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TSM FTX to host Dota 2 event, Undying hints at sponsorship

TSM FTX is testing Dota 2's waters with a $100,000 charity tournament between TSM, its cryptocurrency partner FTX, and other cryptocurrency companies. 

Esports organization TSM FTX will host an eight-team charity Dota 2 tournament with $100,000 in total donations set to be awarded. The FTX Foundation Dota Tournament will begin on July 17th at 8 am PDT.

The event will be hosted on TSM FTX’s official Twitch channel. No players or organizations are confirmed for FTX Foundation Dota Tournament beyond the hosts, though available information hints towards a more casual atmosphere. The announcement comes as a surprise considering TSM’s enduring apathy towards Dota 2.

TSM is one of the most recognizable brands in League of Legends, Dota 2’s perennial rival. The organization has dabbled in almost every esport imaginable and has even branched out into chess and Magic: The Gathering, but has never sponsored a Dota 2 team. This could hint at TSM FTX's future involvement in the other big MOBA title.

Is TSM FTX sponsoring a Dota 2 team?

TSM FTX hosting a Dota 2 event is strange, but it would make sense as part of a way to generate hype for other announcements. The International 2021 is just three months away and its $40 million prize purse is plenty of incentive to sponsor a team. TSM FTX sponsors American teams when possible and two qualified North American teams are unsponsored heading into TI10.

Quincy Crew was arguably the best team in North America throughout the online era. The team won seven tournaments in a row in 2020 and notched a top-six finish in the WePlay AniMajor after winning the NA DPC League. 

Undying absolutely destroyed the North American qualifier to gain access to TI10 and looked to be the equals of Quincy Crew and Evil Geniuses in regional competition. Undying’s official social media fanned the flames with a sly response to the announcement on Twitter.

TSM FTX entering the Dota 2 space would be a big deal for the competitive scene if the organization decides to stick around. TSM is widely held up among esports' most influential and successful brands and it has always been an indictment on Dota 2 that the game has failed to attract these sorts of successful organizations. The team recently signed a $210 million partnership with FTX so it has the capital to sign a successful, proven Dota 2 team. The question is if this signing is a one-off affair to get the FTX logo on the TI10 stage or if TSM will stick around afterwards.