In a tentative ruling on December 6, California judge argued that streamer Tfue is indeed entitled to the protections of the CA law regardless of the location of the litigation.
She further explained that the rights under the Talent Agencies Act are “unwaivable”.
Lawyers representing esports star Turner “Tfue” Tenney and his gaming organization FaZe clan met in LA Superior Court last December 6.
The hearing was to determine whether the East Coast or West Coast is the proper home to settle an on-going dispute between the two parties.
Earlier in May, Tfue sued FaZe clan over a contract he signed with the organization which he called “oppressive”.
He claims that it restrained his business opportunities and even allowed the company to take as much as 80 percent of his own earnings.
Tenney, 21, filed a complaint with the California Labor Commissioner based on the Talent Agencies Act (TAA).
This California state law requires 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.
Tfue argues that the scope of said law includes esports talent.
In August, FaZe clan filed a countersuit in New York. Official representatives claim that the “gamer agreement” in Tenney’s contract demands that any dispute should be handled in the state’s court.
Tenney’s lawyers, on the other hand, says that the gamer agreement is technically void and the case must be tried in California where the TAA applies.
In a tentative ruling last December 6, CA Judge Patricia Nieto explained that the forum selection in the gamer’s agreement is “unquestionably mandatory” and the rights under the Talent Agencies Act are “unwaivable.”
“The TAA was created for a public purpose, and Plaintiff therefore cannot waive these rights through the forum selection clause… Tenney was a California resident while performing under the contract for several months. The public purpose of the TAA would be defeated if allowed to be waived by individuals.”
Nieto also required FaZe representatives to show concrete proof that the NY court “would provide the same or greater rights than California, or the foreign forum will apply California law on the claims at issue.”
She did grant FaZe’s motion to put the CA fight on hold until the NY litigation is resolved, though.
Tenney’s attorney Bryan Freedman was pleased by the tentative ruling, saying:
“We are extremely pleased with this decision, ecstatic really… All we want is for California law to apply to this dispute and the violations of the TAA.”
“Rarely does the right thing happen in court. This is the right thing.”