Contract dispute between FaZe and Tfue — what happened and who is to blame?

Contract dispute between FaZe and Tfue — what happened and who is to blame?

On May 20, it became known that Turner “Tfue” Tenney, one of the most popular streamers on Twitch, sued his organization, FaZe Clan. He wanted to terminate the contract with unfavorable conditions. We collected the entire chronology of the conflict, looked into what happened and who is to blame.

What didn’t Tfue like?

Initially, the incident became known from third parties. The Hollywood Reporter portal published an exclusive material, which initially stated that FaZe appropriates up to 80% of Tfue’s revenues. What is important, the lawsuit does not specify the details — it is not known how often and for what activities the club appropriated a part of the money to itself.

The THR article also mentions other Tfue claims: according to him, the organization forced him to live with other streamers, and before he became an adult, to drink alcohol and participate in gambling. He also noted that the organization entered into a contract with an 11-year-old gamer and “forced” his parents to lie about their son’s age — with this Tenney also applied to the labor protection commission.

Tfue’s requirement is to terminate the contract between him and FaZe. He already tried to break the contract unilaterally in September, but he failed. Tenney wants to work with sponsors on his own.

But Tfue has long been in FaZe, how could this happen?

Tfue has long been in favor of FaZe — since April 2018. During this time, he has become one of the most popular Twitch streamers (regularly included in the top 10). He also ranks second in terms of prize winnings in Fortnite — more than $500,000 dollars to his name. All this happened during the period of his appearances for FaZe.

Tfue and the club did not advertise the situation with the contract, so for most of the audience, the conflict became completely sudden. Moreover, the representatives of FaZe Clan claimed to be surprised as well.

How did FaZe react?

The first was co-owner of the club, Richard “Banks” Bengtson, but he was quick to criticize. The fact is that in the first post on Twitter, Banks stated that the club did not take a single cent from Tfue’s prize winnings, but this money was not mentioned in the Tenney’s lawsuit — this discrepancy was noticed by the journalists.

Later, FaZe Clan made an official statement, where the organization mentioned that Tfue received 100% of his revenue from prize money, Twitch, YouTube and other media platforms. The club admitted that it “took” 20% from Tfue’s sponsorship deals (in total — $60,000 US dollars), while the American “earned millions”. By the way, the same $60 thousand club donated to the prize fund of the tournament in Fortnite, the team claims.

On May 21, Tfue’s Fortnite partner Dennis “Cloak” Lepora commented on the situation. He did not take sides, but called on Tfue’s fans not to insult the owner of the organization Banks.

Bengtson himself seems really upset about the Tfue situation and even recorded a video on this. He also joked that he feels stupid, because on his body there is a tattoo with Tfue code for Fortnite, which is used to support bloggers and streamers.

Tfue лично бил тату со своим кодом на теле Banks

And what do they say in the industry?

Representatives of the industry considered that a precedent could become very important for all esports. For example, Alan “Nahaz” Bester and Paul “Redeye” Cheloner talked about the fact that it is important for players to assert their rights and to contact lawyers in a timely manner.

Others began to criticize FaZe Clan — among these was the general manager of eUnited, who in general does not like “sniper clans” [organizations that grew on the wave of Call of Duty popularity].

The situation was commented by the CEO of 100 Thieves, Matthew “Nadeshot” Haag, because of which he first quarreled with Banks, and then apologized to him.

What will happen next?

Completely incomprehensible. FaZe Clan explained their position, and Tfue continues to remain silent in social networks. Even if Tenney did not speak out on the situation, much will become clear after the authorities’ verdict.

If they recognize the contract between FaZe and Tfue as null and void, then the truth may change the standards of contracts between esports teams and players, but such conclusions are still very far away.

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ESL and DreamHack Announce CS:GO Tournament Series with $5 Million in prizes

In 2020, ESL and DreamHack will host a series of CS: GO tournaments called ESL Pro Tour, with a total prize pool of $5 million. Representatives of organizations believe that this will help novice players show their full potential and break into the professional stage, esports calendar site Entowr announced on Monday.

ESL Pro Tour includes 20 championships from ESL and DreamHack. Participants will be divided into two categories – Challenger and Masters. The first consists of DreamHack Open, ESEA MDL and ESL National Championships and will help players break into the Masters category, where they will play for $250,000 in tournaments.

Masters include such championships as ESL One, IEM and DreamHack Masters, and ESL Pro League.

By participating in the ESL Pro Tour, players will earn points and slots in two major championships — the Masters Championship, which will be held in Katowice and Cologne. The organizers promise to announce more details on September 28th. 

