- Popular gamer Turner “Tfue” Tenney filed a lawsuit against the gaming organization that he is a part of known as FaZe Clan.
- Tenney’s lawsuit alleges that his “Gamer Agreement” with FaZe Clan is “oppressive,” and claims that his contract allows the organization to take up to 80 percent of his revenue from brand deals.
- FaZe Clan has denied the accusation and the organization’s founder, FaZe Banks, posted a video and a series of tweets providing his side of the story and portraying the lawsuit as a betrayal.
Popular gamer Turner “Tfue” Tenney filed a lawsuit Monday against FaZe Clan, the gaming organization he’s been a part of since April of 2018.
The lawsuit describes Tenney’s “gamer agreement” with FaZe Clan as “oppressive.” It claims that it allows the organization to take up to 80 percent of his earnings from brand deals brought by FaZe Clan and 5 percent of his earnings from tours and public appearances.
According to the lawsuit, Tenney tried to end his official agreement with the FaZe Clan back in September based on the organization’s “numerous breaches” of contract but says they would not let him break the deal.
One of those breaches included FaZe Clan receiving third-party payments from sponsorships and not giving the payments from those deals to Tenney.
The lawsuit goes on to say that FaZe Clan uses “illegal Gamer Contracts” to prevent Tenney from pursuing other brand deals that might be better than the deals acquired by FaZe Clan, and argues that it is illegal because it prevents him from competing in the marketplace.
Significantly, the suit claims that FaZe Clan’s gamer agreements violate California’s Talent Agency Act because the organization acts like a talent agency by procuring “employment and engagements,” but does not have a business license to operate as an agency
Due to this alleged violation, Tenney’s lawyers have also claimed that FaZe Clan violated the Talent Agency Act in a petition to the California Labor Commissioner on May 15.
“Faze Clan pressures and encourages young artists like Tenney to perform dangerous stunts,” Tenney’s attorneys wrote in the petition, which was included as an exhibit in the lawsuit. The suit also noted that Tenney suffered an injury that resulted in “permanent disfigurement.”
“Faze Clan also encourages underage drinking and gambling in Faze Clan’s so-called “Clout House” and “FaZe House.” The petition said.
FaZe Clan Statement
The gaming community responded to the lawsuit almost immediately.
FaZe Banks, who owns FaZe Clan, took to Twitter to defend the group writing “we do NOT and have never taken 80% of anyones prize money,” adding “We’ve collected $0 from Turners prize money. ZERO.”
FaZe Clan also posted a statement on Twitter claiming that they have not collected any of Tenney’s tournament winnings or any money earned through his Twitch, YouTube, or other social media accounts.
“In fact, we have only collected a total of $60,000 from our partnership, while Tfue has earned millions as a member of FaZe Clan,” the statement said.
“While all our contracts are different with each player, all of them – including TFue’s – have a maximum of 20% to FaZe Clan in both tournament winnings as well as content revenue, with 80% to the player. In Turner’s case, neither of those have been collected by FaZe Clan.”
A few hours later, FaZe Clan posted a follow-up statement to clarify the claim that they take 80% of branding earnings. “There is a clause in Tfue’s original contract where FaZe Clan could take 80% of the brand deal we introduce to him,” FaZe Clan wrote. “Let us be clear that we have NEVER collected on that clause from Tfue or any other FaZe Clan member.”
A follow-up from FaZe Clan on today’s unfortunate situation. pic.twitter.com/qm6sK8v88B— FaZe Clan (@FaZeClan) May 21, 2019
The statement went on to say that the clause is from old contracts and that the new contracts only give FaZe Clan 20 percent. The organization also says that they have been working with Tenney and have offered him “numerous versions of an improved contract,” but said he has “rejected or ignored” all of them.
The statement also said that FaZe Clan has “encouraged and supported any FaZe member interested in hiring a third party manager and/or agent.”
Faze Bank’s Video
Later in the day, Banks uploaded his own video called “Dear TFue.”
In the video, Banks describes how emotional and hard it is for him to deal with the situation because he was so blindsided by someone who he was close to. He then goes on to break down all of the allegations piece by piece, starting with the claim that Faze Clan took 80 percent of Tenney’s earnings.
Banks says that FaZe Clan has only ever made $60,000 off Tenney, which is just a fraction of the money he makes. “He earns a hell of a lot of money. A lot more money than you guys know,” FaZe Bank’s said.
“But I can tell you, that $60,000 of his total amount of money that he’s made is probably closer to like 0.1 percent. And mind you that’s $60,000, cause where it came from is important, that $60,000 came from two brand deals that we brought Turner that we took 20 percent of. So that is an 80 percent split to Turner and then the rest of the 20 goes to Faze clan.”
