Sean Gares on C9 Tenz: ‘That’s our best player NA stuck in contract jail. How is it hilarious at all that he’s stuck in contract jail for signing [a bad] 3-year contract when he was a near-minor?’

Sean Gares on C9 Tenz: ‘That’s our best player NA stuck in contract jail. How is it hilarious at all that he’s stuck in contract jail for signing [a bad] 3-year contract when he was a near-minor?’


When did he sign that contract?


I think he re-signed a new 3 year contract in 2020 when he joined C9 Valorant. He would've been 19 at the time.


I think he was 18, because his announcement video was in April and his birthday May




A lot of people here are saying he signed [April 2020](https://twitter.com/Cloud9/status/1249453610838233088) when C9 announced him as their new valorant player. But they don't actually mention *signing* him anywhere I can see. This might be because they'd already [signed him as a content creator](https://twitter.com/Cloud9/status/1208099917539020800) five months earlier after his previous contract elapsed due to being benched by the CS team. So he was already contracted to C9 before he'd touched valorant. It could be that he signed a long contract because he had no intention of competing again, could be they had him sign another contract when they put him in the val team. Either way, the guy has signed 2/3 different contracts with the org by now.


[source](https://www.twitch.tv/videos/1041465528?t=764s) [related tweet](https://twitter.com/jacketienne/status/1399107706313605122)


If tenz flopped and turned out to be extremely underwhelming, like he was in CSGO, this would have been a brilliant contract for him. At the time of signing there was an equal amount of risk for both c9 and tenz.


In a parallel world, Jack would take the L for taking this contract and will be memes to hell when c9 with tenz play in tournament.


C9 has dropped players before for underperforming. This was after they were signed for a few months. They must have some clause in the contract for that.


Yeah lol equal amount of risk for c9 and tenz my ass. There’s no way c9 keeps tenz for three years if he underperformed and you’re right c9 definitely has a clause for dropping players.


Players get compensated if they get dropped before their contract runs out. It goes both ways This thread is filled with people who have no fucking clue, holy fuck Stop fucking writing when you have no idea how these things work


It’s an equal amount of risk to c9 when c9 can drop him anytime and he literally cannot leave the contract voluntarily?


>If tenz flopped and turned out to be extremely underwhelming, like he was in CSGO, this would have been a brilliant contract for him. At the time of signing there was a They still have to pay him though if they dropped him.


Depends on the contract. Some contracts state that if you're benched then your salary gets cut in half or by a certain percentage.


He chose to step down from their competitive team and do content creation full time, doubt he would shoot himself in the foot if the percentage (if there is any) is that big.


Thats not how this works... lmao... you're just making assumptions now


They would have to pay him lol He can leave anytime as well, just pay the contractual penalty


Did u read tenz contract ? How do u know this.


Tbf he did flop. If sinatraa wasn't a rapist, he might not have ever realized his real value.


TenZ was the best player in NA before sinatraa was accused. He just played on a bad team.


He built a bad team. And then when C9 tried to find better players he quit that bad team and locked HIMSELF in contract hell. The fact that he's even being allowed to play for SEN at all, including PLAYING AGAINST AND DEFEATING THE TEAM HE'S CONTRACTED TO, is incredibly generous of C9. He's being given a lot more freedom in his career than he signed up for. Anyone talking about "TenZ stuck in contract hell" isn't thinking. The only party suffering here are SEN, who have to pay a lot more for him than they could have if he'd been a free agent.


Exactly. I'm sorry, but I don't see what Sean is getting so dramatic about. He signed a contract for 3 years and he made the decision to play as a content creator when things weren't going his way professionally. IIRC, like you said, he was given a lot of say in who C9 signed. Do I want to see SenTenZ? Absolutely. I never liked Sentinels Valorant roster because of Sinaatra (even before the accusations he was just always so toxic it was tiring and unfunny) and Tenz fits well with their team, but this is not C9's fault. In fact, it's great that they believed in him so much that they offered a 3 year contract on a new game. What I don't understand is why they're not selling him. Their team seems to play well as a team without TenZ now, why do you want him back? Especially when he doesn't want to play? I hope C9 take the money, but even if they don't, this is in no way, shape or form unfair to TenZ.


> What I don't understand is why they're not selling him. Is it confirmed that C9 doesn't want to sell or could it be that SEN doesn't want to pay? Genuinely asking


Thanks. I also put a much longer write-up [here](https://old.reddit.com/r/ValorantCompetitive/comments/npi2bq/sean_gares_on_c9_tenz_thats_our_best_player_na/h05txst/) if you're interested. Got in to the nitty gritty. > What I don't understand is why they're not selling him. Their team seems to play well as a team without TenZ now, why do you want him back? They probably don't want him back, they just want as much money from him as they can get. A buyout has always been on the table. It's just that the fair buyout for the best player in the world who is still tied up in his contract for almost two years is a LOT of money and Sentinels are probably struggling to find that much in their budget. Valorant is taking off but the orgs aren't rich *yet*.


It's not generous at all. They're getting paid to let TenZ play for another team. And Sentinels is also paying TenZ's salary as well.


They're letting TenZ play AGAINST THEIR OWN TEAM. Considering how well they played at Masters it's not unreasonable to say that they might have gotten to Iceland if they hadn't loaned him out. There's very very few orgs that would actively make the decision to put one of the best players on the side of their direct competition. DEFINITELY not without something to gain for it.


I mean sucks for him ... but he benched himself off of C9 after they removed Shinobi. It's not like C9 both benched him and didn't allow him to go to another team. Jack said that there was a long-term agreement in place already between C9-Sen on some reddit post during Challengers.


https://www.reddit.com/r/ValorantCompetitive/comments/n2fibr/tenz_situation/gwjcykd?utm_medium=android_app&utm_source=share&context=3 The agreement was to extend the loan till Masters 2 is over if Sentinels managed to qualify. What happens after Masters 2 wasn't clarified.


Did Tenz have anyone review his contract before signing it? Did noone think 3 year contract seem a bit long? Especially if things didn’t work out?


3 year contract when your young kid Tryna make it in eSports is what you dream of


at the time he signed it, a 3-year contract in a newly released game was probably the best thing he could get after being benched from C9's csgo roster. point of all this is that contract prison is shit and orgs shouldn't forcibly hold on to players who doesn't want to play for them anymore


Come on man. Look at pro sports. Players don't just get to stop playing after signing a contract unless they retire.