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PUBG Esports introduce revenue share with the teams

PUBG Esports introduce revenue share with the teams

PUBG Corp is announcing a series of initiatives to support the professional esports teams associated with PLAYERUNKNOWN’S BATTLEGROUNDS, including profit-sharing on team and league-branded digital items, direct support of team operating costs, and event sponsorship.

This multifaceted approach will help support the growing PUBG competitive scene by lowering the barrier of entry for dedicated players looking to engage with the professional leagues and helping established teams thrive.

“We are nothing without our teams and players, so it’s critical that we develop these programs to support our competitive scene and help teams build their brands,” said Richard Kwon, CMO, PUBG Corp. “In addition to building a popular esport that caters to our PUBG fanbase for years to come, we want to create a financially viable environment for players to sustain themselves and profit from their hard work.”

To directly bolster team participation in PUBG’s North American (National PUBG League; NPL) and European (PUBG Europe League; PEL) leagues, PUBG Corp. will help offset expenditures associated with team operating costs. These expenses will include costs associated with team travel, housing subsidies and local transportation fees.

Additionally, NPL and PEL-specific in-game items will be created starting with Phase 2 of each league. Twenty-five percent of all in-game item sales will go to each of the teams in their respective leagues, further incentivizing league participation and offering fans a way to support their favorite teams and regional leagues.

Financial support will continue with world-class competitions hosted by official PUBG partners later in the year. Each of these events will host top teams from each regional league. To give greater incentives and rewards for participants, exclusive in-game items will be created for each of these global events and 25% of sales will go directly to the participating teams.

Additionally, PUBG Corp. will be matching each organizing partner’s prize pool, effectively doubling the reward opportunity for each of these events. More details for each of these international events will be shared at a later date.

PUBG’s 2019 esports activities will culminate later this year at PUBG Global Championship, bringing together the greatest players from around the world. To celebrate this, PUBG Corp. will create a PUBG Global Championship item. More details on this in-game item will be shared at a later date; however, 25% of its sales will be added to the championship prize pool, raising the stakes for the competition.

Exclusive team-branded items will also be created for each of the participating teams in the PUBG Global Championship, along with a celebratory item for the eventual champion. Once again, 25% of team-branded item sales will go to each of the teams while 25% of sales from the champion’s celebratory item will go towards the winners and all teams from the same league.

National PUBG League will start on February 1st in OGN Super Arena in California and it will feature a $200,000 prize pool. PUBG Europe League will be following closely and will lauch just two weeks later in Berlin. 

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Magnus Leppäniemi: “We don’t want to split them up but we feel that we have to start somewhere”

Magnus Leppäniemi: “We don’t want to split them up but we feel that we have to start somewhere”

On Tuesday, DreamHack has announced that in an effort to create opportunities for aspiring female esports competitors, it will host a female Counter-Strike tournament as part of the upcoming Valencia event with $100,000 on offer.

DreamHack Showdown will be held from July 5-7 and will represent the “first large-scale collaboration” between the Swedish tournament organizer, ZOWIE and Esport-Management aimed to “elevate ambitious women CS:GO players in the global esports scene and provide a dedicated platform to support their professional growth.”

“This is the first time that an all-female event is getting the same terms and conditions that male players have,” Magnus Leppäniemi, Sales Director Brand Partnerships for DreamHack told Vie Esports. “This is not just a sideshow. It will be the main event at DreamHack Valencia, not something that happens on the second or third stage.”

Participating CS:GO players and teams will have access to dedicated player support, professional event facilities, practice rooms and promotion throughout the event. The tournament will have eight slots, two of which will be filled through invites. Esport-Management will run the European and North American online qualifiers on June 8-9, while ZOWIE will host the Asian qualifiers, which will culminate with a LAN stage in Shanghai from June 20-23.

In addition to that, DreamHack will be taking care of all the travel, lodging, and similar expenses for all the teams and players participating in the event.

Left to right: Allan Phang, Frank Ericson, Magnus Leppäniemi

“This is the first time that all-women tournament will have that center-focus as an all-male tournament would, and it’s not something that really happened before,” Leppäniemi added.

As one would expect, the announcement was met with varying levels of support to the initiative from the community. Some were happy to see women get the same level of recognition that male players do, others, however, were less than happy about it.

“Esports is one of the few sports where men and women can actually compete at the same level, but the focus has always been on the male teams. We wanted to provide a platform for all female players to compete. Because we know they are playing, but we wanted to offer them a safe environment to do that,” Leppäniemi said.

