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Cryptocurrency exchange Binance has released a letter of intent to acquire the assets of fellow exchange, FTX. While cryptocurrency, Web3, and gaming have similar audiences, FTX has several direct (and flashy) ties to gaming.
In February 2022, FTX launched its own gaming division. Pitched as “crypto-as-a-service”, the division’s goal was to help increase the adoption of cryptocurrency and NFTs by helping developers integrate them into games. The company had previously committed to investing $100 million in the Solana blockchain, along with Lightspeed Venture Partners and Solana Ventures. Leading up to the announcement, Solana’s symbolic price has taken a hit, but the price remains volatile.
With this gaming division, FTX also acquired a game studio. In March 2022, Good Luck Games joined FTX ahead of the card battle game launch Storybook Brawl.
FTX has also invested heavily in esports. The exchange signed the biggest esports naming deal ever with TSM. Due to the $210 million deal, the team was renamed TSM FTX for 10 years. Compare this to FTXs naming rights deal for Miami’s Heat’s arena ($135 million for 19 years). Notably, TSM has not removed the FTX branding since the announcement.
But that is not everything. The exchange also signed a deal with Riot Games to sponsor the North American League of Legends Championship Series (LCS). FTX sponsors all gold-related stats on broadcasts and is the presenting sponsor of the Most Improved Player award. While the exact value of the deal has not been disclosed, according to the releaseThe “seven-year partnership with FTX represents the largest sponsorship deal Riot has ever signed for an esports league.”
FTX CEO Samuel Bankman-Fried (SBF) confirmed that the US divisions of FTX and Binance would not be affected by the deal, although it is unclear what their ultimate fate will be and how it will affect the company’s partnerships and sponsorships.
Compared to FTX, Binance has been much more reserved when it comes to partnerships, although they have invested in gaming. Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao is a firm believer in simple, non-exclusive deals. It’s unclear how this acquisition could affect FTX’s ongoing deals in gaming, sports, entertainment and beyond.
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