“We have collected zero percent of his prize winnings, we have collected zero on YouTube, we have collected zero on Twitch his subs, his ad revenue, nothing. Literally nothing,” said Banks.
In an earlier tweet, Bank’s shared a video clip of Tenney saying he keeps all his earnings. “Do I keep all my earnings? Yeah,” Tenney said in the video. “All like the regular tournament winnings, yeah.”
In “Dear Tfue,” Banks also addresses the allegation that FaZe Clan made Tenney and others do dangerous stunts. “Turner we all know you’re a fucking sicko. You jump off of shit, you’ve been doing that far, far, far before you met us,” he said. “And if anyone was pressuring anyone into doing it it was you.”
Banks goes on to discuss the claim that Tenney was pressured into drinking. “We went to a party at your current girlfriends house before you were 21,” he said. “Steve chugged a handle of alcohol and you were trashed in the video and you were 20 years old at the time.”
Banks also tweeted a video of Tenney shotgunning beers back in 2016.
Tenney’s has still not come out and said anything.
However, on Monday, Tenney’s gaming partner Cloakzy release a statement of his own. Cloakzy he said that he did not want to speak on behalf of Tenney, but still wanted to share his point of view.
“Banks shouldn’t be getting hate for anything and you’re all braindead if you think he has anything to do with anything bad that has happened,” Cloakzy said. “Everything that you see FaZe doing today is because of him. He has shown us nothing but love and appreciation as he does every player that has ever played for FaZe.”
“Unfortunately we didn’t see eye to eye with SOME management,” he continued. “Lots of people wanted to make a lot right but their hands were tied, contract things that happened behind the scenes/situations that will not be brought to light not involving banks.”
Cloakzy also made a note to tell everyone to wait until everyone in the situation has spoken before jumping to conclusions.
Bank’s retweeted the statement and wrote: “I appreciate this tweet more than you could ever know.”
As for Tenney’s lawsuit, it could have huge implications for the esports community. If he wins, it could potentially change how esports is regulated. The lawsuit claims that because esports is a new industry, “there is little or no regulation,” but adds that the need for it is “dire.”
According to the lawsuit Tfue, “seeks to shift the balance of power to gamers and content creators/streamers.”
“As a result of this action, others will hopefully take notice of what is.”
See what others are saying: (The Hollywood Reporter) (VICE) (The Verge)
Hackers Hit Twitch Again, This Time Replacing Backgrounds With Image of Jeff Bezos
The hack appears to be a form of trolling, though it’s possible that the infiltrators were able to uncover a security flaw while reviewing Twitch’s newly-leaked source code.
Hackers targeted Twitch for a second time this week, but rather than leaking sensitive information, the infiltrators chose to deface the platform on Friday by swapping multiple background images with a photo of former Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos.
According to those who saw the replaced images firsthand, the hack appears to have mostly — and possibly only — affected game directory headers. Though the incident appears to be nothing more than a surface-level prank, as Amazon owns Twitch, it could potentially signal greater security flaws.
For example, it’s possible the hackers could have used leaked internal security data from earlier this week to discover a network vulnerability and sneak into the platform.
The latest jab at the platforms came after Twitch assured its users it has seen “no indication” that their login credentials were stolen during the first hack. Still, concerns have remained regarding the potential for others to now spot cracks in Twitch’s security systems.
It’s also possible the Bezos hack resulted from what’s known as “cache poisoning,” which, in this case, would refer to a more limited form of hacking that allowed the infiltrators to manipulate similar images all at once. If true, the hackers likely would not have been able to access Twitch’s back end.
The photo changes only lasted several hours before being returned to their previous conditions.
First Twitch Hack
Despite suspicions and concerns, it’s unclear whether the Bezos hack is related to the major leak of Twitch’s internal data that was posted to 4chan on Wednesday.
That leak exposed Twitch’s full source code — including its security tools — as well as data on how much Twitch has individually paid every single streamer on the platform since August 2019.
It also revealed Amazon’s at least partially developed plans for a cloud-based gaming library, codenamed Vapor, which would directly compete with the massively popular library known as Steam.
Even though Twitch has said its login credentials appear to be secure, it announced Thursday that it has reset all stream keys “out of an abundance of caution.” Users are still being urged to change their passwords and update or implement two-factor authentication if they haven’t already.
Twitch Blames Server Configuration Error for Hack, Says There’s No Indication That Login Info Leaked
The platform also said full credit card numbers were not reaped by hackers, as that data is stored externally.
Login and Credit Card Info Secure
Twitch released a security update late Wednesday claiming it had seen “no indication” that users’ login credentials were stolen by hackers who leaked the entire platform’s source code earlier in the day.
