Last week, crypto exchange FTX went from being valued at nearly $32 billion to filing for bankruptcy, and its founder, Sam Bankman-Fried, went from being the crypto space’s only ethical genius to being just a dude like the rest of us, albeit one who lost customers and investors alike a fortune. He was even a normie at League of Legends. Despite notoriously playing while pitching big venture capital firms on $200 million investments, a new investigation reveals he was pretty shitty at that too.
To recap: Bankman-Fried ran FTX. In just a few short years, the crypto exchange went from nothing to plastering its name across all manner of sporting events and magazine covers. It was considered super valuable because it charged customers fees to buy and bet on crypto, but also because Bankman-Fried was considered the next tech whiz who was going to use FTX to launch a “super app” for finance that would make crypto legit.
Some version of this is what he told venture capital firm Sequoia Capital, for one, during a meeting where he was actually playing League of Legends. Sequoia knew about this, proceeded to give Bankman-Fried over $200 million in funding, gloated about the League of Legends playing in a profile on its website, and then deleted it after FTX flatlined and Sequoia had to tell investors it was one of the ones left holding the bag in what appeared to be crypto’s latest Ponzi scheme.
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Where did all that money go? No one knows for sure yet, but one place it certainly didn’t go was to pay for Bankman-Fried’s League of Legends coaching. According to an investigation by the Financial Times, he was apparently terrible at the Riot Games MOBA, playing over 1,000 matches without hitting Platinum. In fact, he doesn’t appear to have ever left Bronze Tier II.
“There’s no clear pattern here: as you would expected [sic] for an appropriately low-ranked player, SBF maintained average-to-bad win ratios with his top champs (plant lady Zyra, crossbow-wielding witch-hunter Vayne and Egyptian-inspired god-dog Nasus),” the Financial Times reports.
Bankman-Fried’s last known game appears to be in September 2021, possibly not long after the now infamous Sequoia pitch. In it he played Vayne, the monster hunter who’s dedicated her life to destroying the demon that killed her family. He got six kills and four assists, but died 11 times. A highly relatable performance, though likely not one to inspire cosmic brain status.
But having his mediocre League record revealed is the least of Bankman-Fried’s worries at this point. Things have somehow only continued to get worse for him and the investors and customers he fleeced for billions. He was interrogated by Bahamian police and the Manhattan U.S. attorney’s office is now looking into him. FTX may have been hacked over the weekend after $600 million just mysteriously drained from the exchange. And the balance sheet shopped around to potential buyers and which has now become public following the start of bankruptcy proceedings makes absolutely no sense.
It appears to consist almost exclusively of crypto that Bankman-Fried was personally involved in the creation of, in addition to hidden columns, under-explained entries, seemingly fudged numbers, and typos. Worst of all, it doesn’t actually explain where all of the money went. “It’s an Excel file full of the howling of ghosts and the shrieking of tortured souls,” wrote Matt Levine at Bloomberg. “If you look too long at that spreadsheet, you will go insane.”