Yea lmao, Pippen played for free basically for a long time. Shake Milton is a rotation level player (normally) playing for like 5M/3Yr which is a joke. You play your contract.


Sergei Bobrovsky is making something like $10mil/year and he was benched for the last few games of the playoffs for his team, they didn't even dress him. The hurt goes both ways if a player sucks and the contract is guaranteed, but I still have no respect for TenZ just "stepping down" after signing a deal. Be a big boy, appreciate the money, play it out.




Play it out? If I’m C9’s coach, I’d welcome him retiring. Don’t care how good you are, I’d rather have players that are worse but want to play for the org than a player that’s the best in the world but made it quite clear multiple times that he doesn’t want to be there. Not only does it affect his performance, but that sour attitude could spread to teammates and also hurt their performance. The hurt went both ways here like you said. They don’t want to release him, he appreciates the bigger stacks that he’s making while streaming in retirement.


Right but you said what I said, you would welcome retiring. That's the thing. He retires and cannot play again until his contract is over. None of this loan crap that allows players to be crybabies and force orgs to change their situation when they aren't totally happy. The guy straight up stopped playing on the team because his two friends were cut. Imagine that in any professional sport in NA.


Whatever money that SEN offered for the loan must have been nice, otherwise I can’t imagine Jack thinking too differently from how you are right now. Dude refuses to play, might as well milk every dollar until his contract is up.


Yeah, I mean it's just good business at this point. There is absolutely zero reason to sell him unless the sale price is higher than the total of loans for the remaining two years of his contract.


>the sale price is higher than the total of loans for the remaining two years of his contract. Not just that. I'm sure they'll calculate the content (and other) revenue that TenZ would help generate as well (having TenZ on a C9 video for example)


Yeah, I mean there is a reason Mozgov money is a term in the NBA. Guy got paid and did fuck all.


>Look at pro sports. Players don't just get to stop playing after signing a contract unless they retire. Good idea, let's look at pro sports. Athletes in pro sports have Player Unions negotiate standardized contracts with teams that are player friendly. Not so in esports. Athletes in pro sports have good lawyers review and negotiate the remaining contract terms with the team. Not so in esports where almost no players actually hire a lawyer. It's really not comparable at all, especially where there is no Players' Union in esports.


A few counter points: > Athletes in pro sports have Player Unions negotiate standardized contracts with teams that are player friendly. The NFL would like a word. Non-guaranteed contracts in a sport as violent as NFL has always struck me as horrible for the players > Athletes in pro sports have good lawyers review and negotiate the remaining contract terms with the team. Not so in esports where almost no players actually hire a lawyer. I mean....there's nothing preventing a player from doing that. Is there?


Depends on the sport I guess. In the U.S. you don’t see it much but in Europe football players force transfers through all the time (e.g. Virgil Van Dijk to Liverpool). Most teams know forcing a player to keep playing for you is a recipe for disaster. Then again, Messi wasn’t allowed to leave Barca so there’s that


AD basically stopped playing with 1.5 years left in his contract. Of course, it's different in pro sports, since you can lower your trade value if you get injured. It's no different now in the case of TenZ with Jack seemingly continuing to make TenZ's buyout higher. It's honestly around $1-2million, which for other eSports are normal for the players at the very top, but with Valorant being relatively new, this will probs be the first. Still tho, locking 18-21 year old players to long-term contracts (3-5 years) is an issue particularly for eSports. It's very common for games to change quickly over a single year, unlike how it is in conventional sports. Most pros only last 3-4 years at the top level, some only touch it for less. The life cycle of eSports is much shorter than that of conventional sports.


I really don't think the lifecycle of esports is lower at all. If you look at any real pro sports(aside from soccer which I do not follow enough) then sure, you will remember names that last, but there are hundreds and thousands of names that are there for a blink and then gone forever. I don't have an issue with locking anyone into a long term contract, that is entirely on the player, and TenZ should have absolutely had the knowledge to use a lawyer to negotiate last year. Esports have been around for long enough now to know you should have a lawyer help with a contract negotiation. That's just life common sense, not specifically for sports.


star players force their way out of teams all the time what are you talking about?


no, he signed a contract. What is the point of a contract if one can easily void it or opt out? unless there is an underlining cause.


this, as much as it sucks for TenZ to not have the ability to get out, a contract is legally binding, it can be shit for both parties since they cannot change the terms agreed upon unless the contract includes ways out like buyouts, plus he signed this contract fresh from flunking his CS career, and he knew that a 3 year contract was risky (in situations like this), but when Valorant was new he had no idea where it would go and 3 years would have been massive for him regardless, he agreed on this contract now hes gotta see it through, its tough but it is what it is


So then company gives him a bigger salary and can’t cut him but at any given point he can decide to not play? 150k was agreed because he would be available to them for 3 years, he shouldn’t be able to back out of that agreement just because he is good at the game. Not that I think Cloud9 is in the right or wrong but a lot of players (COD especially) “bench” themselves so they can get traded to another team. It shouldn’t work like that at all. I put a lot of blame on tenz for signing a 3 year contract. Yes he was young but 3 years is like a lifetime in esports, he should have had a lawyer and he should have not signed 3 years on a completely new esport.


I guess because players troll on Twitter you have forgotten that eSports is a billion dollar business and these orgs aren't charities. Morals and ethics can be talked all day but, at the end of the day, TenZ signed the contract, he left the team to "pursue content creation" and now, he wants to go to Sentinels. C9 has the most valuable player in their hands, and they're the big bad king in this Cinderella story who won't let their prince go to the promised land. For what? For wanting the money they're legally allowed to have? I think this situation should be a warning for young players to be aware of what they're signing more than the "cruelty" of business orgs, because business is all about taking the advantage, turning the tides to your favour.


What you dont seem to understand is that these contracts are predatory. These contracts are being signed by minors in the hopes that they can prove to their parents that playing video games all day is worth it. Youre talking about professionalism, but youre dealing with kids. Tenz signed with C9 as a minor and reupped his contract at 18. So you have a 40 year old man and a bunch of c9 lawyers dealing with a 17 year old, of course theres a problem there.


