On July 3, the New York District Court held the final hearing between the streamer and Fortnite player Turner “Tfue” Tenney and his former team, FaZe Clan . Judge Jed S. Rakoff rejected all Tfue’s claims, as well as most FaZe requests. Despite this, he confirmed that further proceedings between the parties should take place in California, which the club’s representatives had previously tried to avoid.
Summary for FaZe Clan:
- The court granted FaZe’s petition that the New York court has jurisdiction over Tenney and that any decision prescribed by him is applied and enforceable by the player, even though he does not reside in New York. This decision would have effect only if the court found Tenney guilty, but this did not happen.
- The court rejected FaZe’s motion to dismiss Tenney’s counterclaims in California’s Code of Business and Professional Code, which annulled the non-competition agreement for independent contractors. There are three clauses in the Tfue contract that prevent him from competing in any way with FaZe. Perhaps these items will be excluded from further consideration if the case is continued in California. As case law shows, most of them cannot be imposed on independent contractors.
- The court rejected FaZe’s request for a decision that Tenney violated the contract when he failed to pay the organization for his earnings from the Creator Code at Fortnite. The judge noted that previously FaZe co-owner Richard “Banks” Bengston testified in which he himself denied the club’s intention to ever receive Tenney’s money for the Creator Code.
Summary for Tfue:
- The court rejected Tenney’s motion to decide in his favor in connection with a breach of contract. Tenney claims that his agreement expired on October 27, 2018 because FaZe did not fulfill the conditions for the extension of the contract. In particular, Tenney claims that the club did not transfer him a monthly payment of $2,000 which was agreed by the parties. FaZe sent the money later than the deadline, but Tenney insists that the payment was past due, which means the contract was violated. The court did not agree with the position of the player.
- Tenney demanded to dismiss FaZe’s claim that he allegedly incited club partners to break contracts with him. According to Tenney, he did not know about the organization’s partnership contracts, but the judge did not agree with him. He pointed to the fact that Tenney had himself admitted to the testimony that he still knew about some partners.
- Tenney demanded to dismiss FaZe’s claim that he intentionally interfered in the club’s business opportunities. In particular, FaZe CEO Lee Trink said that when the organization was in talks with Venmo, Tfue’s negative commentary in 2019 led to the failure of the deal. The judge considered that FaZe was entitled to this claim if he provided sufficient evidence for the jury, so Tenny refused his request.
Although the judge rejected all Tenney’s requests, the player still has a valid lawsuit against FaZe Clan for the lack of a talent agency license. The court of New York did not consider this item, since the states of California and New York have different laws in this area. Now Tenney is likely to continue to sue the former club in California, where the lack of a talent license will be the main point in the process.
In May 2019, Tenney filed a lawsuit against FaZe Clan with the aim of breaking the current contract with the club. He stated that the organization acted as a licensed talent agency, although it did not have the appropriate permission under the rules of the state of California – this is where FaZe’s main office is located. According to the streamer, the club blocked all of his business partnerships, and also received up to 80% of his income. In return, the organization paid Tenney a salary of $2,000 per month.
In August 2019, FaZe filed a counterclaim in New York. The club management accused Tenney of violating the contract and demanded compensation from the player. The lawsuit said that Tfue earned on streams about $20 million, but did not transfer the club deductions.