CS: GO Streamer James 'PhantomL0rd' Vargas Files Lawsuit Against Twitch Over 2016 Suspension


Popular CS: Go streamer James "PhantomL0rd" Varga is suing streaming site Twitch for breach of contract, stemming from Varga's suspension and eventual exit from the platform in 2016.

Varga, who commanded more than a million followers before the controversy erupted, claimed in the suit that he had a formal agreement with Twitch, an Amazon subsidiary. Also, the CS: GO streamer revealed it was the company that recruited and offered him a contract that in the end was terminated for flimsy reasons.

Twitch Partner

Essentially, the lawsuit indicates that Varga while providing contents for Twitch was, in fact, a partner of the streaming operator and not merely using the platform. The partnership was backed by a contract, which the company reneged on when Varga's Twitch account was initially suspended. Twitch ultimately banned Varga from the site, a decision that the latter called as classic "scapegoat" act.

"It is clear from Twitch's conduct that the stated bases for suspension and termination were an effort to deflect negative press and scapegoat Varga, allowing Twitch to publicly decry alleged gambling conduct and divert attention from the fact that Twitch continued to knowingly allow such conduct to continue on other Twitch channels," states the suit.

The Backstory

Back in July 2016, e-Sports journalist Richard Lewis published reports that pointed to Varga as the real owner of gambling site, which the streamer had extensively used and promoted on the Twitch platform. The stories authored by Lewis insinuated solid suggestions that Varga had a direct hand in running CSGOShuffle operations.

The allegations aired by Lewis picked up traction and as a result, Twitch suspended Varga's channel. The company said the streamer violated the platform's terms of services when he withheld the information leaked out in the Lewis reports. In addition, Varga was in violation of FTC and Valve rules that are enough grounds for the drastic action.

In the end, Twitch banished Varga from the site for streaming of non-gaming contents that ran in counter with the site's expressed community standards.

The Rebuttal

In his suit, Varga said he was left in the dark for months about his suspension and was only provided clarifications in January 2017. A Twitch representative advised him that he was blocked from using his channel on the site for having fraudulent subscribers and for violating the general guidelines for content providers.

The streamer, however, disputed the accusations. He was convinced Twitch actions were prompted by unverified allegations that were made public, which in turn, publicly disparaged him and took advantage of his popularity.

Varga admitted the campaign to discredit his name proved successful so far. He suffered financial and reputational harm, resulting from the unjust termination of his contract. For all the troubles caused, he is seeking damages, interest, and fees the court might consider fit to award.

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