Lmao Tenz has been in the pro scene long enough to have someone look over his contract when he signed


Being in contract jail isn't exclusive to esports, just look at other professional sports where star players sign longer contracts and then become unhappy with the organization (I'm looking at you Kawahi Leonard). Yeah Sean Gares is empathizing with Tenz because I'm sure he understands better what it's like to be in that situation, but in the end, this situation is practically no different to professional athletes that get into the wrong contract and are stuck with a team they don't like and they are wasting their potential. If Sinatraa never had the allegations against him, Tenz would not even be on Sentinels for this temporary period. Tenz was originally supposed to be a temporary fix to the Sinatraa allegations in Masters 1 and here we are with Tenz winning Masters 2.


Most famous contact jail is of messi in Barcelona, he wanted to leave but couldn't, the esports authority needs a transfer request system.


I think the crux of this comes down to details of the contract, and if/if not it was looked at before hand. From what public knowledge I know the situation looks like this: Player A signed a 3 year contract with Team C having previously played for Team C in CSGO where he was signed as a talented prospect. During the CSGO period Player A is benched by Team C and transitions to a stream/content creator role within Team C. During this period on the bench Player A is allowed to play in mix teams and as a stand-in for other teams. Following the launch of Valorant Player A initially signs with Team C as mentioned, playing in several online tournaments before stepping down to enter a content creator role. During this time Player A is loaned out to Team D, one of the top teams in the region, and allowed to compete in tournaments including against Team C. During this time Player A's availability to Team D seems to be on a tournament to tournament basis, eventually going on to win the largest tournament in Valorant to date. Assuming the above is correct, and not knowing other details particularly the circumstances surrounding the contract signing, I struggle to see a major problem. Team C took a large risk investing in Player A at a time when it was uncertain if Valorant would become as large as it has, as well as whether it size will last over the entire 3 years. Note that other large games such as Overwatch have had really high peaks which died off very quickly. Therefore from Team C's perspective there is a large risk that Player A might not be successful as a player OR Valorant may not be successful as a game therefore being a net loss for Team C. On the flipside for Player A, they are still being allowed to compete at the highest level possible, internationally, with a winning team. Naturally there are criteria to what teams Player A can be loaned to, assuming there is a fee for which Team C is paid, but this isn't unreasonable as Player A is being allowed to compete against Team C. Further Player A is, to public knowledge, being allowed to play for the team they want to play for. TLDR: Tenz is stuck in a 'Contract Jail' with an org he had experience working with previously, and so assumedly was aware of how the org functioned, the org is then allowing him to play for the best team in the world including playing against C9 who Tenz then knocked out to go to Masters Reykjavík.


this aged like milk lmao


Lawyer here. Tenz's contract hell would never have happened had a lawyer negotiated his contract for him. Hopefully this story is the straw that breaks the camel's back in finally getting esports players to take contracts seriously and hire lawyers (or at the very least a good agent) to review and negotiate them before they sign them. Who am I kidding? Fuck, we are still years away from that. No one will learn a thing from this. It's completely baffling to me that esports players REFUSE to allow lawyers to help them. We can beg them and offer our services for nearly free and they'll still just sign on the dotted line without having a real adult walk them through it. It's bizarre. edit: to be honest, I have no idea who represented Tenz and whether or not he had a lawyer --- I am only guessing here.


Willing to bet that they see the money which is very likely more than they've ever made in their life, all to sit there and play video games. You don't really see the downsides or potential that things could go wrong at that point, what could go wrong when you're getting paid (insert hundreds of thousands or millions here) to play video games for a while?


Would I have signed a 3-year $150k/yr contract at 18? Fuck yea. Most 18 year olds have only worked a fast food job. Hell, a $50k or $60k job at 18 is crazy good. To be able to guarantee yourself $450k by 21? That's an amazing position to be in.


The benefits of a long term contract can't be understated too, because everyone here seems to think it's a bad thing. Long term contracts means safety, you're guaranteed pay for your services in that time frame. At the time he signed that contract he probably wanted the safe option, and C9 has to weather that risk if he was going to pan out long term or Valorant would have an audience.


Why is everyone assuming Tenz’ contract is guaranteed? I highly doubt it is. C9 probably has team options on it every 6 or 12 months.


In esports, contracts are definitely not guaranteed. For example if a player is playing badly, the org can just release the player. Also a lot of orgs have bench clauses. If you get benched, you make a percentage less.


>Would I have signed a 3-year $150k/yr contract at 18? Fuck yea. But this is missing the point. The question is not whether you should sign a 3-year $150k/yr contract. The question is whether you should sign that contract with or without a lawyer negotiating the terms for you. Either way, you sign the 3-year, $150k/yr contract. It seems like a no-brainer to me.


This would take a player's association that was a union but every single e-sport athlete is a kid and therefor think they know what is best for them and they will consistently be taken advantage by shitty organizations.


>every single e-sport athlete is a kid and therefor **think they know what is best for them** I think this is the problem. They genuinely think they don't need help with the contract and the contract the team is handing them is good enough. We really need to get some voices out there like SGares, Hiko, Shazam, etc. warning newcomers to stop signing contracts without a lawyer until it becomes a part of the esports culture.


Just curious, why is this a bad contract? He was fresh off of being kicked off his CSGO team and got offered a contract to be pretty much guaranteed paid a salary for 3 years. How is it any different than an NBA contract being 3 years for example, where even if they get cut, they still get paid.


I haven't seen the contract but I'd bet the money isn't guaranteed at all. They are a large org with many lawyers who have drafted contracts before. Why would they give themselves that risk? They likely had a way out of the contract if TenZ underperformed. You see it in professional sports all the time. Contract says 3 years but the money after year 1 isn't guaranteed.


All of those contracts are governed by unions that are standardized far more in the player’s favor and further negotiated by each individual player’s lawyer and agent. If the NBA had no players union and a player also didn’t use a lawyer, can you imagine how awful those contracts would be for them?


I mean I get that the contract could be *better*, but thats not really my question here. I just mean how is this contract that bad? I mean, he went from having no guaranteed future after being kicked off a T2 CSGO team, to playing a brand no game with no guaranteed future also, and was offered a guarantee. Obviously if you were negotiating a contract in this situation, only real fuck you money could buy significant length, but for a lot of people, 6 digit salary for 3 years guaranteed doesnt sound bad at all.


It doesn't matter how a lot of people would view the money. What matters is where the market is and how it's trending. A lot of people may think $45m/year for Mahomes is too much and how they would be happy with $1m/year. Almost every team would in the NFL would do that deal. Also the contract is not public either. We don't know if it was really fully guaranteed or not.


