'Fortnite' pro Turner 'Tfue' Tenney sues esports team FaZe Clan over 'oppressive' contract

USATODAY - Tech Top Stories 

Another sign that esports has become big business: One of its biggest star athletes, Turner "Tfue" Tenney is suing his pro team, FaZe Clan, over what he calls a contract that is "oppressive, onerous, and one-sided." In the complaint filed in California Superior Court in Los Angeles, Tenney, 21, charges that FaZe Clan, an esports organization with professional teams that compete in video games such as "Call of Duty, "Fortnite Battle Royale" and "Counter-Strike," has players sign gamer agreements so that the team will "essentially'own' Tenney and other content creator/streamers and professional gamers." A popular streamer on YouTube and Twitch, Tenney signed an agreement with FaZe Clan when he was 20. He says in the suit that FaZe Clan takes up to 80% of revenue paid by third parties for Tenney's services such as sponsored online videos. 'Minecraft' update: Video game gets new blocks, better villages, and pillagers with crossbows Cloud gaming: Microsoft and Sony team up for video games in the cloud, but what's it mean for gamers? Esports star Turner "Tfue" Tenney, shown here on his Twitch channel, is suing his team FaZe Clan, saying its contract is "oppressive" and takes up to 80% of his earnings. Tfue, who recently qualified for the $30-million Fortnite World Cup Finals in July in New York, has more than 10.7 million followers on YouTube, more than 6 million followers on Twitch, and 5.5 million Instagram followers. "Anti-competitive provisions" in the agreement prevent Tenney from pursuing other deals, the suit charges. FaZe Clan violates state law because it acts as a talent agency but does not have "the requisite talent agency license," the complaint charges. The esports organization also forced Tenney to drink alcohol at parties before he turned 21, the suit charges. Tenney wants the court to void the contract with FaZe Clan and award any suitable damages. "Until now, FaZe Clan has enjoyed the fruits of this illegal business model with impunity because no one could or was willing to stand up to Faze Clan," the suit says. Through this action, Tenney seeks to shift the balance of power to the gamers and content creators/streamers, those who are actually creating value and driving the industry. As a result of this action, others will hopefully take notice of what is going on and help to clean up esports."