Counter-Strike Skin Streamer Sues Twitch Over Ban

No word from Twitch about the pending litigation

Almost 600 days after being banned by the platform, James “Phatoml0rd” Varga is suing Twitch, Polygon reports. Varga's channel was removed from Twitch on July 19th, 2016 after it was revealed he was running a gambling sites where users could risk real-world money on Counter-Strike: Global Offensive weapon skins. 

Last Wednesday, February 14th, Varga filed a complaint to San Francisco's Superior Court of California, alledging Twitch still owes him money for monetary damages following his removal from the streaming site. As Polygon points out, before being removed from Twitch, Varga had more than one million followers and 16,000 subscribers. 

Varga's lawsuit claims his contract with Twitch required a written explanation for termination if the platform wanted to breach a contract signed between the two in 2015. According to Varga, this never happened. The streamer also says "he was permitted to broadcast the very content that they later used as an excuse to illegally terminate his contract" with Twitch. In messages from Twitch to Varga in the complaint, Twitch appears to say Varga can stream gambling content – but only for 30 minutes. However, many users have struck back against Varga, Polygon adds, saying he streamed this content longer than the allotted time. 

According to Varga, when he was removed from Twitch, the company "[didn't] specify the nature of the violation nor did Twitch identify the conduct that it alleged amounted to a violation" until January 2017, nearly six months after being banned, when the platform said Varga was removed for, as Polygon puts it, "amassed fraudulent subscribers, like bots, which violated the company’s terms of service."

In a now-removed video, Varga took to YouTube in July 2017 to respond to the situation. "As many of you are already aware there is an ongoing dispute between myself and Twitch.TV,” the streamer said. “As a result I am not currently providing content through Twitch.TV. While I cannot and will not comment on the substance of this dispute, I assure you that I am considering all of my legal options and am looking forward to asserting my rights to the fullest extent of the law.”

The complaint is still pending. A representative from Polygon said "[Twitch doesn't] comment on pending litigation.”