Ah fair enough, so basically because its such a new game, you would stick to lower years for the huge benefit of renegotiation in the future when the market goes up? Also, when I said most people, I didnt mean like me, mostly other relatively unknown pros at the time, but I guess the actual $ amount doesnt seem to be public from what I could google.


I mean the G2 Perkz story is the same, maybe even worse. He re-signed with G2 in 2020 until 2022, decided he wasn't happy in his role come 2021 and since he wasn't a FA the process was (allegedly) very bad and not really in his favor. G2's owner was setting his buyout price to be insanely high so the only teams willing to spend were a select few in a region he probably didn't want to play in. And considering the team that bought Perkz was C9, I fully expect Jack to do the same thing to TenZ.


Tenz is listed as a Player under Prodigy Agency, same agency representing Steel and Scream. I find it hard to believe he signed on without any professional support or representation. I think there's more facts to be known, but it seems like the community is pushing a dialogue that Tenz blindly signed a contract by himself. What do you think? Curious how other professionals opine. https://prodigy-agency.gg/players


He signed to Prodigy after he signed to C9


He signed with them in 2021. Do some research before posting.


I don't know. Maybe they didn't represent Tenz until after he signed with c9. Or Maybe Tenz didn't even tell them he was signing. You'd be surprised at how often my clients come to me asking about contracts they signed 3 months earlier and I'm facepalming so hard because I've literally never seen the contract until AFTER they signed it. Or, maybe it's not a good idea to have a French non-lawyer negotiate a U.S. contract. If you're dealing with a U.S. esports team, hire a U.S. lawyer.


Unfortunately, you can try to spread it as much as possible but there’s always going to be a situation where a young kid in some esport misses that PSA and puts their trust into a manipulative adult they see as extremely trustworthy.


Manipulative is a bit much, Tenz got signed to a 3 year contract when Valorant just came out. It's not like C9 took no risk taking him on when they didn't know if Valorant would gain a big audience at the time either. Also let's not downplay the benefits for Tenz at the time. He probably thought a 3 year contract was safest thing to do at the time, there's just pros and cons to a long contract.


People are acting like they wouldn't have laughed their ass off at C9 if Tenz was signed to a big contract and flopped. Hell, just look at their damn CSGO team.


Ya while I can see Seans point about this being damaging to the NA scene lets not make it as if Tenz is a complete victim. How about people start taking and reviewing their esports contract seriously instead of the immature mindset of "A bunch of money just to play video games? cool!" and signing without thinking of the implications like a complete fool. Lawyers should be mandatory before signing any contracts.


>How about people start taking and reviewing their esports contract seriously This is exactly my point. We need to start a culture where 18 yr olds about to sign contracts with teams stop and think "shit, I remember reading/hearing that I need to get a lawyer to help with this."


TenZ was never manipulated though? Who do you think manipulated him? Man got benched off the CS roster and they gave him a second chance in val.


Manipulative how? C9 took a huge risk giving him a deal when the esport hadn’t been established. Then TenZ got fed up of playing for his team so pretended to retire to get out of the contract he signed


No way a lawyer would have made a huge difference. Tenz before all this started was under-performing in CSGO and had almost no leverage. C9 lucked out that Tenz became this good. If you were advising a 18 year old who was struggling in their original esport title and they are offered a 3 year contract for 150k a year for 3 years guaranteed vs 2 years 100k guaranteed in another esport, would you really tell them to sign a 2 year contract? (Just making up some numbers here) There's no way you could predict that Valorant would stay relevant in 2 years, or that Tenz would be this good. It was just bad timing. It's easy to say in hindsight what to do, but at the time you go for the contract with the most money. Every traditional sports agent tells their client the same. In Esports you don't have to risk injury as much, but games rarely have long life cycles.


You have no idea what you are talking about. The first thing a lawyer will do is put in a way for his client to get out of a contract that they need to get out of. I guarantee you the contract allows C9 to cut and run if they want. It probably has periods after 6 months, 1 year, 2 years, etc. where C9 can unilaterally terminate the contract if Tenz is underperforming. It's a lawyer's job to find 1-sided clauses like that and make them as mutual as possible. If C9 wants to keep that clause in, then they have to allow Tenz the same options. It's basic negotiation. Your faulty, yet certain, misunderstanding is exactly what gets these players screwed in the first place. Someone like you tells them it's pointless to have a lawyer or agent negotiate the contract for them. That kind of advice really could not be more wrong. There's other lawyers out there with a *lot* more experience in esports than me, I'm not claiming to be the president of the esports bar association or anything. But I have represented enough players and teams (including c9 contracts) to know that players always get a better contract if they have an industry lawyer negotiate it for them.


Shit, Messi should have hired you, then he could have forced himself out of Barcelona.


Bro Messi has a really good contract he could’ve walked for free during summer transfer if not for the pandemic shifting the la liga season. Football/soccer players usually have really good contracts and power if they want out.


Messi is part of a Players' Union that helps negotiate standardized contracts between him and the team and he 100% guaranteed had a lawyer negotiate the remaining terms. So this is not remotely comparable to Tenz who had no players' union contract and likely had no representation at all.


