Many gamers and gaming fans in Pennsylvania follow e-sports, competitive video games performed for a worldwide audience. However, some e-sports stars and teams are engaged in bitter disputes over the terms of their contracts. One 22-year-old “Fortnite” player known as Tfue is seeking to leave his gaming organization, the FaZe Clan. Both parties are asking a federal judge to side with them in the dispute over Tfue’s decision to go his own way. The e-sports star argues that his agreement with FaZe Clan is oppressive, violating state laws in California regarding talent agencies.
He says that his contract allows FaZe Clan to take over 80% of his earnings, noting that relevant laws exist to protect artists and performers from being exploited by talent agents and managers. However, FaZe Clan argues that their contract is governed under state law in New York and must be handled there, rather than in California. They also accuse Tfue of attempting to pass on its trade secrets to competitor e-sports leagues. FaZe Clan argues that it boosted Tfue’s social media following, enabling him to earn money from professional gaming. They also argue that the e-sports celebrity refused to turn over proceeds from in-game Fortnite sales made by his followers. They accuse him of breaching his contract with the team.
However, Tfue says that his contract expired in 2018 and that FaZe Clan failed to pay him the required amount to extend the contract. He also says that under New York law, the gaming team failed to provide written notice needed to extend the contract, so he cannot have breached an expired contract.
Gaming, music and other professional entertainment are part of a major industry. Performers and companies in the entertainment world may turn to a business law attorney to help them negotiate contracts or manage a business litigation and disputes.