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Big Name Gamer/Streamer Suing eSports Team

I will fully admit I have no real legal background, and so I'm not versed in contractual law, but this story is definitely something that has caught everyone's attention. Apparently the gamer known as Tfue, one of the biggest streamers out there, has decided to sue FaZe Clan, the team that he has been a part of, due to an apparent California law that states:

The state law requires that any person or company "who engages in the occupation of procuring, offering, promising, or attempting to procure employment or engagements for an artist" must be licensed by the labor commissioner and conform to professional regulations. By definition, "artist" includes "persons rendering professional services in motion picture, theatrical, radio, television and other entertainment enterprises."

From my understanding this revolves around the fact that Tfue can't accept solo sponsorships (those just for him and not for his team). The big on being an apparent deal with HyperX, a direct competitor of FaZe Clan's sponsor SteelSeries. One of the issues, I believe that is being seen, is that he would be able to take All the earnings for that HyperX sponsorship, whereas he would only be able to take some sort of prearranged percentage of any money made by the team.

So there's a couple of things that stand out to me, for this issue, remember I don't have a law degree, but you have a team/group of gamers that train together, play together, and of course compete together. That team has sponsorships, tournament winnings, and whatnot. Just like ANY professional team the bigger names get a bigger cut of the pie, but never the whole thing. There will of course be a certain amount that will be retained by the owners of the team, basically to keep the lights on, and then the rest will go to the other players. There is also certain teams that have exclusive contracts with a specific manufacturer of a certain type of goods. Those contracts make it so that as part of that SPECIFIC team no one can take a contract/sponsorship with a competitor (ie. Nike, Gatorade, and others).

For your "traditional sports" this approach works out rather well, especially since the money being made by the players is already a good chunk of changes, as well as the sponsorships that they are able to be a part of. The thing that makes Tfue's situation different, and makes almost all only "influencers" different is the fact that the money for being part of a time can, at times, pale in comparison with a solo sponsorship contract. There is a catch, though, at this current moment in time. Not many, if any, eSports teams can allow for single players to take on solo sponsorships. There is too much chance for conflict of interest as well as there is the potential for rigging events. I know that no one things that gamers would intentionally tank, but let's be honest, if they can make a boatload more from that "single match slip", most will do it. The best example will always be the gamer "Life" and his permanent ban from Professional Starcraft II tournaments.

How will this affect eSports pro teams in the future? What will be the outcome of this lawsuit? Who knows, but for now it appears that there is quite the pissing match between those for Tfue and those who stand with FaZe Clan.

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