Riot Games steps in to ‘limit’ the cryptocurrency exchange deal, especially in terms of it affecting Riot esports.
TSM signed a $210 million-dollar, ten-year naming rights agreement with a cryptocurrency exchange FTX Ltd. last Friday. This is among the largest publicly disclosed deals involving an esports organization to date. Following this deal, Riot Games had some comments to offer on some of the limitations of this deal in Riot-related esports in North America, such as Valorant Champions Tour (VCT) and the League of Legends Championship Series (LCS).
“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” said Chris Greeley, head of esports of North America & Oceania in a statement to Dot Esports.
This move by Riot Games is an application of Riot’s detailed rules on certain sponsors and categories, including certain cryptocurrency exchanges, gambling, and pornography. It has previously barred teams from sporting beer sponsorship. While Riot Games has given TSM permission to move through with the collaboration; therefore, TSM will be using the name “TSM FTX” on social media and in other games where limitations are not in place.
In a Reddit post, TSM founder and CEO Andy “Reginald” Dinh had this to say, “The deal carves out the 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.”
Riot may have to reconsider its stance on cryptocurrencies in the upcoming future especially if more and more esports companies in North America pursue partnerships similar to the TSM FTX deal.