TSM signs Team Undying, officially enters Dota 2 competition
The team revealed its officiated deal with the North American team Undying on Wednesday, 26 January 2022, after months of hints about the organization entering Valve’s MOBA.
On top of the fact that it is the first time that TSM FTX will become involved in professional Dota 2 competitions, fans had been previously unsure as Undying ultimately decided to decline 15 sponsorship opportunities to stay independent.
The over $200 million landmark deal comes with a downside as Riot Games’ refusal to allow FTX branding for TSM in its official League of Legends and Valorant events as it investigates allegations of employees mistreatment by organization founder Andy “Reginald” Dinh.
The cryptocurrency-related company FTX has also reportedly made a separate official partnership with the LCS, Riot’s official North American league. However, no similar precedent was made around the Dota 2 title, so the newly acquired TSM Dota 2 team will most likely debut with the FTX branding.
TSM FTX has also announced its Dota 2 roster comprised of the current Undying formation, which is similar to the team’s lineup at The International 10.
Canadian captain and position 4 support David “MoonMeander” Tan and South Korean veteran position 5 support Kim “DuBu” Doo-Young will continue to lead Peruvian carry player Enzo “Timado” Gianoli, Canadian midlaner Jonathan “Bryle” De Guia, and Czech offlaner Jonáš “SabeRLight-” Volek as TSM’s new Dota 2 team.
Even before the deal, the Undying has been known as one of the best teams in North America. Formed in January 2021, the team finished third in the Winter and Spring Tours of Division I of the North American regional league in the Dota Pro Circuit (DPC) season of the same year.
Undying topped the achievement by entering The International 10 (TI10) through the regional qualifiers and finishing in 13th-16th place. It continuously improved its performance and finally took second place in the Winter Tour regional league as a start for the 2021-2022 DPC season.
The newly sponsored team will be making its re-debut under TSM FTX in North America’s online Regional Finals in mid-February. The event is a replacement for the canceled Winter Major.
Change for North American region
Dota 2 in the North American scene has reportedly been struggling, primarily due to the lack of organizational support for most of the teams in the region. Currently, the region only sees two major organizations competing for the winning title, which are Evil Geniuses and now, TSM FTX.
Before the deal with the Undying that further widens its scope, TSM FTX is one of the most globally-recognized esports brands that compete in North America’s LoL Championship Series.
The brand is also known to field its rosters in several other major games, such as VALORANT, PUBG Mobile, Fortnite: Battle Royale, and Apex Legends. It also extends its scope beyond esports with Chess Grandmaster Hikaru Nakamura currently listed under their banner.