More than three years after James “Phantoml0rd” Varga was banned from Twitch for misleading viewers over skin gambling, the former streaming star is finally having his day in court. Varga is suing Twitch over his ban, which he says was a breach of contract that caused severe financial damage and misrepresented his character. The trial began this week in San Francisco.
The popular former streamer had his Twitch channel deleted following a controversy surrounding skin gambling in Counter-Strike: Global Offensive. In official documents filed to the court, Varga claims that Twitch gave no explanation for the ban.
In July 2016, journalist Richard Lewis reported that Varga secretly owned the website CSGO Shuffle, which allowed players to gamble on weapon skins. Varga was able to manipulate the results of the betting on his stream.
After gambling sites like CSGO Shuffle began leveraging the Steam trading system to make money, Valve released an update saying that these actions go against its terms of service. “The OpenID API and making the same web calls as Steam users to run a gambling business is not allowed by our API nor our user agreements,” Steam said.
Twitch followed suit in a blog post that explained users couldn’t stream content that violated Valve’s restrictions or any other agreements with third-parties.
In Twitch’s cross-complaint, the platform said that Varga breached his contract by gambling on CSGO Shuffle while streaming. “In running these promotions, Mr. Varga breached his contractual obligations to Twitch and made material misrepresentations to defraud Twitch and its users,” the cross-complaint reads.
Varga claims, however, that Twitch gave him the green light to stream up to 30 minutes of gambling content at a time.
Earlier this week, Varga tweeted to implore people to join him in court to hear “the truth.”
The results of the proceedings haven’t been determined yet.
Since his channel was suspended, Varga has been streaming gambling on YouTube and gaming on Mixer. He began his streaming career playing League of Legends and CS:GO.