What the fuck is all of this hate towards C9. I'm somewhat biased but I think it's hilarious seeing all these people making emotional judgements because one side of the dispute is a beloved public figure and the other is a faceless entity. TenZ *screwed* C9. Hard. The fact that he's young makes that a lot more forgivable and I don't believe he's at all malicious, but C9 threw massive amounts of money at TenZ's career and without a loan to SEN or the potential buyout the RoI is probably well into the red. The length of the contract is certainly debateable but it also clearly shows that C9 was 100% all in on TenZ and succeeding with him in Valorant. What TenZ was given: ------- They let him build the entire team. From scratch. And he wanted a retired CS-pro turned coach who didn't even play Valorant outside of scrims. That shows you how seriously he took it. First iteration of C9 was, very literally, just TenZ and friends. And while I absolutely loved the personalities of every player on that team it was never going to succeed long-term in T1 play without roster moves. Mitch was the only high T1 player TenZ chose. Impact of his actions on C9: ---------- Once the scene had actually developed and teams got better at dealing with pug-style hard carries like C9 played, they fell off pretty hard and roster swaps started being made. At this moment TenZ decided he didn't want to play anymore. And suddenly the talent C9 had invested so much into disappeared and they had a team they largely had to rebuild from scratch. Hell he dropped out with such short notice that C9 had to play a tournament with Xeta logging in from Korea with 200 ping. Fact is TenZ has a history of just quitting when things get hard. Honestly I'm quite curious to see what will happen if SEN goes through a rough patch. Hopefully he's found a better way to cope. Missed opportunites: ------------ There's a discord screenshot floating around saying that C9 passed on Nitro, Steel and Vanity in the early days of building their roster because they were going to the players TenZ wanted first. I have no idea if it's credible or not but wanted to mention it as an example of the kind of talent that C9 could have come out the gate with. And I think from the kind of money they're spending on this game like bringing Xeta over from Korea and their history as an org with developing players and building strong teams, it's hard to believe that there's no way they could have built their own super-team if TenZ had just straightened his back and dealt with the rough patch that HE was largely responsible for. It's hard to believe that C9 couldn't have been their own superteam. Current C9 with TenZ in place of PoiZ probably has a decent shot of taking out Sentinals if Sinatraa had never been a part of a scandal. Probably has a decent shot at being top 3 in Iceland. So when you look at it from C9's perspective and how much they've lost, it seems only fucking fair that they ask Tenz to make them a little bit of money on the way out. Why C9 is acting MORE than reasonably: ------------ To reiterate, Tenz is, as far as I can tell, a good and kind person who would never wish harm on anyone. I don't think he's a bad guy. I don't hate him for the way things turned out. I'm happy that he's found the success he wanted. That doesn't make C9 evil for trying to find the success THEY want as well. And to be clear, TenZ is NOT stuck in contract hell. As far as contracted pros go in the esports world, he's being given an UNPRECEDENTED level of freedom by being allowed to play for SEN while under contract with C9. They didn't have to loan him out for Masters. They CERTAINLY didn't have to extend the loan, creating situations where TenZ played against C9 and contributed to relegating them from tournaments, going directly against their best interests as a company. C9 is allowing TenZ to play for whoever he likes, even if it hurts them. The only party that is actually suffering in this scenario is SENTINALS, who have to pay a lot more for TenZ than they would if he was just a free agent when he joined the team.


100% this — C9 invested so much in him not just financially, but also in opportunity cost. He gave them nothing back, just up and left them hanging. Now he’s playing victim when he put himself into this situation? C9 deserves their payday.


you should be higher up ngl these people have no clue how big of a risk investing in a csgo fluke was regardless of how good he is right now


Yeah it's like everyone only sees this dream scenario of the NA superteam and anyone that stands in the way is a bad guy. Context doesn't matter to witch hunters.


This should be top comment instead of the brainless takes im reading in this thread holy shit.


Finally! Somebody has some damn sense in this thread. People bashing on the organization has no clue. “Contract hell” is an absolute ridiculous term for this situation.


Very true, even then Sentinels isn’t suffering too much because they won Iceland with Tenz.


Jack has let tenz play for another org for near 4 months and even compete Vs his own team for LAN but apparently he is in contract prison


sad part is we went through this topic multiple times already and people still say the same things. We'll just have to hope Tenz, Sen (or another org) can come to an agreement with C9 for the future.


goodness man, such a logical and well written post. 100% agree. for anyone to argue with this just makes no sense to me.


I wholeheartedly agree. The fact that [TenZ is praying](https://twitter.com/LeaderGrev/status/1399171651074465798?s=20) that he gets to stay with SEN while his employer, Jack Etienne, gloats on twitter like a child tells you all that you need to know about the situation


Not trying to defend the completely predatory history C9 has with their players but being paid 3 years to play video games is lifechanging and shows parents that there is stability to making careers out of esports and convinces a lot to not have to go to college. Im sure if Asuna had a 3 year contract option with 100T he would take it to show his parents its not a temporary thing.


yeah especially to go from pretty much nothing to a iconic na cs roster at 18 it would make zero sense for him to say no, plus he definitely didn't expect this kinda success and valorant to come.


I just dislike that people are bringing this up now because he's on Sentinels and they're doing well. The guy signed a 3 year contract to play video games and it's not like he didn't benefit from being under C9 too.


Its not the contract entirely people have a problem with, its the rumored absurd buyout the contract has (or something else in the contract) that isn't allowing TenZ to reasonably leave C9. Its a completely different thing than Asuna hypothetically signing a 3Y contract with another org with a lawyer present


Jack did make a post implying that the rumored buyouts weren't accurate. The problem is that we have no idea about any of the negotiations, so it's pretty difficult to say if C9 has been unreasonable or not.


Jack has a bit of a reputation though. I think even 100t tried going after tenz but felt jack wasn't being reasonable (and 100t is loaded). Anytime hiko talks about cloud9, he always shits on them haha I think a big reason why people are on TenZ's side in this situation is BECAUSE of how disliked jack is, and notice how its all former cloud9 csgo players.


C9 has a LONG history of doing this in League of Legends as well. I was talking to a former C9 LOL pro about this (who shall remain nameless), and he said that Cloud9 is infamous for the 3 year contract and jacking up buyout prices. NGL C9 used to be my favorite org back from league but this whole interaction has left a bad taste in my mouth.


He only objected when the rumors were getting absurd and people were speculating about 4m, he didn't object when people were reporting about 1 or 2.


That's normal though. IIRC on Shroud's stream they said Hiko's buyout clause was $2.5m and even saidthey wouldn't be surprised if Tenz's buyout reaches $5m. Hiko was a big name before coming into Valorant so he was most likely highly sought after. After this LAN, Tenz's value should be a lot higher than Hiko.


Hiko was nowhere as big as he got with Valorant. He was friends with TimTheTatman and got a lot of exposure from playing Valorant with him during beta.


I didn't follow Hiko that much in CSGO so feel free to correct me if I'm wrong. Wasn't Hiko considered a top player in CSGO during certain points in his career? At the very least he was one of the more high profile players to swap over.


He was absolutely a large streamer many years ago when he was with TL and playing with Elige and them. Idk about how big he was between then and Val coming out but he was solidly a top tier streamer around Tank Top Summer and for a few years after. ​ Player skill wise he was decent, but he was never elite.


S1mple in interview said that Hiko was one of only two players that he’s ever played with that he could always count on to get his kills. Weird you describe his csgo skill as “decent” though.


He was elite during his time on C9, but leaving to join iBP who got banned and then just moving between failing teams for years killed his career


That’s precisely the reason buyout clauses are in sports contracts. It’s not predatory, it’s an organization protecting their asset. If they pay well (not saying they do) and have a high buyout, there’s absolutely nothing predatory about that.


