CEO of former TSM, LCS sponsor FTX sentenced to 25 years in jail

The founder and CEO of the now bankrupt crypto-exchange FTX, which landed major League of Legends sponsorship deals with both TSM and the LCS, has been sentenced to 25 years in prison for stealing billions of dollars from customers.

Sam Bankman-Fried, 32 years old, was sentenced to 25 years in prison for fraud and conspiracy, as federal prosecutors claimed he had cost customers, investors, and lenders around $10 billion by misappropriating funds, fabricating documents, lying to investors, and even bribing foreign officials. Prosecutors stated Bankman-Fried “orchestrated one of the largest financial frauds in history.”

TSM LoL roster posing in front of the logo.
TSM were not permitted to sport the FTX branding after signing a lucrative deal. Photo via TSM

Prior to the this outcome, FTX was once considered one of the largest cryptocurrency exchanges in the world, valued at $32 billion in January 2022. During the company’s height in 2021 and early 2022, both Riot Games and one of the premier League of Legends esports organizations, TSM, landed major sponsorship deals with FTX.

TSM signed a 10-year, $210 million naming rights deal in June 2021. The deal saw TSM effectively rename itself TSM FTX across all its major esports titles, while also acquiring $1 million in FTX Tokens that were distributed amongst players and employees. However, TSM was not able to use the TSM FTX name in either VALORANT or League of Legends, as crypto sponsors were not permitted to be seen on broadcast or on jerseys.

Just two months later though, the LCS itself landed a massive seven-year sponsorship deal with FTX that saw the crypto exchange sponsor several broadcast segments and appear on numerous graphics. But in November 2022, cryptocurrency underwent a massive collapse, and as FTX went bankrupt, allegations of fraud surfaced, as well as reports that Bankman-Fried was playing League of Legends (poorly) during important FTX meetings.

Following FTX’s collapse and bankruptcy filing, TSM suspended its partnership with the crypto currency exchange. It’s unclear currently whether either organization will be able to recoup any money from the deals following the founder’s sentencing.

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