Crypto Giant FTX sponsors League of Legends esports series on 7-year contract

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  • Cryptocurrency exchange FTX will sponsor the eSports League of Legends Championship Series (LCS) competition under a seven-year agreement.
  • FTX already sponsors the TSM FTX LCS team through a $ 210 million deal announced in June.

Cryptocurrency exchange FTX continued its momentum in the esports industry today with the announcement of a seven-year partnership with Riot Games to sponsor its League of Legends Championship Series (LCS) franchise in North America.

As the league’s “official cryptocurrency exchange,” the FTX brand will appear during LCS broadcasts starting this weekend. FTX will specifically sponsor streaming segments related to in-game gold currency, such as the current amount of gold each player and team has accumulated in each match thus far. exchange will also sponsor the league’s Most Improved Player award.

seven-year alliance is Riot Games’ first with any cryptocurrency exchange and also the longest endorsement deal Riot has signed to date for one of its regional esports leagues. financial terms of the deal were not disclosed and Riot did not respond. decrypt it request for more details.

In June, FTX took a giant leap into the esports industry by signing a $ 210 million 10-year endorsement deal with famed eSports club Team SoloMid (TSM), which would be rebranded TSM FTX as part of the deal. . TSM competes in the LCS and is possibly the most important and important esports team in the organization. League of Legends is one of the most popular games in esports, and the 2019 World Championship attracts more than 44 million maximum simultaneous viewers. for Riot.

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However, shortly after the announcement, it was revealed that TSM FTX faced limitations by Riot Games regarding cryptocurrency endorsements in both League of Legends and VALORANT. Due to these restrictions, TSM cannot activate the FTX sponsorship or use the full name “TSM FTX” during official competition broadcasts for those games. team confirmed that these limitations were defined in the partnership agreement.

According to Chris Greeley, Riot Games Director of Esports for North America and Oceania, the new LCS agreement with FTX does not change the activation restrictions related to the FTX sponsorship of TSM, as well as other teams that have cryptocurrency sponsors. However, Riot’s deal allows the league to remove the FTX digital branding from international LCS broadcasts in countries where cryptocurrency advertising is limited, as Puntos Esport first reported.

“Our partnership with FTX does not change our league-wide position on sponsors of cryptocurrency exchanges,” Greeley said. decrypt in an emailed statement. “LCS activations with FTX can be removed from broadcast when necessary in regions that restrict cryptocurrency advertising. A sponsor listed on clothing or other non-digital activation cannot ‘.

It is interesting to note that Riot Games’ Terms of Use for software APIs and development tools strictly prohibit the use of cryptocurrency or blockchain technology by third-party developers. Michael Sherman, LCS Publishing Director at Riot Games tweeted today that “there are no plans to update this policy,” despite Riot’s new adoption of a cryptocurrency exchange.

Rival exchange Coinbase recently announced a deal with global tournament operator ESL to sponsor StarCraft II and Counter-Strike: Global Offensive competitions, and also sponsored the Evil Geniuses team organization — who competes in the LCS – last spring. Meanwhile, decentralized exchange Uniswap Esports Club sponsored by Team Secret in June via a $ 112,000 grant voted on by government token holders.

FTX’s sponsorship spending spree wasn’t limited to esports either: In April, the exchange agreed to pay the NBA’s Miami Heat $ 135 million over 19 years for the naming rights to its arena. company also signed a five-year sponsorship agreement with Major League Baseball in June, including a patch on the umpires’ uniforms, along with other promotional activations.

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