVdRVMnRpl
- FaZe Clan (@FaZeClan) May 20, 2019
Original story is below.
Turner "Tfue" Tenney is suing esports organization FaZe Clan for allegedly limiting his ability to pursue his profession in violation of California law, according to the Hollywood Reporter and confirmed through legal documents obtained by ESPN.
Tfue, 21, alleges that he is missing out on lucrative opportunities because of what he considers to be FaZe Clan's illegal activity in connection with a contract he signed in April 2018. He gets to keep only 20 percent of the revenue from any branded videos that are published on Twitch, YouTube or social media, and half of his revenue from touring and appearances.
Tfue has been one of the best-known professional gamers on Fortnite. His Twitch streams have been viewed more than 120 million times, and he has 10.7 million YouTube subscribers and 5.5 million Instagram followers.
The complaint argues that esports players' representatives should be regulated the way agents of film and TV stars are. Tfue alleges he had to pass on a lucrative brand deal because of a conflict of interest and that FaZe Clan failed to pay him his share of sponsorship earnings.
"In no uncertain terms, these gamers are artists, entertainers and content creators -- they perform, they act, they direct, they edit and they stream," attorney Bryan Freedman of Freedman + Taitelman, a Los Angeles law firm.
"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."
The lawsuit claims that FaZe Clan -- a United States-based group that is among the top professional esports organizations in the world -- is in violation of California's Talent Agency Act.
The state law requires that any person or company "who engages in the occupation of procuring, offering, promising, or attempting to procure employment or engagements for an artist" must be licensed by the labor commissioner and conform to professional regulations. By definition, "artist" includes "persons rendering professional services in motion picture, theatrical, radio, television and other entertainment enterprises."
--Field Level Media