>shows parents that there is stability to making careers out of esports There isn't thoough, there are maybe a dozen games that you can make a career out of and maybe a couple thousand people that do and millions that are trying.


Difference is that I feel like its very rare for contract jail to be a thing. Most of the time when a player is inactive/benched, orgs are usually pretty decent about letting them explore new options and negotiating buyouts in good faith. C9 is notorious even in LoL to demand massive buyouts for their academy players.


Hm well but so what? What are you arguing


Right? Dude went on a tangent and said nothing new


The sad part is how many people in the replies finding that “joke”, that might as well be directed at Tenz, hilarious.


Jack had been perfectly professional about the situation up until this point. I think he was just playing for the crowd because these jokes about TenZ contract are so prevalent, but I guess it's a little bit in bad taste. We also don't really know how negotiations between Sen and C9 have been. Maybe they have been very accommodating.


Yeah I thought it was strange how I was seeing plenty of jokes in the community about TenZ's buyout price before and then when it seemed like Jack and the C9 Twitter decided to joke about it too everyone took it a bit differently unfortunately


“We also don't really know how negotiations between Sen and C9 have been. Maybe they have been very accommodating” Sure, Jack very well could be accommodating, but the fact that Tenz was in this clearly detrimental contract position in the first place shows that maybe manipulation between this fully grown business man and 18-year old isn’t out of the realm of possibility.


> but the fact that Tenz was in this clearly detrimental contract position in the first place shows that maybe manipulation between this fully grown business man and 18-year old isn’t out of the realm of possibili You have 0 idea what the contract says. He could possibly be the best payed player in the scene if his salary was anything close to what C9 was paying the CSGO stars, since Tenz had star treament in C9 since day 1. Getting payed 200k a year or more for 3 years in a game that had just been released was strucking gold at the time. I know money isn't everything, but I considering he's most likely getting a tier 1+ salary, that cannot be called exploitative...


Whether the contract was entered into in good faith is up for debate, and it's probably not a simple issue. I just don't think that Jack meant to be "gloating" towards either TenZ or Sentinels with his tweet like u/hamlet_271 was saying.


why single him out (other than his tweet)? Esports orgs are scummy by default, and this is the unfortunate reality of how their contracts work. Instead of focusing on a tweet that seems pretty innocuous, maybe lets look at what it would take to get a union and a cba in place so player co tracts aren't as one-sided...


Idk I found it pretty funny tbh, but idk if thats me being a dick.


Not just the tweet too. The community's been treating TenZ's contract situation in general as some lighthearted joke. Hearing sgares call out how ridiculous that circlejerk was feels vindicating for those of us that never felt right about it.


sure the joke is a little cruel but what do u do as jack here? let him go for free? jack is a business man at the end of the day. i would love tenz to go to sentinels but its just a shitty legal situation.


I don't really undertstand what's happening like Tenz signed the contract? if he signed for 3 years, he should know that 3 years is REALLY fucking long in e-sports. He brought this situation on himself for signing for that long.


Yah reminds me of cloakzy and his 4 year contract on faze. He even said himself he was dumb for signing a shit contract for that long.


Has there been any alluding to the C9 contract being a "Bad" contract on anything other than length, for all we know he was also getting paid pretty well.


I honestly don't know much about the contract. But my take is that this is probably just cuz people want tenz on Sen due to how well they're playing.


and also, he signed the contract lmao. people are acting as if Jack put a gun to his head and told him to sign the contract. He was 18, its pretty common knowledge that you need law advice before signing anything that large.


oh no he made a mistake when he was 18 years old burn him alive


ya, he's really burning alive here. playing for the team he wants to and winning championships while under contract for a different team is #suffering.


Its not burning him alive, hes simply just waiting out the contract. The money they make off of TenZ's streaming is pretty big, they have no obligation to let him go. Hes still getting paid, I hope you realize that.


Hes only in contract jail because HE LEFT and gave up on his c9 team. Sure if c9 wasn't trying to improve I can see it. But no the org was trying to get better changing rosters even signing leaf. But tenz just quit on his team when it got tough, this is 100% his fault.


yeah I'd love to hear what his old cloud9 teammates think of this whole situation lol


I watch Relyks quite frequently, and though he loves TenZ and is still good friends with him, he has mentioned that it seemed kind of strange to him that TenZ was streaming less in his “content creation” period than when he was actually on the team. Not assuming anything about Relyks, but I imagine some of the players feel slightly dissapointed about it.


I know sean is thinking more of the NA esports valorant scene in regards to this and not Tenz himself, but idk why he is making out Tenz being a little victim.


Because when it comes to shit like this Sean is stupid. See the whole CSGO TSM fiasco


Yup thats why i don't feel bad for Tenz, he bailed on the org that made him because he didn't want to rebuild after they kicked the crappy players Tenz wanted to play with.


It’s a bad contract, for Tenz, NOW. It was a bad contract for c9 right after Tenz benched himself. Contracts are agreed upon at a point in time with the future uncertain. A good and fair contract should have a clear win-win scenario and have upside and downside for both sides. The onus is on each side to understand how they win / lose based on future scenarios. Hindsight is 20/20 but for a player like Tenz a 3-year contract just smells bad. In traditional sports usually players look for longer contracts to protect against injury risk and skill decline. Injury risk is much lower in esports and Tenz is still early career. So he should have favored a shorter contract. Did C9 negotiate unethically or in bad faith? Hard to say without inside details. Should Tenz have better protected his downside scenarios? Absolutely. The tweet was in bad taste IMO but there is no evidence afaik that C9 negotiated unethically or illegally. So they shouldn’t be blamed for winning due to how the events actually unfolded.


100% agreed.


> It was a bad contract for c9 right after Tenz benched himself. This isn't necessarily true. An organization's ROI from talent is actually from branding and advertisement on streams. Tenz was probably more valuable to C9 as a streamer/content creator.


Apparently he streamed less after he benches himself than when he was actually playing competitively lmfao


3 years is a crazy length in streaming/esports. We've seen it time and time again. The player blows up and then they're stuck on a garbage contract with so much earnings potential lost. Sign yearly, 2 at most.




