Esports organization FaZe Clan continues to be at the center of controversy regarding a series of alleged contracts that are restrictive in nature to an unreasonable level, now with Dennis “Cloakzy” Lepore, the Fortnite team captain for the organization, looking to leave.
The issues came to light about a month ago when Turner “Tfue” Tenney revealed just how bad his own agreement with the organization was, and brought a lawsuit against FaZe Clan. Lepore has been supportive of Teeney throughout the ordeal, and now it seems he too has had enough of a contract that is highly beneficial to FaZe Clan, but not to him.
Since Lepore has indicated that he too wishes to be freed from a restrictive contract, FaZe Clan has announced via Twitter that a resolution is being sought through release or transfer.
#Fortnite: @FaZeClan & @cloakzy are in agreement to work towards his future departure from our team.— #FaZeUp (@FaZeUpdate) June 22, 2019
We will be open to transfer proposals from other organizations as we explore our options moving forward.#FaZeUp
Afterwards, Lepore spoke on Stream about the contract when asked via Twitch Chat, to which he replied “You guys saw the contract,” which implies that both Lepore and Teeney had had similar or perhaps identical contracts. This would mean that FaZe would stand to earn 80% of all revenue gained from endorsements made on behalf of their players, as well as a high proportion of merchandising. Worst of all, the Support-A-Creator code within Fortnite would also be split heavily in favor of FaZe.
The contract is so bad that owner Ricky Banks even stated it was “trash” but pledged to sit down with Tfue a month ago to sort things out. Clearly this did not happen, else Lepore would have had something in the works as well, one would imagine.
What can we expect for the future of FaZe Clan? On the one hand, they are a relatively large player in the esports scene, but on the other hand, owner Banks seems to have zero misgivings about mistreating its talent, which propels the organization forward.
Organizations run by greedy individuals will always be in vogue, and we are hardly surprised to see that so-and-so is exploiting workers in an unfair manner. The difference here is that esports in general is a fast growing, popular industry that is only in its infancy. Its rising stars are often young, eager, and inexperienced in the world of business.
While ignorance is hardly a defense for most situations, we must recognize that FaZe Clan seems to be establishing a pattern of behavior that is not in the interests of the player, but mainly in lining the pockets of the organization.
What do players need in this case to be protected? Is an esports union something that be discussed, or do the youth who join these organizations simply need to tread more cautiously? We do not have the answers right now, but as this is the second high-profile revelation of exploitative contracts at FaZe Clan, something needs to change in the near future.