When popular competitive gaming club G2 Esports announced its plans to launch Solana-based NFTs in January, there was a curious question mark hanging over the news: What happened to G2’s NFT deal with Bondly, which was announced in June 2021? Now we know.
G2 Esports filed suit against Bondly in Los Angeles County Superior Court on March 16, according to a report from The Washington Post. Per the report, the filing alleges that Bondly leadership misled G2 about its ability to create NFT collectibles via the partnership and failed to deliver on set deadlines.
The esports team alleges $5.25 million in total damages resulting from the deal, which was a two-year exclusive agreement signed on June 2, 2021. According to contracts filed with the court, per the report, Bondly was supposed to pay a $2 million annual licensing fee to G2 Esports, as well as a guaranteed advance of $1.25 million.
G2 writes in the filing that when it sent an invoice for Bondly’s first rights payment, the crypto firm responded claiming that it was “past the point of being able to successfully deliver an NFT program.” Bondly wanted to pause the partnership, according to the Post report, but G2 refused; Bondly then sought to terminate the partnership, claiming G2’s unwillingness to find a solution.
“Bondly and its agents knew that their representations were false when they made them, or made the representations recklessly and without regard to their truth,” reads the filing. “They knew they could not perform, but cunningly waited until G2 had publicly announced its partnership with Bondly to its millions of fans to reap the benefits of publicity through the highly valuable G2 brand.”
Decrypt reached out to both G2 Esports and Bondly for comment but did not hear back by the time of publication. We will update this story if we hear back from either party. Decrypt previously asked a G2 Esports representative about the state of the Bondly deal in January but did not receive further information.
Bondly—a firm that specializes in NFT collectibles and fan engagement tokens—planned to launch officially-licensed NFTs based on G2 Esports and its teams and competitors on Polygon, a sidechain scaling solution for Ethereum. The G2 Esports NFTs were originally announced to launch on June 30, 2021, but never materialized.
As previously mentioned, G2 Esports ultimately launched a separate new NFT collection in January. The Solana-based collection was created in partnership with Metaplex, and treated the NFT profile pictures like a membership pass to an exclusive club for fans of the team.
The 6,262 G2 Samurai Army NFTs were released in February. Though they initially sold for 1 SOL (roughly $90), they currently start at just 0.25 SOL ($23) on the Magic Eden secondary marketplace, which shows a total of about 1,416 SOL of total trading volume to date—$131,000 worth at today’s SOL price.
G2 Esports is one of many teams to get involved in the blockchain and cryptocurrency industry, particularly over the last year. Other notable deals include FTX’s $210 million naming rights deal with Team SoloMid, Coinbase’s sponsorships of teams like Evil Geniuses and Team Liquid, and recent Tezos deals with Team Vitality and Misfits Gaming.