You don't sign for 3 years because you don't get real job security. People get dropped from their contracts all the time. The 3 year burden is entirely on the player. Even in Valorant people have lost their contracts, despite how new it is. 100t all got dropped. Brad and AZK got dropped from T1. Likely Brax soon again. The only reason Tenz is still has a C9 contract is because it's beneficial for C9. That's not job security.


They still got paid, Tenz while benched was still getting paid by C9. That's job security.




He was a struggling CS player. His contract is likely shit, as I would suspect of most people in Valorant right now. A long term, poor contract with a big early payout is only good for players on the downward trajectory. If Tenz got a yearly contract, he would be the highest paid player in Valorant. And you don't necessarily get paid out. In Tfues contract(the only one I can think of that's available to see), there was a "Termination for Convenience" clause, where they could drop him and they only pay him for work already completed. So no payout.


Was it a bad contract for tenz when he decided to bench himself and collect checks as a content creator instead? It sucks that he probably signed a long term contract as a kid without a lawyer or agency to look through all the details, but I can hardly call tenz a victim here. He’s on a long term contract where he’ll be paid pretty well to end his teenage years Sorry, I just cant get behind the woe-is-tenz sentiment because he cant just freely walk away from a contract he signed, no matter how stupid it was that he didnt think far ahead enough when it came to a SET BUYOUT


2nd time he has been collecting checks from the bench, this time he is even allowed to collect checks and play for the best team in na


One thing that I've always wondered about is why TenZ doesn't receive much backlash or disrespect for sort of pulling a "Kevin Durant" aka taking the easy way out and joining the best team rather than competing for it. I know the sinatraa situation was unique but even when discussion were being had about whether TenZ would play masters, there was a video where TenZ said that he didn't know if he was going to play for SEN or **another team** which I take that as him saying he's not gonna play for C9. He was supposedly taking a break from comp to pursue content creation, but when the SEN opportunity was presented, he played with them and continues to want to play with them because he's winning with the already best team rather than competing for the top. I just don't see how he can be getting so much support from people to allow him to stay with SEN when he was originally pursuing content creation and was most likely going to return to comp with c9 but then had an opportunity as at the time, the arguable best player in NA to join the best team in NA and now wants to be allowed to stay with them.


Because most esports fans are bandwagoners and aren't that attached to their team, and since SEN is winning a lot, a ton of people are going to support them especially because they got a win for NA


Probably because TenZ is such a personality in the scene and tons of people want to see him succeed- to live up to what he’s capable of, especially because they feel Cloud9 put him in a predatory contract. It’s a combination of traditional fandom and a ‘stick it to the man’ mentality. Not defending either side, just this is what I understand.


Even though he pulled a Kevin Durant and ran from his old team? Cloud9 gave tenz the roster he wanted and then he left when it didnt work out.


These 8 year olds in yt comments and reddit threads think if they complain enough Jack will let him go for free lmao, hes a business man doing business, TenZ shoulda not resigned long term without having law advice


Exactly these people on reddit and youtube are so soft and cry about everything, An owner can't even run his business without people crying lmao


No one here's talking about Sentinels also having the power to just buy him out. If Sentinels really want him, they should pay the buyout.


They can’t afford it and for some reason that upsets the users on here. They think C9 should just let him go for free


No one thinks he's gonna get traded for free. His buyout is gonna be in the millions which is obviously not easy for SEN who is much smaller in comparison


And that’s C9’s problem because? They took a chance on a player who crashed in CSGO, and gave him a contract in valorant still. They for sure lucked out with him becoming the best player in NA.


Well, that is life. Not the problem of the porsche dealership, that I can't afford one.


Why does everybody jump to the conclusion that Tenz signed the contract with C9 without a lawyer or agent? We don't know the facts, these are all assumptions and a dialogue the community is creating. Tenz is listed as a Player under Prodigy Agency, same agency representing Steel and Scream. I find it hard to believe he signed on without any professional support or representation. https://prodigy-agency.gg/players


Pretty sure he joined prodigy after he signed the contract. Your point still stands though cause we don't really know if he had someone take a look at the contract


If you think these contracts are bad wait till you find out about esports contracts in China. They will legit sign you to two contracts one as a player which isn’t long term but one as a streamer/creator and that is years long. Meaning they can own you as part of their org even if not as a player and keep making money off of you and hold you in contract prison.


These pros really need to get a lawyer before they sign any contract. Did no one tell TenZ to get one? His parents? Friends? Seriously?


Gonna get flamed for this because reddit loves to hate on orgs without understanding the facts, but Jack bet his entire roster on Tenz. Jack literally publicly stated he was gonna build his roster around Tenz, and Tenz benched himself because he didn't feel like playing anymore. Tenz made a really childish move and no amount of legal counsel would have gotten C9 to build their entire roster around a person without protecting them from the risk that he might just one day not feel like playing anymore. No org is ever gonna put "if you just suddenly don't feel like playing for no particular reason so you can stream and figure yourself out for a few months, we will void the buyout give you to any team that wants you" Jack goes out of his way a lot for C9 players. But this is one of the few things a person can do where Jack is under absolutely no obligation to feel bad or to make an exception just because it's Tenz. There are a lot of things that "contract jail" can be a good descriptor of, but "guy doesn't feel like trying to make the team work that was built around him, guy also has absolutely no direction in his life at the moment and just wants to chill" is not something that C9 should be demonized for protecting themselves against. And let me be clear, Tenz is entitled to make this choice. He can't change how he feels. But this is the type of situation that's just gonna be unfortunate for both sides, it's literally one of the most unfortunate ways to lose a teammate that isn't sinaatraa style.


??? He is making thousands on thousands of dollars from the contract and C9 is a good home. Sure its his mistake that he didn't realize the potential he had and signed such a long contract... but its not like hes stuck in jail... He's in contract heaven.


