Earlier this week, Turner was "Tfue" Tenney, a 21-year-old Fortnite Pro, one of Twitch's most popular streamer, sued FaZe, the sports organization he's currently under contract with. The lawsuit states that the contract between Tenney and FaZe is "oppressive" and "illegal" and argues that FaZe violates the California Talent Agency Act. Today, the prominent website has published The Blast which is referred to as Tenny's contract. While neither FaZe nor Tenney have confirmed their accuracy, FaZe's owner Ricky Banks went on Twitter shortly after The Blast published his report stating that "Turner's original contract was obviously terrible was "and that FaZe offered him" in the last year "several cheaper contracts. Banks also announced that it would release copies of any contract FaZe has attempted to negotiate with Tenney in the near future. Two industry sources that are not contracted with FaZe and wish to remain anonymous have informed Kotaku that the contract is genuine. Kotaku turned to FaZe, Tenney and his lawyer, but has not yet received any replies.
The agreement, signed on April 27, 2018, initially had a six-month term, but was capped for a 36-month automatic renewal as long as Tenney participated in FaZe-designated tournaments and training and "provided advertising and promotional services as required by the company ".
Tenney's direct pay through the team is $ 2,000 per month, but this adds up to "other income (including, but not limited to, salaries, revenues, fees, royalties, bonuses, bonuses and gifts, etc.). ) that were generated in connection with Gamer's Services (individually or as part of the team). "
These sources of income are mostly so divided, favoring FaZe. For example, if Tenney signs a "trademark deal" advocating a product, he will split FaZe's sales by 50%. But when FaZe finishes the deal, it gets 80 percent of the take, even though it's Tfue's face on the Mountain Dew can. Tenney is only ahead when it comes to prize money and retains 80 percent of his tournament earnings. But FaZe takes over 50 percent or 80 percent for everything else, including brand agreements, team merchandise, and in-game merchandise – the latest may be a particularly large source of income for streamer, according to Break . In principle, Tenney grants its intellectual property rights.
Since the lawsuit became public, FaZe has said a few things about Tenny's contract. In their first statement, which was made available to Kotaku for our first report on Monday, the organization said they did not collect money from Tenney's Twitch, YouTube, tournament earnings, or social media presence. FaZe said it only earned $ 60,000 from its partnership with Tenney, while earning millions over the same period. However, sponsorship and brand deals, which are Tenney's main points of contention, were not addressed.
In a second statement, on Twitter FaZe commented on the contract's Brand Deal element and even posted a screenshot of the above 80-20 contract terms. It was said, however, that it had never collected any of this money from any of its members. The clause is the work of a "previous legal department team". FaZe further noted that "every new agreement since last summer has a maximum of 20% for the FaZe clan and 80% for the player," and in the specific case of Tenney it was said that he has worked with him and his since last September Lawyer teamed up to try to make his contract with things like a "dramatically improve" seven-figure bonus. FaZe said that all improvements so far have been "rejected or ignored".
This as well as a long response video from Banks and a performance by him in Daniel "Keemstar" Keem's popular YouTube show "Drama Alert" led to a public back and forth between Tenney and Banks. Yesterday, Tenney posted a video on YouTube, in which he related statements in the lawsuit that he was encouraged to play and drink under FaZe's roof and said he had instructed his lawyer to remove those things from the suit. However, he stuck to his feelings about his contract and called him "bizarre" and "crazy."
"I'm trying to do justice to the esport community and the esport industry," Tenney said in the video. "These kids are ripped off. They are exploited … There are tons of people in such bad contracts, just like me. I'm the first person to get up and say that's damn, that's not right, that's not cool, that's shit.
Banks, who refers to Tenney as a friend, has repeatedly expressed doubts about Tenny's motivations Twitter and YouTube. "It was not about standing up for what's right, it's manipulative to suggest it," Banks said yesterday on Twitter . "This was about what Tfue's father thought was his best interest (leaving FaZe) and nothing to do to achieve it."
Today he continued a rumor that was launched by Keemstar that Tenney is looking for his own organization. "Turner wants to make his own org?" Banks said on Twitter . "This whole superhero makes a little more sense to people through the narrative. Practically.
