Team SoloMid (TSM), an esports organization based in Los Angeles, has signed a 10-year brand deal with a Hong Kong-based cryptocurrency exchange, FTX Trading Limited. According to The New York Times, the deal gets TSM $21 million annual payment, which makes the deal worth a total of $210 million. This is one of the biggest deals in the world of esports.
As part of the brand deal, TSM has changed its name to TSM FTX for 10 years in several esports competitions for PUBG, Rainbow Six Siege, Fortnite, Apex Legends, and more. However, the deal has created some controversy as Riot Games has barred the FTX brand name from TSM’s team name and promotional material. As reported by Dot Esports, Riot Games’ head of esports for North America and Oceania as well as interim LCS commissioner Chris Greeley said, “The TSM and FTX sponsorship deal does not break any LCS sponsorship rules, but crypto exchanges fall under a category of sponsorship that carries activation restrictions. As a result, TSM’s new naming convention and FTX brand placement on TSM jerseys will not apply to the LCS or other Riot Games esports in North America.”
It’s just an FTX diff. pic.twitter.com/dixl55p5qE
— TSM FTX (@TSM) June 4, 2021
TSM founder and CEO Andy “Reginald” Dinh responded by saying, “The deal carves out name on broad cast and jersey logo on both League and Valorant. But FTX will still be sponsoring our league and Valorant players in content, social, live-streaming and in person events, which has more visibility than Riots’ broadcast. Hope this clears things up.”