Team SoloMid (TSM) first hit the esports scene in 2009. And since then, they’ve morphed into one of the top-ranking teams in League of Legends and have signed partnership deals with a laundry list of reputable companies. With additional teams across other hotly contested multiplayer games, such as Fortnite, Hearthstone, and PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds, TSM has earned itself the right to be recognized as a force within the thriving world of esports.
Esports Organization TSM Changes Its Name for $210 Million
Last Friday (June 4), TSM let the world know of a blockbuster deal that may just increase their global scale and notoriety in the coming years. The esports organization announced a $210 million, multi-year partnership with FTX that has resulted in the cryptocurrency exchange company securing exclusive naming rights for TSM. That surprising bit of news has now resulted in a name change for TSM - now you can all say hello to TSM FTX. With that shift to a new moniker and a massive influx of income, TSM FTX now has the funds needed to further its expansion efforts and dish out cryptocurrency to its players and organizational employees. Another plus when it comes to TSM and FTX’s new deal is TSM going ahead and purchasing $1 million in FTT, which happens to be FTX’s native cryptocurrency token.
Founder and CEO of TSM Andy Dinh explained his excitement over this new deal in a lengthy press release statement: "When I met Sam Bankman-Fried, I immediately knew we had to work together. Not only did TSM FTX fit perfectly as a brand, Sam is an innovative CEO that is in every way ahead of his time. Against all odds as a young ambitious entrepreneur, he has been able to disrupt markets by making smart decisions and by surrounding himself with smart people. He has proven that you can build a multi-billion-dollar business that can grow incredibly fast at scale - all while charging a fraction of what other platforms charge, and creating a culture of community and focus on social impact. This deal is extremely important to the future of our organization, but it was equally as important for me personally to partner with such a visionary leader. Just as a shared passion of gaming connects people around the world across ages, continents, and language barriers, Sam built a company that connects the world around a shared value of currency. I am extremely proud he chose to work with TSM."
Founder and CEO of both FTX.com and FTX.US Sam Bankman-Fried responded in kind with some glowing comments about this newfound partnership: “We're really excited to work with TSM. Their team has gone above and beyond both in-game and out, and rightfully established itself as the premier team in esports. We've also been really impressed working with them: they have the drive, creativity, communication, and generosity that we find combined in very few places. In the end our partnerships will only be as strong as we make them, and we think that TSM will be able to help massively expand the presence of digital assets outside the traditional landscape. We're also proud to work with them to give back to the world."
While this deal yields a whole lot of positive news, there’s one major negative that has come from it. TSM FTX has been barred from using their new name or sport that name on jerseys during livestream broadcasts of Riot Games’ League of Legends and Valorant. This rule has been put in place due to Riot Games’ strict guidelines around outside partnerships with cryptocurrency exchange companies. In a statement to Dot Esports, Riot head of esports for North America and Oceania and interim LCS commissioner Chris Greeley spoke on the new ruling: "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."
In a Reddit post comment labeled under League of Legends, Andy Dinh responded to Riot Games’ decision: “The deal carves out name on broadcast 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 Riot’s broadcast. Hope this clears things up.” That “more visibility” obviously has a hint of big boy talk in it that speaks to the larger scope and reach of TSM FTX. It’ll be interesting to see how TSM FTX’s teams will look on-screen with their new jerseys in other games without those same restrictions put in place. Watching the world of esports and crypto combine in such a manner paints a promising picture of more organizations going the same route in the future.