At one point during the Rainbow Six Siege matches on June 14, the tag at the end of the TSM players’ names read “.TSMFTX” during the team’s 7-3 victory over Disrupt Gaming to reflect the organization’s $210 million naming rights deal with cryptocurrency exchange FTX. After a rehost for a “technical issue,” however, every TSM player’s tag simply read “TSM” like their former, pre-deal branding.
A TSM representative confirmed to Dot Esports that the organization is working out the details of the naming rights debate with R6 publisher Ubisoft, but “no official decision has been made yet.”
TSM signed a deal worth $210 million with FTX to have the FTX name featured on TSM players’ jerseys and tags. While Rainbow Six Siege isn’t the largest esport in the world, it’s a significant player and a game that TSM excels in. As TSM, the roster finished fourth in the Six Invitational 2021, the best placement by a non-LATAM region team.
Notably, Riot Games has blocked the org from using “FTX” in North American esports competitions for its games like League of Legends and VALORANT, titles that TSM has teams competing in.
Siege teams are barred from sponsorships that feature alcoholic products, intoxicants (including cannabis), tobacco or electronic cigarettes, firearms, gambling, pornography, political campaigns, or “any entities, companies or organizations that may, at Ubisoft’s sole discretion, be considered detrimental to Ubisoft’s business or reputation, including but not limited to, key sellers, hacking and botting, account selling, in-game currency or digital item selling services,” according to section 8.6 in the public R6 Circuit Global Rulebook.
The rule also says that in the event a team is sponsored by these types of companies, they’ll simply have to wear apparel free of their branding. There are no current public rules and guidelines around the name of a team, however.
It’s unclear at this time whether cryptocurrency exchanges fall under this wide umbrella of barred sponsorships. Carve-outs for the exclusion of League of Legends and VALORANT were made in the initial deal but weren’t made clear to the press at the time, according to previous reporting from Dot Esports.
It was not indicated to Dot Esports that any similar carve-outs were made by TSM to Ubisoft.
The $210 million figure brought a new era to the financial side of esports. The massive influx of cash to TSM is one of the largest public deals in the history of the esports scene.