Is Sam Bankman-Fried Playing ‘League of Legends’ While FTX Burns?

The FTX founder is a famous gamer, but is he really ganking in the jungle while his empire lies in ruin?
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FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried’s empire is in ruins and he says he’s in the Bahamas after early reports that he’d fled to Argentina. And while the crypto market crashes, a viral tweet claimed that Bankman-Fried was playing a few League of Legends games. “SBF is playing League of Legends while FTX crumbles around him and the authorities close in you could not make this up,” Parik Patel, a crypto parody account, said on Twitter. He posted a screenshot purporting to show Bankman-Fried in a League game.

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But is that really SBF’s League of Legends account? And why would a man everyone is looking for taking time out of his busy schedule of avoiding repercussions to play a ranked League match on an account people know belongs to him?

For starters, the League account with the username SBF probably isn’t Bankman-Fried. There are lots of accounts across multiple servers with some variation and combination of the letters “SBF” and “FTX” and “TSM.” TSM is an esports company associated with Bankman-Fried. It’s common for a League player to have multiple accounts on different servers, but it’s impossible to know if any of them belong to Bankman-Fried. Shitposters are having fun with that ambiguity.

Some of these screenshots are from accounts probably not related to Bankman-Fried. Others, like the one from C207, are fake. But Bankman-Fried does play League of Legends. One of the legends people told about him was that he was playing a game during a big pitch meeting with Sequoia. According to reports, a partner walked over during the meeting and realized “the fucker was playing League of Legends through the entire meeting.”

Bankman-Fried also tweeted about League of Legends. “I play a lot more than you’d expect for someone who routinely trades off sleep vs work,” he said in 2021 on Twitter. “Why? Well there’s one answer, which is the obvious one. The single most universal thing about LoL is that everyone who plays it says they wish they didn’t.” 

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Bankman-Fried has revealed his account name before. In June of 2021, he joked that he was part of the TSM team and revealed the name of one of his accounts and his avatar. There is an account with that name and avatar on the Japanese servers, but it hasn’t played since September. An account with that name and a different avatar on the North American server is active. But again, there’s no reason to believe this is actually Bankman-Fried’s account.

If the North American TSM FTX SBF account is him, it means the FTX founder has a decent ranking in the game. He’s a platinum 1 in ranked solo and a diamond 2 in ranked flex. But this isn’t the account that’s being shared around. People want to believe some of these other accounts with lower rankings are Bankman-Fried.

“The silliest part of this whole thing is that SBF was pretty garbage at league,” delian, a venture capitalist Twitter Blue account, said on Twitter. “You’re worth $16b and play multiple hours a day, can afford world class coaching and still hard stuck on bronze 2? Yikes.” Below, delian posted screenshots from a North American league account with the name SAMBF. 

Bankman-Fried has been gaming since the downfall of FTX, however. He told the New York Times he’s been playing Storybook Brawl, a card game that is also mentioned in a now-deleted article written by Sequoia Capital: “He has also found other ways to occupy his time in recent days, playing the video game Storybook Brawl, though less than he usually does,” the New York Times wrote. “‘It helps me unwind a bit,’ he said. ‘It clears my mind.’”