“Full credit card numbers are not stored by Twitch, so full credit card numbers were not exposed,” the company added in its announcement.
The leaked data, uploaded to 4chan, includes code related to the platform’s security tools, as well as exact totals of how much it has individually paid every single streamer on the platform since August 2019.
Early Thursday, Twitch also announced that it has now reset all stream keys “out of an abundance of caution.” Streamers looking for their new keys can visit a dashboard set up by the platform, though users may need to manually update their software with the new key before being able to stream again depending on what kind of software they use.
As far as what led to the hackers being able to steal the data, Twitch blamed an error in a “server configuration change that was subsequently accessed by a malicious third party,” confirming that the leak was not the work of a current employee who used internal tools.
Will Users Go to Other Streaming Platforms?
While no major creators have said they are leaving Twitch for a different streaming platform because of the hack, many small users have either announced their intention to leave Twitch or have said they are considering such a move.
It’s unclear if the leak, coupled with other ongoing Twitch controversies, will ultimately lead to a significant user exodus, but there’s little doubt that other platforms are ready and willing to leverage this hack in the hopes of attracting new users.
At least one big-name streamer has already done as much, even if largely only presenting the idea as a playful jab rather than with serious intention.
“Pretty crazy day today,” YouTube’s Valkyrae said on a stream Wednesday while referencing a tweet she wrote earlier the day.
“YouTube is looking to sign more streamers,” that tweet reads.
“I mean, they are! … No shade to Twitch… Ah! Well…” Valkyrae said on stream before interrupting herself to note that she was not being paid by YouTube to make her comments.
The Entirety of Twitch Has Been Leaked Online, Including How Much Top Creators Earn
The data dump, which could be useful for some of Twitch’s biggest competitors, could signify one of the most encompassing platform leaks ever.
Massive Collection of Data Leaked
Twitch’s full source code was uploaded to 4chan Wednesday morning after it was obtained by hackers.
Among the 125 GB of stolen data is information revealing that Amazon, which owns Twitch, has at least partially developed plans for a cloud-based gaming library. That library, codenamed Vapor, would directly compete with the massively popular library known as Steam.
With Amazon being the all-encompassing giant that it is, it’s not too surprising that it would try to develop a Steam rival, but it’s eyecatching news nonetheless considering how much the release of Vapor could shake up the market.
The leaked data also showcased exactly how much Twitch has paid its creators, including the platform’s top accounts, such as the group CriticalRole, as well as steamers xQcOW, Tfue, Ludwig, Moistcr1tikal, Shroud, HasanAbi, Sykkuno, Pokimane, Ninja, and Amouranth.
These figures only represent payouts directly from Twitch. Each creator mentioned has made additional money through donations, sponsorships, and other off-platform ventures. Sill, the information could be massively useful for competitors like YouTube Gaming, which is shelling out big bucks to ink deals with creators.
Data related to Twitch’s internal security tools, as well as code related to software development kits and its use of Amazon Web Services, was also released with the hack. In fact, so much data was made public that it could constitute one of the most encompassing platform dumps ever.
Streamer CDawgVA, who has just under 500,000 subscribers on Twitch, tweeted about the severity of the data breach on Wednesday.
“I feel like calling what Twitch just experienced as “leak” is similar to me shitting myself in public and trying to call it a minor inconvenience,” he wrote. “It really doesn’t do the situation justice.”
Despite that, many of the platform’s top streamers have been quite casual about the situation.
“Hey, @twitch EXPLAIN?”xQc tweeted. Amouranth replied with a laughing emoji and the text, “This is our version of the Pandora papers.”
Meanwhile, Pokimane tweeted, “at least people can’t over-exaggerate me ‘making millions a month off my viewers’ anymore.”
Others, such as Moistcr1tikal and HasanAbi argued that their Twitch earning are already public information given that they can be easily determined with simple calculations.
Could More Data Come Out?
This may not be the end of the leak, which was labeled as “part one.” If true, there’s no reason to think that the leakers wouldn’t publish a part two.
For example, they don’t seem to be too fond of Twitch and said they hope this data dump “foster[s] more disruption and competition in the online video streaming space.”
They added that the platform is a “disgusting toxic cesspool” and included the hashtag #DoBetterTwitch, which has been used in recent weeks to drive boycotts against the platform as smaller creators protest the ease at which trolls can use bots to spam their chats with racist, sexist, and homophobic messages.
Still, this leak does appear to lack one notable set of data: password and address information of Twitch users.
That doesn’t necessarily mean the leakers don’t have it. It could just mean they are only currently interested in sharing Twitch’s big secrets.
Regardless, Twitch users and creators are being strongly urged to change their passwords as soon as possible and enable two-factor authentication.