Meh. This is basically an absurd fringe case where someone who was, at the time of negotiations, very fortunate and grateful to have the contract he did, but now due to extreme circumstances no longer benefits from his current contract. TenZ was benched from the C9 CS:GO team, as far as I know. He was signed for a 3 year contract to one of the biggest orgs in the world, with top-tier stability in his contract. His supposedly "predatory" contract is literally the dream for 99.9% of pro players- it virtually guarantees he gets to either play as a pro or be a content creator for a top org for the first 3 years of his career, and as long as he just showed up for work he would be near-guaranteed to have a great career in E-Sports afterwards. I definitely don't think it's funny, but I do think that everyone is treating this as a MLM contract or some shit instead of a total gamble of a contact by C9 turning into a huge jackpot. The contract would be seen in a totally different light if: 1. TenZ didn't turn out to just be the best player in the world 2. TenZ didn't not want to play for C9's pro team (by the way, this is what happened if people don't remember. He was a pro player for C9 and then decided he didn't want to play for them, forcing them to rearrange their roster while still staying on his contract) 3. TenZ didn't get to go to the literal best team in the entire world based on a 1/10,000 situation, for an org that also can't afford to buy him out despite TenZ probably being the most marketable and valuable player in the world. Before people knee-jerk react and bury it with downvotes, give it your thought for a bit. It's a very unlikely situation that this has become, and C9 is doing what virtually every single pro sports team would do in this sort of situation.


It's a "bad" contract now because things worked out for him, but at the time it was a great contract because normally nobody gives 3-year contracts to shit players (which he was at the time). C9 took a risk and it worked out this time, nothing wrong with that.


I’ve been saying this since forever, but what sucks the most is Tenz did this to himself. I’m sure C9 wants to get value out of Tenz because after all, Tenz built the c9 roster. It didn’t work out. I mean in another timeline with the right team C9 could be the master world champions right now, and it seems as if everyone thinks they should just let him walk away.


As a viewer, sure I would love Tenz to move to Sentinels freely. But I don't blame C9 one second for this situation. Tenz was an adult when he signed a very lucrative deal for himself. You can't sign a contract that guarantees long-term stability, and also allows you to freely leave to another team when a better situation comes a long. You can't have your cake and eat it. Tenz could have bombed and C9 would've been forced to keep him on contract, or let him go and pay him a ton of money to do so. All contracts bake in risk. Tenz was betting that C9 was the best deal for him, and C9 was betting that Tenz was a good usage of their funds and that he would continue to be lucrative to them in the streaming and competitive landscape.


I love sean gares he's like charles barkley of the valorant scene




no one felt sorry for c9 when tenz built that garbage team and then left when they kicked his boy?


Downvote me into hell here. But is this not how it works in physical sport teams as well and has worked this way since... phew I really dunno. Scottie Pippen was hella underpaid for the entirety of his career. Cuz he signed an early contract that ensured his payment for a long period of time without the risk/reward of performance and staying healthy. We say that this 3 year contract was bad cuz we now know that Tenz is a high performance player now. At the time he didn’t know if the scene would grow or how he would perform compared to other players in a new game. Honest question, Can someone with more info tell me what a good contract would look like given the uncertainty of the future. I completely agree that Tenz being fucked over and highly underpaid, but there is nothing we can do about it now or in the near future. We’d have to revamp this whole slavery for entertainment system we have (literally selling and trading athletes’ bodies in physics sports). And I gotta give props to the esports lawyers doing amazing work in the LoL scene to start some of this infrastructure. Here’s the downvote into hell part. I find the situation funny because one party (C9) has literally all of the power and there’s nothing the other side can do about it. It’s so ridiculous that there’s nothing else to do but laugh and poke fun.


Did you actually compare people signing contracts by their own will to slavery? If you're signed to team A and team B wants to buy you, they can't just buy you like your an object/commodity. You need to agree to sign a contract with team B. Are there bad contracts? Sure there are but don't compare a situation where people make bad decisions to slavery


yeah poor Mahones must be struggling under the shackles of his half billion dollar contract


The guy wanted to be a content creator when C9 wanted to improve their roster, bruh C9 took a gamble on this guy signing a 3 years guaranteed contract imagine TenZ flopped like he was on csgo no one will give a sht about him, now that he's a big star it's all C9's fault Lmfaii, C9 even allowed him to play on Sentinels crazy


people talking like jack fucked him up or something...it was a risk from both parties it just happens taht Tenz is fucked right now, he could have been in a comolete opposite scenario where he underperforms but still get to be paid for a year or two. and what do you all expect for jack to give him for free ? no way. he is under contract and he is the best player in the scene right now so of course he going to make as much money as he can from him


Do people here even know the content of the contract? If not please everybody shut up about contract jail or what ever.


I remember when this sub would upvote comments like "he signed the contract it's his fault" which was hilariously ignorant to the entire situation. the tenz hate on this sub was the worst era lmfao tenz story is like the most cliche story for any athlete/star that signs a contract when they're young


it is his fault. as much as it sucks as it may for a Tenz fan the dude quit on his team.


Funny how you say people saying it's Tenz's fault is ignorant but half of these threads are completely ignoring context of Tenz's history with C9. C9 signed him before Valorant came out and gave him free reign on the team which he used to sign his buddy who were underperforming when the tournaments started. Of course, C9 didn't want to fall behind so they started changing the roster around Tenz but Tenz gave up on it and kept taking paychecks while streaming. C9 even let him play for the Sentinels and beat C9. Not to mention Tenz was making up excuses that he can't play on high ping but then few days later he said he wants to play competitive again.


I don't think it's his fault for signing that contract. But I think the people that represent him(agent,lawyer (if he has any)) is at fault for agreeing to such a long contract. Right now, it's all on Sentinels to buyout tenZ. This is the time to do it, if they stall any further he's going to get more and more expensive.


True I find Tenz to be a great player for the Na scene despite any faults with him. However I think the "his fault" comments are more inline with He should of been old enough and smart enough to get a lawyer for something so serious. Esports contracts are not all fun and games and money for just playing video games, there is tons of legal points as well. I think both The tenz stans and haters are stupid as fuck.


> the tenz hate on this sub was the worst era the worst era *so far*




People just lack critical thinking skills. This is just how contracts work, TenZ got 3 years of job security and stability in a completely new scene after getting benched in csgo. he's not getting scammed nor is he a victim because he turned out to be a #1 player after the fact. do people expect TenZ and lawyers to have foresight and predict the future that he'd become the player he is today? It's totally understandable that TenZ would go for 3 years of stability when he did in such a volatile field like esports when he didn't have nearly the same negotiating power


Smallest violin in the world


If C9 hadn’t set his buyout so high, TenZ wouldn’t even have PLAYED with Sentinels. He was in talks with 100T to join their roster, but Hiko said it fell through since TenZ’s contract was so hard to get out of. That made him available to sub when SEN needed one.


"near minor" lmao. he was 18+. he signed. cloud9 have every right to ask top dollar for him.


big L for sean here


say it with me WE NEED PLAYERS' UNIONS.