It's been a tough week for the crypto exchange.
With the future of one of the largest naming rights deals in esports history already in question, some of TSM’s players are competing on stream at a massive tournament with the logo of the organization’s primary sponsor, cryptocurrency exchange FTX, obscured by a piece of black tape.
TSM’s professional Fortnite duo Shane “EpikWhale” Cotton and Nathan “Reet” Amundson both appeared on the official broadcast of the 2022 Fortnite Champion Series (FNCS) Invitational in their TSM jerseys but with the FTX logo noticeably taped over during an interview.
Some fans speculated that the tape over the logo at the FNCS Invitational could be to Epic Games’ own rules on cryptocurrency sponsorships, and it’s currently unclear whether this was a decision made by the players, the organization, or Epic.
The taped-over logos come just a day after FTX filed for bankruptcy due to a surge of recent withdrawal requests during a pending crypto crunch. One of FTX’s primary competitors, Binance, was set to acquire the company, but after some “corporate due diligence,” Binance decided that the “latest news reports regarding mishandled customer funds and alleged US agency investigations” around FTX weren’t worth the cost.
Since signing a 10-year, $210 million naming rights deal with FTX back in June 2021, TSM has advertised itself as TSM FTX across its major social platforms and has continued to operate as TSM FTX in other esports titles like Siege and Apex Legends. The team’s FTX sponsorship has been prohibited from broadcasts for League and VALORANT, however, due to Riot Games’ rules.
As for EpikWhale and Reet, they are competing as a duo at the FNCS Invitational, a 50-team two-day event featuring 12 separate games and a $1 million prize pool. The event, organized by both Epic and BLAST, is one of the first major Fortnite offline events since the prestigious World Cup in 2019.
Dot Esports has reached out to TSM for comment regarding the taped-over logo or the status of its FTX partnership.