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Just a day before a new type of high-roller buy-in Teamfight Tactics tournament was set to kick off, Riot Games has stepped in to make alterations to make sure the event follows terms of service since gambling in TFT isn’t allowed.
TFT content creator “YippeeMaokaiYay” and partner Stakekings.com planned on hosting a $10,000 prize pool tournament featuring eight well known players, each buying into the event with $1250 to make up the aforementioned $10k prize pool. Notable players entering this event on Saturday, June 25 include Cloud9’s Michael “k3Soju” Zhang and Team Liquid’s Alex “Kurumx” Tompkins.
With Stakekings.com being a partner, spectators were set to be allowed to “stake” their favorite players entry to try to win a piece of the $10k prize pool themselves. Riot has drawn a line here, saying that buy-in tournaments could go on in the future, but with no association to gambling sites and absolutely no staking.
Staking refers to the idea that someone can pay for a portion of a players entry to win that percentage of that players winnings. For example, if someone staked half of a players $1250 and that player won $5000, the person that staked half the entry would win $2500, or half of the winnings. This is done as a way to mitigate risk for the entering player while also giving spectators a chance to win some money without playing.
This violates Riot Games’ terms of service for hosting third party events, as Riot does not allow for gambling to be involved with any tournament.
Michael Sherman, TFT’s Global head of esports, issued a statement on late Friday afternoon, stating “we love the passion, but we have asked them to remove the ability for the community to stake their buy-ins as that is not something we will allow at this time.”
Sherman also stated that Riot is working with the organizer to refund any fans that have already staked a player.
ASU alum with a B.A in Sports Journalism, Warren is one of the premier TFT Journalists in the scene and is a decent TFT player as well who has peaked Challenger and has had multiple accounts in Master+ over all sets. Warren also specializes in other esports content including League of Legends, Valorant, Smash Bros, and more.