Binance to Acquire FTX: Implications for Gaming and Esports

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Cryptocurrency exchange Binance has published a letter of intent to acquire the assets of another exchange, FTX. While cryptocurrency, Web3, and gaming all have a similar audience, FTX has several direct (and flashy) ties to gaming.

In February 2022, FTX launched its own gaming division. Billed as “crypto-as-a-service,” the division’s goal was to help increase the adoption of cryptocurrencies and NFTs by helping developers integrate them into games. The company had previously committed to investing $100 million in the Solana blockchain together with Lightspeed Venture Partners and Solana Ventures. Prior to the announcement, the price of the Solana token has been affected, but the price remains volatile.

With this game division, FTX also acquired a game studio. In March 2022, Good Luck Games teamed up with FTX ahead of the release of their Storybook Brawl card battle game.

FTX also invested heavily in esports. The exchange signed the largest esports naming rights deal with TSM. The $210 million deal saw the team rebranded as TSM FTX for 10 years. Compare this to FTX’s naming rights deal for the Miami Heat arena ($135 million over 19 years). Notably, TSM has not removed the FTX brand from its social networks since the announcement.

But that is not all. The exchange also signed a deal with Riot Games to sponsor their North American League of Legends Championship Series (LCS). FTX sponsors all gold-related stats on the stream and is the title sponsor of the Most Improved Player Award. While the exact value of the deal was not disclosed, according to the statement, the “seven-year partnership with FTX represents the largest sponsorship deal Riot has ever signed for an esports league.”

FTX has also signed some smaller deals. This includes a one-year, $3.2 million deal with Brazilian team FURIA and a strategic partnership with Comcast-owned tournament organizer Nerd Street Gamers.

FTX CEO Samuel Bankman-Fried (SBF) confirmed that the US divisions of FTX and Binance will not be affected by the deal, although it is unclear what their ultimate fate will be and how this will affect FTX partnerships and sponsorships. business.

Compared to FTX, Binance has been much more secretive when it comes to partnerships, although they have invested in gaming. Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao is a strong believer in simple, non-exclusive deals. It’s unclear how this acquisition could affect FTX’s ongoing deals in gaming, sports, entertainment, and more.

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