“We wanted to open them the same possibilities that male players get, offer the same access to competitive support. But at the same time, it was also about creating role models for up-and-coming female players to look up to.”

One of the biggest issues that DreamHack wanted to address with their Showdown event, was the differences in skill between the female players in the current environment.

“There are definitely women out there who can play at the highest level already but they can’t do it alone. We need more female players to come in and they need a platform that would let them do just that — start competing and get them out of their bedrooms and onto the main stage.”

According to Leppäniemi, helping the female scene grow was something that DreamHack wanted to do for a while. They recognized early on that in order for the scene to grow and for women to be able to stand on the same footing with their male counterparts, the female scene would need some help to get off the ground.

“We’ve been trying to find ways how to do this. DreamHack never was a male-only event, but at the same time, we never saw female teams qualify for it either. We don’t want to split them up but we feel that we have to start somewhere. It’s going to take a while but we’re going to build something here.”

Team Russia at WESG Female. Photo via HLTV.org

More female events are in the books for DreamHack, Magnus Leppäniemi assured us, possibly even during this competitive season.

“This is just the first step but we’re in it for the long run with our partners Esport-Management and ZOWIE. We feel very strongly about it and we’re very passionate about this project too,” Leppäniemi continued. “This is not just one event in 2019, we have a whole plan. We want to see a longer commitment and more tournaments in the scene.”

According to Magnus Leppäniemi, public backlash and the potential drop in viewership is well within the expectations for the tournament organizer, but their promise to build something great here isn’t wavering. “We can build the storylines on the teams and the players and show everyone how good they are. It might take a while but we have to start somewhere and if the viewership is lower because of that it’s fine.”

Earlier today, DreamHack confirmed the two directly invited teams — Dignitas.female and Besiktas. Esport-Management will run the European and North American online qualifiers starting June 8th, where both qualifiers will have two slots at the main event up for grabs. All female teams can sign-up and participate for a chance to compete at DreamHack Valencia on the biggest stage.

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Spiidi: “I was really itching to play against mousesports”

After a series of disappointing results, Timo “Spiidi” Richter and the rest of Sprout find themselves in a struggle to close out their games.

It’s been a tough few months for the German team. A much-needed roster change failed to deliver the kind of improvement the team was hoping for. The team let go Dennis “sycrone” Nielsen and brought in Josef “faveN” Baumann — an 18-year-old star from EURONICS Gaming.

However, that didn’t help by much in Kiev, where Sprout finished dead last at StarSeries i-League Season 6 finals. They suffered three straight losses against mousesports, Vega Squadron, and HellRaisers. Interestingly, every match ended with a round difference of less than 4 for the German team.

One of the founding members of the team, Timo “Spiidi” Richter, explained their situation within the team and talked about his past with mousesports.

Vie: The tournament didn’t go so well for you. What thoughts come to mind after such a loss?

Spiidi: It went horribly. We are like a new team, we didn’t practice that much, but this is obviously not the result we expected. Every game was really close, 16:14, 16:12, even over-time. So I don’t think we had no shot at the playoffs. We just lost. And that’s the worst feeling in the world.

Sprout. Photo via HLTV.org

Vie: In every match, you came really close to winning. But then you just couldn’t go all the way and lost. Do games like these bring your team down?

Spiidi: In our last tournament, in Poland, we lost in a very similar fashion. It was 0-2, with scorelines like 14:16. And this was a repeat of that. When everything comes down to the small things it becomes really important. You have to learn to overcome your issues and to fix these mistakes. We can’t keep making the same mistakes.

Because every game comes down to the wire it doesn’t mean that we have to change the whole system. People have to understand that. We have to motivate each other. We have a good structure, we just have to give it our all. It’s something we have to overcome.

Vie: You lost your game against mousesports 14:16 too. Was that a grudge match for you in any way?

Spiidi: I was really itching for this game. It felt like I never had an opportunity to play against mousesports ever since I left. I knew we could beat them. Even if all the odds were against us. It’s the kind of thought that appears when you play against your old teammates. Even if it’s just subconsciously. Plus, we were somewhat of a dark horse in this match.

Spiidi. Photo via HLTV.org

Vie: Did that help you at all?

Spiidi: It’s possible. Maybe in a few rounds that they played in the same style. But in general, it wasn’t that helpful. They have three new members, it’s a completely different team. It mostly came down to motivation.

Vie: What’s the next goal for the team?

Spiidi: After we return home, first things first — win MDL and qualify for ESL Pro League. That’s our main goal right now.

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