Crypto exchange FTX has secured exclusive naming rights to esports’ Team SoloMid (TSM) for $210m.
Consequently, the grassroots League of Legends esports team will rebrand as FTX, and the exchange will pay $21m annually for the next 10 years.
In an exclusive commentary for the New York Times, FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Friend argued that esports is an innovator for the digital age due to the way it transformed sports.
The deal rivals even partnerships in mainstream sports and has surpassed contracts in all big four leagues, from the Major League Baseball to the National Basketball Association.
TSM is one of the most successful esports organizations in history starting as a grassroots community built around League of Legends. The organization focused on providing the community with guides for Riot’s blockbuster MOBA.
Following the initial success of the community, TSM secured a series of investments that allowed it to transition into a competitive organization, reuniting some of the most talented players in the game.
Today, TSM competes in numerous games beyond League of Legends, including PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds, Rainbow Six Siege, Magic: The Gathering, Hearthstone, Super Smash Bros and many others.
The partnership between FTX and TSM is a first for the esports industry as well with most recent partnerships focusing on “educating” esports fans about crypto.
FTX has chosen to become a permanent landmark in the competitive gaming industry instead. According to Bankman-Friend, FTX has done so well over the years that it already has the budget to service the TSM partnership.