Riot Games has entered a seven-year deal with cryptocurrency exchange FTX for its North American LCS competition.
Following on from what’s believed to be a record-breaking deal involving an esports organization in June 2021, Riot Games’ LCS wants in on the action.
Cryptocurrency exchange FTX entered esports in June when partnering with TSM in a 10-year deal that’s worth a total of $210m. Now, the exchange is set to be announced as a sponsor of League of Legends’ premier competition in North America.
First reported by Dot Esports, FTX will sponsor numerous segments and graphics on the LCS broadcast. Also part of the deal is reportedly the ability for Riot to remove the branding from assets on applicable international broadcasts where cryptocurrencies are “strictly regulated.”
LCS announce FTX sponsorship
— LCS (@LCSOfficial) August 3, 2021
The LCS said “we’re proud to announce that FTX is the Official Cryptocurrency Exchange of the LCS. Our seven-year partnership with FTX represents the largest sponsorship agreement Riot has ever signed for an esports league.
“Starting this weekend, fans will notice FTX branding on the LCS broadcast around the most valuable currency in League of Legends: Gold. Player net worth, total team gold and those rollercoaster gold graphs will all be presented by FTX. Additionally, FTX will directly sponsor the LCS Most Improved Player Award, to be voted on by a cross-section of Rioters, media and team representatives.”
The LCS also said that they consider the sentiment of fans. “Those metrics pointed to a direct interest in the crypto category, where FTX stands out as an innovative, thoughtful leader in a space our fans understand.”
In TSM’s deal with FTX, the North American org aren’t able to advertise their partnership in the LCS at all. While they go by ‘TSM FTX’ on social media and several esports titles, this isn’t permitted in Riot Games titles.
The cryptocurrency exchange received investment totaling an eye-watering $900m in July 2021. The financing round valued FTX at $18 billion. They pledged to use the funds to grow their brand through acquisitions.
“It gives us a strong foothold to really grow our brand globally,” said TSM CEO Andy ‘Reginald’ Dinh at the time of announcing the FTX sponsorship. “We want to truly be a global esports team. We have to invest in having bases in multiple places.”