One of the hot topics to pop up over the past week was the announcement that Turner "Tfue" Tenney was suing FaZe Clan over his contract, which he and his lawyers described as "oppressive" and violates California law. This came as a shock to many, including Ricky Banks, who is the owner of FaZe Clan. Since the lawsuit was filed, those following the situation have been taking to social media to toss their support towards whichever party they agreed with. However, up until very recently, Tfue himself has remained rather silent on the subject, even to the point of not streaming on Twitch or posting anything online.
That said, Tfue recently dropped a video on YouTube to share his response to the entire situation. He starts off by saying he told his lawyers not to put the part about underage drinking, dangerous stunts, etc. in the contract, and that they will be removing it from the lawsuit. This is in an effort to place the focus on the contract itself, as that is the main issue. In the video, Tfue is unable to go into detail about the contract, but pleads with FaZe to release it for the world to see.
Since then, copies of the contract were obtained by ESPN and The Blast, though they were not provided by sources within FaZe. That said, according to these sources, the numbers in Tfue's lawsuit appear to be correct, with the esports pro getting the short end of the stick. While it seems that the organization has not taken their cut from Tfue, it's the fact that they could that appears to worry the streamer and his lawyers. In fact, Banks himself has even called the contract "trash."
*deep breath* With all that being said, we had every intention on releasing the contract. I have nothing to hide and I've made the mistake of allowing shit people to run my business. We've solved those issues & are trying our best. The contract was trash. There's no denying that.— FaZe Banks (@Banks) May 23, 2019
According to the contract, Tfue is granted $2,000 per month as a base compensation. Reviews happen every six months that could result in either an increase, or decrease, in payment. It also states that Tfue is entitled to 80% of any winnings earner, with FaZe Clan receiving the remaining 20%. However, it's the "other income" section that is rather intriguing, as it lists the following:
- In-game/sticker ("In-Game Merchandise"): 50 percent to Gamer and 50 percent to Company
- Merchandise and apparel exclusively featuring Gamer's personal brand and manufactured by or in conjunction or consultation with Company (after deducting all costs in connection with such merchandise and apparel) will be negotiated separately
- Brand deals featuring the Gamer that exist on Gamer or Company's content creation platforms (eg. Twitch/YouTube) or social media sites, if the deal is brought to Company by Gamer: 50 percent to Gamer and 50 percent to Company
- Brand deals featuring the Gamer that exist on Gamer or Company's content creation platforms (eg. Twitch/YouTube) or social media sites, if the deal is brought to Gamer by Company: 20 percent to Gamer and 80 percent to Company
- Team merchandise and apparel (featuring Gamer or Gamer's likeness), unrelated to Faze Clan merchandise and apparel, manufactured by or in conjunction or consultation with Company (after deducting all costs in connection with such merchandise and apparel): 20 percent to Gamer and 80 percent to Company
- Appearances, touring, sign-up bonuses, and similar activities and sources: 50 percent to Gamer and 50 percent to Company
It is also worth noting that there is a termination clause in the contract that would prevent Tfue from streaming or playing professionally for six months should FaZe choose to terminate the contract. It is anyone's guess as to how all of this is going to play out, but it certainly will impact the esports world as a whole should any action come of it. Either way, there are some interesting times ahead.
What do you think about all of this? Do you believe this is going to play out in court, or will Tfue and FaZe come to an agreement beforehand? Sound off in the comment section below, or feel free to hit me up over on Twitter @anarkE7!