Lee Trink, CEO of FaZe, today voiced concerns to Keemstar that Tenney intends to withdraw from his contract and establish a rival organization, but offered a more moderate response than Banks, citing Tenny's contract as a "starter contract". and said, "before anyone has a great talent, he has to start somewhere." He made comparisons with the NBA and the NFL, as well as with the film and music industry – the former – two of them still have a minimum base salary to new players thanks to collective bargaining
Trink said that if the players outperform, it is expected that these contracts will be renegotiated, and he also said that newer players have started on better contracts since FaZe eliminated his previous legal department although he has not given any specifics.
It's hard to deny that Tenney benefited from the influence of FaZe. Regardless of claims about how much money he has earned, raw twitch figures paint a compelling picture. According to third-party sources Twitch Tracker Tenney has been streaming for several years before joining his relationship with FaZe in April 2018. During this time, he managed to build a healthy, but still relatively small community of people around 80,000 followers. Since April 2018, his number has skyrocketed. By July, it had reached one million, rising to six million a year. His YouTube subscriptions follow a similar pattern and are now at ten million. Is that all FaZe does? Probably not. The Madness of Fortnite prevailed around the time Tenney signed with FaZe, so he was at the right place at the right time on several levels. But this was certainly not a one-way street.
So, the question is, what does FaZe get for sticking to Tenney, who only earned $ 60,000. The answer lies in the shaky economy that underlies the sport and has published a detailed report on the Cecilia D & # 39; Anastasio of Kotaku today. In short, esports teams have no access to many of the most reliable cash flows that traditional sports teams use. Video game companies own the games and increasingly the leagues. As a result, teams usually do not spend as much money as NFL teams do. They are only licensees. And while sports stadiums are becoming increasingly popular due to things like the Overwatch League, even traditional stadiums have difficulty making profits through ticket sales and advertising, and are usually subsidized by the government.
Leaves sponsorship sales where sports teams earn the lion's share of their money. At a time when the Esport teams struggle to make profits, YouTubers and Twitch Streamer are the golden light at the end of the tunnel. As charismatic individuals, they tend to attract more dedicated fans than comparatively faceless teams, which attracts the attention of advertisers. Teams work with influencers to strengthen their brands and make deals more attractive to potential sponsors. In addition, if creators and streamer cut their own brand and sponsorship deals, this poses a problem for organizations.
"If you're an accessory brand sponsoring a player in an Esport team, and this Esport team is one Crowd has from influencers, and then your competitors will suddenly chase the influencers in the same team. This almost invalidates your sponsorship, "said an industry source that was involved in sponsorship and wanted to remain anonymous. Kotaku over the phone. Another source from the industry agreed that this is the central theme in these player contracts.
In the worst case scenario, this could lead to deal cancellations, which sports organizations do not want. In the lawsuit, Tenney and his lawyer said that FaZe had signed a deal with hardware company HyperX at a point in time that would have benefited Tenney because FaZe feared it would "upset another sponsor and possibly the relationship with that sponsor could endanger and negatively influence.
In addition, Fortnite succeeded in creating a number of players who had started as entertainers on Twitch and YouTube but evolved into esport professionals by demonstrating exceptionally high in-game skills. Fortnite Developer of Epic Games, has then structured its Esports League to aggregate official broadcasts of Amalgam's individual streaming broadcasts with comments. Tenney is such a player and a particularly well-known. His contract dispute could hit waves in the streaming and the esport industry.
"Tfue is a good example of this Fortnite professional, this Battle Royale professional who has emerged as a content creator and who is really good at playing, can compete at a high level, and can actually win tournaments" said the source, who has worked in sponsorships. That's the Gold Mine, which is what every team wants. "
Teams that now want to win these kinds of players and make them stars offer better deals right from the start: Ryan Morrison, a sports lawyer and leader The talent agency Evolved Talent for the sport and influencer, believes the Libra is still not suited for players who are more youthful and naive when dealing with potential employers.
] "I'm sure if I'm with To say that FaZe approval is far more the norm than the outlier, "he said in an e-mail to Kotaku," In fact, the leaked agreement for Tfue is far better than most of which I see that I do "While this is unfair, it is not uncommon that this is an opening offer," he said about Tfe's original contract in an email to Kotaku The mistake made by the vast majority of sports players is never to hire a video game lawyer or agent to review and negotiate the contract. Esports players must stop signing contracts they have been given without hiring professionals to negotiate on their behalf.