- TSM FTX has lost around 30 million of its previous 80 million followers since August
- The mass unsubscribes are contributed to the exodus of many of TSM’s prominent figureheads
- TSM is still the second most popular organization in NA but this dangerous tendency can ruin its image
TSM FTX has lost more than a third of its social media and streaming platform subscribers, according to the esports data provider GEEIQ.
TSM Lost a Lot of Fans Since August
TSM FTX, one of the most influential esports organizations, has recently parted ways with some of its most long-time members. This has had an immediate effect on the organization’s following, cutting its social media subscribers by almost a half. The numbers were reported by the esports data provider GEEIQ.
A few months ago, in August 2021, TSM FTX had reached 80 million followers across all of its social media accounts. However, TSM has now lost around 30 million of those followers, with people unsubscribing from its Twitch, YouTube, and social media accounts.
This number loss is a huge hit to TSM as social media following is what organizations use to promote themselves to investors. Matthew Boyd, the organization’s head of research and insights, spoke about the importance of having a strong online presence:
“Generally, the way things have existed with the partnership equation, up to this point, is that when we’re talking about social handles and building those into those agreements, we’ve pretty much been focused on those owned-and-operated channels, as well as the competitive roster, specifically. So creators and streamers have been less of a central focus when we’ve been going out to the marketplace and talking about what’s possible from an activation standpoint.”
The Tendency is Due to Many Celebrities Leaving the Organization
TSM’s loss of steam has been largely contributed to the leave of Ali “Myth” Kabbani who exited the organization in December. Myth, one of TSM’s top names, had decided to discontinue his partnership with the organization, which immediately impacted the latter’s following.
Myth is a gaming juggernaut that singlehandedly has 21 million followers across its social media channels. Many of TSM’s followers were Myth fans who subscribed to TSM’s networks when the popular influencer joined the organization.
Furthermore, Søren “Bjergsen” Bjerg, TSM’s professional LoL midlaner, quit the organization to join Team Liquid, one of TSM’s competitors.
Boyd admitted that TSM has seen a number of high-profile members leave the organization. The tendency of TSM’s follower decline had already started even before Myth and Bjergsen jumped ships.
“Our perspective is, at the end of the day, we’re a competitive organization. We acknowledge that with any kind of organization, whether it’s esports or traditional sports, talent comes and goes. I think that kind of comes with the territory.”
Some controversies also hit TSM’s following. In November, TSM’s Yiliang “Doublelift” Peng accused the organization’s chief executive officer, Andy “Reginald” Dinh of acting unprofessionally and treating his coworkers in a disrespectful way. TSM took those allegations seriously and even hired third-party investigators to prove the CEO’s innocence. Despite the drama not being as deep as some of the other controversies in gaming, it still hurt TSM’s image.
Not Everything is Lost for TSM
TSM’s follower decline comes in the wake of a huge 10-year naming deal it signed with the crypto exchange FTX. It is likely that TSM’s decline might make investors more cautious of partnering with esports organizations and subsequently hurt the esports ecosystem.
James Burden, the CPO of GEEIQ, spoke on the matter:
“It’s quite easy for a team to grow multiple percent. But to actually lose followers, someone is actively going to your account and unfollowing because they don’t like the content. So that is worrying, to say the least.”
TSM still retains the prestigious second place when it comes to the most popular esports organizations in North America. It has 9.84 million followers across its official branded accounts which haven’t taken such a heavy hit as the company’s overall following. TSM is second only to the famous FaZe Clan which currently boasts 33 million subscribers on its branded accounts and 207 million across all accounts.
It will be interesting to follow whether TSM manages to regain its following or whether another organization will take the prestigious second place as the second most popular organization in NA esports.