Former TSM FTX president reveals reason behind her departure
Leena Xu, the former President of North American esports organization TSM FTX, has revealed why she left the company.
The basics: Leena's departure from the organization was made relatively quietly.
- Leena joined the organization in 2012, long before it was seen as the success it's touted be now — topping Forbes' esports valuations rankings in 2020 and securing a $210M, 10-year naming sponsorship with cryptocurrency exchange FTX.
- She progressed through the ranks at TSM FTX, including heading up esports operations and marketing, before being named its President.
- Her departure was made public in November 2021 as she described her difficulties with "new management," instead opting to work with content creator collective OfflineTV alongside major figures like Imane "Pokimane" Anys and Lily "LilyPichu" Ki.
The controversy: There was plenty of controversy during Leena's time with TSM FTX, and contentions have cropped up afterwards too.
- Leena's relationships with CEO Andy "Reginald" Dinh and later with League of Legends player Yiliang "Doublelift" Peng have drummed up some controversy and concerns in the past, including a conflict of interest violation following a mishap on-stream with Doubelift in 2020.
- As of January 2022, the organization has been embroiled in drama as CEO Reginald is being investigated by Riot Games over allegations of bullying and verbal abuse. Key personnel in the company have since departed, including long-time Coach and General Manager Parth Naidu.
The reasoning: Leena has now spoken more about her time at TSM FTX and explained why she decided to leave the org.
- Typing in the chat of a Twitch stream, she claimed that TSM FTX doesn't see a return on value for the costs associated with the LCS and that's why it's expanding into mobile gaming and new locations like India.
- The former President cites this alleged change in business strategy as "one of the reasons why [she] wanted to leave," with the company's direction no longer aligning with her own.
- Reginald dismissed her claims relating to the LCS, revealing that the cost of Leena's desired roster would have cost the same, if not less, than the amount the org ending up spending on the team it has now — seemingly alluding to the fact that it is still happy to invest in the game. TSM FTX is sitting at the bottom of the league table at the time of publication with a record of one win and eight losses.