Faze Clan countersued the professional Fornite player Turner “Tfu” Tenney on Thursday. The report was filed with the Southern District of New York, and the suite claims that Tfue stole confidential information, disparaged the team, and had interfered with business contracts that existed, and hindered the relationships that Faze had with partners.
Over the last 19 months, Tfue has notably become the most popular professional Fortnite player in the world. He has over 7 million followers on Twitch, 11 million subscribers on YouTube, and 2 million followers on Twitter.
The suite was in response to the one that Tfue and his attorney filed against the Faze clan brand in May. His suite stated that the Faze clan brand hindered his ability to seek lucrative opportunities and that their contract was oppressive to his career.
The FaZe Clan CEO Lee Trink stated that he hoped to resolve the matter privately, but that the settlement between the team and player were impossible to resolve.
“We had no choice,” Trink told Bloomberg. “It became impossible to move any type of resolution forward through our conversations.”
The countersuit lays out that Tfue earned an estimated $20 million since he joined FaZe Clan in April 2018. Faze Clan stated that they helped him learn unique methods of creating and promoting content that helped his success. FaZe also said that Tfue violated a non-disparagement clause in his agreement with the team, which created conflict in the organization.
“Faze Clan taught Tenney how to be more than just a skilled gamer,” the countersuit reads. “Faze Clan taught him to be a professional. It schooled Tenney in the business, social media and gaming practices that have made Faze Clan successful. And he certainly has been successful. It is understood that Tenney has earned over $20 million since joining Faze Clan in April 2018, when he was earning virtually nothing.”
According to Tfue’s attorney, Bryan Freedman of Freedman & Taitelman:
“Faze Clan’s lawsuit in New York is a ridiculous and obvious attempt to avoid the consequences of its clear violations of California law,” Freedman said. “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 publically 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 of its gamers.”
The Faze Clan contract stipulates that Faze is entitled to 80 percent of brand deals that it negotiated on Tfue’s behalf, as well as 20 percent of his prize money, 50 percent of in-game merchandise, 50 percent of brand deals negotiated by Tfue, 50 percent of touring and appearance fees and 80 percent of Tfue-themed team merchandise revenues. In return for all of this, FaZe paid Tfue a $2,000 monthly salary, per the agreement.
The player contract between FaZe and Tfue lasted six months but was extended for three years until October 27, 2021. Tfue and his attorney filed a complaint with the California Labor Commissioner’s Office in May.
FazeClan claims to have collected $60,000 from Tfue. They claim that Tfue withheld the other revenue to which the organization is entitled. With the lawsuit, Faze is seeking the compensation that is stipulated in the contract.