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 CS:GO  streamer wins lawsuit against Twitch, but remains banned from the platform

CS:GO streamer wins lawsuit against Twitch, but remains banned from the platform

April 27, 2021 | By Chris Kerr

Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (CS:GO) streamer James 'Phantoml0rd' Varga has won a lawsuit against Twitch in a legal battle that lasted three years. 

As reported by PCGamer, however, Twitch claims the victory was the result of a procedural error on its part, and that Varga will be prevented from returning to its platform. 

The skirmish began when Varga sued Twitch in February 2018 over the company's decision to ban him indefinitely. He claimed Twitch broke its contract with him by never issuing an explanation as to why his channel was removed, breaching an agreement the pair signed in 2015. 

Varga was banned and his channel removed after he allegedly failed to disclose business ties to a CS:GO gambling site, which he promoted during his streams on Twitch. He also received warnings from Twitch for violating its policy against "sexually suggestive content, content involving self-harm, and content involving racist symbols."

Twitch eventually filed a counter-complaint against Varga and insisted it handled his ban correctly. The company then demanded “an award of compensatory damages” for alleged harm Varga had brought upon the company and Twitch users. 

Now, over three years later, Varga has emerged victorious on all counts despite a jury finding he knowingly breached Twitch's terms of service on occasions, largely because Twitch was found not to have followed proper procedures when it iniitally terminated Varga's account.

"The jury found Twitch liable for not following the proper procedures for terminating Mr. Varga's contract following his suspension, and the damages reflect the scope of this misstep—specifically, compensation for revenue losses for the duration of the 30-day notice period ($20,720)," a Twitch spokesperson told PC Gamer.

"While we regret the procedural failings related to Mr. Varga’s termination in 2016, he repeatedly violated Twitch’s Community Guidelines and exposed our community to harmful content. We absolutely stand behind our decision to terminate his account, and he will not be allowed back onto the service."

The company said it has since "established clearer and more consistent processes for suspensions and account terminations," and also updated its and updated our Contributor License Agreements to "ensure clarity and consistency" for all Twitch Creators. 

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