Riot Games hit with fraud lawsuit over FTX LCS deal

Declan Mclaughlin
LCS stage

Riot Games has been sued in a California federal court for being complicit in promoting fraud via its partnership with FTX, the now-defunct crypto exchange.

Riot Games announced a partnership with FTX on August 3, 2021. The deal came on the heels of the developer’s decision to block TSM from using FTX branding on their LCS team’s jerseys after the exchange jumped into esports earlier that year.

The LCS deal put FTX branding on the Most Improved Player Award and the in-game gold scorebug across every league match.

Riot attempted to distance itself from FTX following its collapse, filing a motion in the company’s bankruptcy case to terminate its $96 million agreement.

Riot Games sued over FTX partnership with LCS

On March 7, 2024, Riot Games was sued by multiple plaintiffs for allegedly “contributing to the collapse” of FTX, and its entangled properties, by promoting FTX.

The suit alleges that the developer and esports league broke laws around fraud. Additionally, the plaintiffs seek to gain class-action status for others to attach their names to the suit. Fourteen plaintiffs have been named in the legal action.

LCS FTX deal

The law now recognizes that the Internet, social media, and other new platforms have given promoters an incredible new outlet to aid and participate in selling fraudulent investments to investors across the globe,” the suit says.

Multiple celebrities who promoted the Cyprto exchange have also been sued following the collapse of the exchange and its ensuing financial and legal woes.

Riot only got a small portion of its multi-year deal with FTX, like TSM and many other companies that also partnered with the cash-flushed exchange. The crypto company and its enigmatic former CEO, Sam Bankman-Fried, constantly threw money around, reportedly paying celebrities millions for just a few days of work for promotion.

This lawsuit and others filed against FTX are ongoing.