TSM FTX Deal Has Limitations in LCS, Valorant Esports – The Esports Observer

After TSM announced its $210M USD, 10-year naming rights deal with crypto exchange company FTX on Friday, TSM FTX and Riot Games weighed in on some limitations this new deal will have in Riot-related esports in North America that the organization fields teams in, including Valorant and League of Legends Championship Series (LCS).

While Riot approved the deal, TSM FTX had to accept certain carve-outs for NA esports including the exclusion of the new name branding during Riot esports broadcasts and no on-jersey branding.

In a statement issued to Dot Esports reporter Jacob Wolf, Riot Games Head of Esports for North America Chris Greeley said that both the LCS and Valorant have restrictions on certain sponsors including cryptocurrency companies.

“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,” Greeley told Dot Esports. “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 subsequent post responding to the story, Greeley added, “To be clear, FTX is approved as a TSM sponsor in the LCS, but we don’t currently permit crypto exchanges on jerseys or as naming partners. TSM was very collaborative with us as they worked through their partnership.”

Riot Games Head of Valorant League Management for NA Esports Derek Dennis also weighed in on social media, noting that, “As Chris Greeley, Head of Esports for NA stated in a different thread, FTX is approved as a TSM sponsor in Valorant, but we don’t currently permit crypto exchanges on jerseys or as naming partners. TSM was very collaborative as they worked through their partnership.”

Finally, TSM FTX CEO Andy Dinh briefly noted in a Reddit thread:

“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 riots broadcast. Hope this clears things up.”

TSM FTX will continue to represent itself under the new name on social media and in other games where there are no restrictions on these types of sponsors.

Riot currently restricts organizations in LCS and Valorant in North America from sponsors in the adult entertainment industry, gambling and betting, and cryptocurrency. When it comes to cryptocurrency, Riot may have to reevaluate that position as more and more esports organizations in North America seek out deals equal or larger in scope than the TSM FTX deal.

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