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The esports world was shaken this spring when Tfue, one of its biggest stars, sued his gaming organization in an effort to be free of what he described as an “oppressive” contract. Now, FaZe Clan is firing back in a suit of its own that claims it was “betrayed” by the Fortnite player who’s still bound by their deal.
Turner “Tfue” Tenney in May sued FaZe Clan, claiming his contract entitled the organization to up to 80 percent of his earnings. The gamer also claimed FaZe Clan is limiting his ability to pursue his profession in violation of California law, passed on a lucrative brand deal because of a conflict of interest and failed to pay him his share of sponsorship earnings.
The gaming organization on Thursday sued Tenney for breach of contract. FaZe maintains that he was an adult when he signed the deal, they took on risk in bringing on an unknown gamer, they made multiple efforts to renegotiate with him that were rejected and that he’s bound by their deal until Oct. 27, 2021.
“In breach of the Gamer Agreement, Tenney has: filed lawsuits in the improper forum of California, after Tenney agreed in the Gamer Agreement that litigation would occur exclusively in New York; disparaged FaZe Clan; stolen FaZe Clan’s confidential information; interfered with FaZe Clan’s contracts and business relationships; and he is advocating for others to leave and compete against FaZe Clan,” writes attorney Justin Kattan in the complaint.
The gaming org is now claiming that Tfue is using its trade secrets to launch a rival company and is trying to poach its members. (Read the full complaint, below.)
“FaZe Clan has since come to learn and believe that Tenney’s true objective for the past several months has been to get out of the Gamer Agreement at all costs so that he could start a new esports organization or otherwise compete against FaZe Clan — and Tenney’s lawsuits and public statements are all in service of that goal,” writes Kattan. “Tenney is directly or indirectly inducing other members of FaZe Clan to reconsider their contracts with FaZe Clan and even their membership in the organization entirely.”
FaZe Clan also claims Tenney has earned more than $20 million since signing with them and they’ve only received about $60,000. The organization is suing for breach of contract, misappropriation of trade secrets and commercial disparagement, among other claims.
Tenney’s attorney Bryan Freedman on Thursday sent The Hollywood Reporter a statement in response to the complaint: “Faze Clan’s lawsuit in New York is a ridiculous and obvious attempt to avoid the consequences of its clear violations of California law. Filing the lawsuit in New York is actually an admission that Faze Clan has no defense to these violations of California law. Ask yourself, why is Faze Clan is afraid to litigate its wrongful conduct in California? The answer is obvious. Faze Clan will lose. In the New York lawsuit, Faze Clan actually admits to violating California’s Talent Agencies Act by procuring employment without a license. Equally egregious is the fact that Faze Clan is suing Turner under its illegal contract for the monies it publicly represented that it was not collecting. This is the first time in the history of Esports that an Organization has had the audacity to try and enforce contractual provisions that are so clearly illegal against one its gamers.”
Aug. 1, 3:15 p.m. Updated with a statement from Tenney’s attorney.
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