"Never say never."
Despite some early stumbles when it came to figuring out a name and fending off bigger organizations “sniping” his players, Disguised Toast’s esports team has started out strong with the VALORANT roster going undefeated in the NA VALORANT Challengers League open qualifier.
As with all organizations, though, the challenge over time will be sustainability. But the streaming star and OfflineTV member isn’t actively looking to take the money from a source that so many organizations have: cryptocurrency.
“I’m gonna try my best to avoid [crypto],” Toast said on an episode of “The Wisemen,” featuring 100T streamer Hiko, esports insider Slasher, former 100T coach Sean Gares, and Disguised in-game leader steel. “As an esports org, you can’t accept crypto money and then shill it to all your fans, and then once it goes down… wipe your hands clean and pretend you weren’t just selling [crypto] to your young base and getting them to invest.”
Toast added that crypto “isn’t just a regular sponsor” since the fans are investing in a “volatile currency” rather than just buying a normal consumer product like a headset, an energy drink, or “pizza pops.”
“I would hate to do that to someone,” Toast added regarding folks who would have bought into crypto only for it to crash, “especially to people who bought into it because they believed in you and your brand.”
Had Toast’s new esports organization formed two years ago at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic during the initial crypto “boom” period, perhaps his thoughts toward it might be different. But crypto in esports has taken a number of hits recently, due to events like LCS and TSM sponsor FTX going bankrupt, the iShowSpeed crypto “scam” controversy, and within VALORANT in particular, a scourge of players ruining pro and streamer ranked games by throwing matches after placing bets on crypto sites.
Toast’s VALORANT team will make its NA Challengers debut on Feb. 1. We’ll see then what sponsors he’s potentially brought in at that time.