The League Championship Series (LCS) has sealed a deal with cryptocurrency exchange FTX to its official cryptocurrency sponsor.
The North American Esports League “League Of Legends,” also known as the League Champion Series (LCS), has sealed a deal with cryptocurrency exchange FTX to have its main cryptocurrency sponsor for the next seven years.
The offer represents the most lengthy sponsorship contract between Riot Games, the designer behind League of Legends (LOL), and all sponsors for its esports league. The collaboration will begin this weekend, with FTX branding happening on one of the most pertinent mechanics of the game: gold.
FTX will also be straight sponsoring the LCS Most Better Gamer Award, chosen between Riot Game’s workers, media, and team representatives.
According to the LCS’s report, the partnership between the league and FTX is the outcome of metrics recommending a direct interest in cryptocurrency by its fans: This resulted in Riot going into the handle FTX as it considers it “an ingenious, thoughtful leader in a space our fans understand.”
One of the LCS’s oldest and crucial groups, Team Solo Mid (TSM), had already partnered with crypto FTX to rebrand itself to TSM FTX across all competitors it participates in. TSM is a LOL team and one of the most popular dynasties in the E-sports world.
The agreement between TSM and FTX took place in June of 2021 and became one of the most significant milestones for the crypto market in the Esports scene.
The $210 million offer lasted ten years and was significantly larger than many offers traditional corporations close with classic sports teams. Forbes valued the TSM franchise at $410 million back in 2020, ranking it the most valuable E-sports company in the US.
While “Riot Games” officially partnered with FTX, it is not altering its position relating to TSM utilizing the “TSM FTX” branding throughout official “League Of Legends” or “Valorant” events, which is the result of “activation constraints” consisted of in Riot Esports’ policies.
The policy arises from Riot’s inability to remove FTX branding on apparel regarding streaming in countries with laws concerning cryptocurrency advertising. Regarding official content sponsored by FTX, Riot’s media group can change as required, depending on the region.
When asked by designers if Riot’s stance on using LOL’s APIs to develop third-party jobs related to crypto, LCS Publishing Manager Michael Sherman (aka RiotSherman) stated in a tweet that there are “No plans to update this policy.”
Gaming is among the industries with the most prospective for combination with cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology.
This is not only the outcome of the natural synergy between NFTs/crypto and in-game assets/currency, but also due to the rich tech nature of its userbase.
E-sports has been the target of increasing interest by the crypto market, with exchanges like Coinbase just recently partnering with ESL, among the most significant gaming tournaments worldwide, back in July of this year.
The crypto exchange has also partnered with E-sports group Evil Geniuses and the BLAST Premier competition for Counter-Strike.
The love between the markets is mutual, as esports organizations like Dota 2’s group OG, Group Heretics, and Natus Vincere have produced tokens to enable interaction between team services and fans.
With the esports market expected to represent a $6.81 billion market by 2027, it is not unexpected that cryptocurrency-related companies are jumping at the possibility of sponsoring events and teams.
They are benefiting from the increasing interest that esports fans have in emerging technologies. If powerful gaming platforms are not open to cryptos, other platforms will likely come to the fully on-board market.