FTX, the Bahamas-based cryptocurrency exchange that has had its fingers in all facets of sports and entertainment over the last year-plus, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy earlier today. Additionally, the company’s CEO, Sam Bankman-Fried, resigned from his post following FTX’s filing.
Dating back to 2021, the company has made dozens of sponsorship deals across multiple industries, claiming naming rights to teams and arenas, while bringing on a swath of brand ambassadors including Shaquille O’Neal and Tom Brady.
Some of those brand deals spread into the esports space, with teams and organizations placing their faith in the crypto exchange as a long-term sponsor. With the future of the company in question, here’s a quick look at some of the esports organizations, teams, and other entities that could potentially feel the effects of FTX’s bankruptcy.
TSM FTX is easily the most obvious candidate to feel the effects of FTX’s bankruptcy. Last year, TSM and FTX inked a 10-year, $210 million deal to completely overhaul the organization’s name and brand across most of its major esports teams.
Although TSM was prevented by Riot Games from using the FTX attachment of its name in competitions for League of Legends and VALORANT, the organization and its crypto sponsor have gone hand-in-hand in every other sector of the esports industry. A little over one year later, though, the most prominent naming rights deal in esports history could be in jeopardy.
North America’s biggest League of Legends league, the LCS, signed a deal with FTX as its premier crypto sponsor just months after TSM’s deal with the company went through. Immediately, North American League fans saw FTX’s impact on the spectator experience as “FTX gold advantage” made its way onto the scoreboard of every LCS game. Although the financial specifics of the deal remain undisclosed, the LCS’ partnership with FTX was said to last through the end of the 2028 League of Legends season.
FTX expanded its reach into South America when it partnered with Brazilian esports organization FURIA earlier this year. The deal between the two was reported to be a low-stakes partnership that lasts for only one year. FURIA is currently at the center of attention in the FPS scene since the organization’s CS:GO team is competing on its home turf at IEM Rio 2022.
Nerd Street Gamers
Esports tournament organizer and news publication Nerd Street Gamers made a multi-year agreement with FTX official earlier this year. FTX has been a “presenting sponsor” for Nerd Street tournaments and venues since February.