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Esports organization TSM ends deal with FTX, but is stuck with the brand on Twitter

Esports organization TSM is ending its partnership with FTX, the cryptocurrency exchange currently struggling with a high-profile collapse. Though in a strange twist of fate, TSM is unable to remove FTX from its Twitter handle due to Twitter’s new verification rules.

TSM partnered with FTX in June 2021 via a naming rights deal set to last 10 years. At the time, the partnership was valued at a whopping $210 million. With the deal, TSM would change its name to TSM FTX and use the company’s logo on gear like jerseys, as well as display it in players’ social media profiles. With FTX’s recent collapse, which saw the cryptocurrency exchange filing for bankruptcy, TSM found itself in an awkward position less than two years into the deal.

We've suspended our partnership with FTX effective immediately.

— TSM FTX (@TSM) November 16, 2022

After monitoring the situation, TSM has officially announced that it is cutting ties with FTX, ending the partnership prematurely. A statement from TSM reads, “After monitoring the evolving situation and discussing internally, TSM is suspending our partnership with FTX effective immediately. This means that FTX branding will no longer appear on any of our org, team, and player social media profiles, and will also be removed from our player jerseys. This process may take some time to complete as some social platforms have made changes to their product features.”

The product features TSM mentions allude to Twitter specifically. Due to the site’s new rules surrounding verified accounts, TSM (which appears on Twitter as TSM FTX) can’t remove FTX from its name without losing its verification status. The company says that it is in contact with Twitter to rectify the problem, but it’s stuck with the controversial brand until then.

Unfortunately at this time with the changes to Twitter verification, we're not able to.

— TSM FTX (@TSM) November 16, 2022

The snafu is another unexpected turn in a growing list of headaches for Twitter and its new owner, Elon Musk. The social media platform recently erupted into chaos when Musk introduced Twitter’s new version of Twitter Blue, which allowed any user to buy a blue checkmark for $8 a month. The decision immediately prompted a flood of problems, as users began impersonating companies like Nintendo and Valve as well as public figures. Twitter quickly rolled back the feature, though its new rules on verification remain, placing accounts like FTX in limbo.

The FTX name created some challenges for TSM from the jump. Immediately after announcing the deal, Riot Games banned the organization from using the FTX brand during League of Legends and Valorant events due to Riot’s strict rules on cryptocurrency and sponsorships.

TSM says that parting ways with FTX will not have an impact on the company’s operating plan, and it still predicts profitability this year.

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