Twitch Counter-Sues Gambling Streamer Who It Banned

Two years ago, Twitch booted a Counter-Strike: Global Offensive streamer who, among other things, allegedly ran a potentially illegal and reportedly rigged site that let kids gamble on CS:GO skins. Earlier this year, that streamer sued the gigantic video platform. And now, Twitch is counter-suing the streamer, saying he violated Twitch's policies over 15 times.

Twitch filed the complaint on May 2 and it came to light last night. It pushes back against James "Phantoml0rd" Varga's claims from his own February lawsuit that he was improperly kicked off Twitch, where he had 1.3 million followers.

James "Phantoml0rd" Varga is known for recording himself winning big money - from $US600 ($804) to several thousand dollars - on CS:GO skin lottery sites such as CSGOShuffle - without disclosing he allegedly partly owned the site.

According to leaked Skype chats first revealed by journalist Richard Lewis, Varga asked CSGOShuffle's co-operator to rig its roulette outcomes and has apparently gambled with in-house currency. Twitch references those chats in its counter-suit, also citing videos and Twitch streams such as "Phantoml0rd 29000$ win on CSGOShuffle", which Varga use to promote his site. And minors gambled on it.

CSGOShuffle was wiped from the internet after the expose revealing its inner workings. Twitch determined that Varga had violated its terms of service and rules of conduct over 15 times (including breaking Valve's terms of service and FTC rules, which in turn violates Twitch's own terms of service).

Back then, Twitch was also games-only, which made live-streaming skin gambling a no-no. After a suspension, Twitch eventually shut down his channel mid-2016.

It took two years for Varga to sue Twitch. In his complaint, filed 14 February 2018, he argues he wasn't given a solid reason for his ban. Varga denied allegations against him, calling them "unsubstantiated", but doesn't specifically state he didn't own CSGOShuffle.

The suit adds, "As a result of Twitch's improper suspension of Varga's Twitch.tv account, and also as a result of Twitch's misrepresentation as to what content Varga was permitted to broadcast, Varga has incurred significant monetary damages."

Twitch has another story. "Throughout 2016, Twitch personnel sent Mr Varga various notifications and had in-depth Skype conversations with Mr Varga informing him that his CS:GO skin gambling content, along with his other objectionable content, violated his Agreement, Twitch's Terms of Service and Rules of Conduct," the suit reads.

It continues on to note that Varga did not stop streaming skin-gambling content, and even launched a day-long giveaway.

Varga's suit calls for compensation for damages incurred from being kicked off the platform. Twitch is asking for an undisclosed amount of financial compensation.


Comments

    Fuck this shitbird. I hope the court takes all the money he made from selling gambling to kids. I don't even care what they do with it after.

      I blame the FTC for interfering by changing them for only "disclosure" under trade law rather than purse the gambling line of inquiry. The FTC settled it with no fines or charges. WTF!!!

      The FTC shouldn't of been the ones to arrest them... there was a line of angry state/federal/international government types (politicians, police, prosecutors, regulators) looking at them. FTC swooped in and took them in before the cases could be drawn, and then they twiddled their thumbs.
      It was fraudulant gambling, odd fixing (all those lotteries he "won" on stream, meant people unfairly lost), unlicensed, sold to children, sold across state lines, sold across international lines and was generating untaxed revenue.

      I don't understand is how did this guy escape criminal charges, Who dropped the ball on this and didn't apply additional criminal charges. The myriad of laws he broke should of meant as soon as the FTC finished with him he should of been curb stomped to the State Gambling Authority in his state and had the book thrown at him... also since he sold across state lines, all 52 states had a shot at him too. Anti-gambling states would of crucifixed him, Nevada Gaming Commission should of fined him for unlicensed gambling and then thrown him in jail, he could of been thrown open for international law cases for violating EU, Canada and Australia gaming laws just to name a few. Let alone possible criminal charges for fraud.

      The most disappointing thing is most of his victims, were his fans, and if they accept what he did to them anddon't kick up a stink they don't get justice. Don't defend him, he maliciously profited from his fans through rigged gambling, he is scum!

        I would hazard a guess that part of it is old farts glancing at it and thinking "well it's just video games" and not taking it seriously, which is unfortunately still all too common despite the industry now being truly massive.

    The guy is an utter scumbag.

    Thats a proven fact.

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