OKEx token sale fight
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Breaking: eSports platform warns of ‘unrelated’ initial exchange offering on OKEx

EVOS eSports’ parent ATTN Holdings has warned that it is in no way affiliated with the ATTN token sale taking place on OKEx Jumpstart, and claims that its intellectual property has been used without permission; ATTN tweets it’s sorry EVOS ‘is no longer part of our family.’

An eSports platform has taken the unusual step of warning that it has no affiliation with an initial exchange offering that is due to take place on OKEx.

ATTN Holdings and EVOS eSports, which are based in South East Asia, stressed on July 20 that they are not currently undertaking any form of fundraising.

OKEx token sale fight
The ATTN home page (Photo: ATTN)

But three days earlier, OKEx Jumpstart announced that it will be hosting a token sale for ATTN, which describes itself as an eSports alliance in South East Asia that claims more than 25 million players worldwide.

However, its Twitter site, @attncommunity, was only launched in May 2020 and has 16,200 followers. And moments ago, ATTN tweeted out a statement saying EVOS eSports is “no longer part of our family.”

Modern Consensus will add to this evolving story as more news becomes available.

ATTN Holdings, on the other hand, is the parent of EVOS eSports, which exclusively manages 160 gaming influencers and has partnerships with more than 200 eSports talents, said it collectively reaches 64 million YouTube subscribers and generates 350 million views a month across South East Asia.

Competing for ATTN

According to ATTN Holdings and EVOS eSports, their companies have no affiliation with the website and Telegram channel that is being promoted by OKEx Jumpstart. Both companies also allege that this website uses their intellectual property and proprietary information—and that it links to a white paper that it is not affiliated with.  

OKEx token sale fight
ATTN statement (Photo: Twitter)

The clear implication is that this may not be a case of two companies having a similar name and operating in a similar industry, but that something more sinister could be afoot.

In the news release distancing themselves from the token sale, ATTN Holdings and EVOS eSports offered a full list of their official social media accounts—and they vowed to take “all measures necessary to protect their goodwill, intellectual property and proprietary information.”

The statement added: “Members of the public, particularly those belonging to the cryptocurrency, blockchain and gaming communities, are hereby advised to exercise caution. ATTN Holdings and EVOS eSports shall not be liable for any actions, proceedings, fines, liabilities, claims, demands, losses, damages, charges, costs and expenses of whatever nature (whether direct, indirect or consequential) arising from the participation or out of schemes in which ATTN Holdings and EVOS eSports have no part.”

OKEx Jumpstart’s sale of ATTN tokens is scheduled to begin on July 29. At the time of the announcement, the exchange’s CEO Jay Hao had said: “ATTN is the most popular esports alliance in South East Asia and has a lot of influence. We believe that the combination of ATTN and blockchain will benefit both the gaming and blockchain industries.”

Modern Consensus has reached out to representatives of OKEx, ATTN Holdings and EVOS eSports for a comment.

A spokesman for ATTN Holdings and EVOS eSports said that, based on legal advice, they were unable to answer any questions. OKEx has not replied to a request for comment by press time.

A tweet by ATTN at 10:02 a.m. EDT suggested that EVOS had been a strategic partner, saying, “There are always stumbling blocks to the progress of evolutional technology… We are sorry to announce that evos esports team is no longer part of our family.”

An OKEx spokesperson echoed that, telling Modern Consensus via email that the exchange is “sorry to hear that Evos Esports and ATTN have decided to end their relationship at this time.

“However, OKEx is very confident in the high-quality platform the ATTN team has built. We support their decision as we support all of our carefully selected Jumpstart projects and we are confident that ATTN will move forward with other gaming giants and suitable partners who will appreciate the potential of this project.”

A tension over attention

The business activities of ATTN Holdings and EVOS eSports do seem to have many similarities with those of ATTN.

EVOS eSports, founded in July 2016, helps influencers secure streaming contracts and brand endorsement deals—and assists with the management of their social media channels.

According to OKEx’s news release, ATTN was also founded in 2016. That platform’s website (which at first glance seems rather amateurish and is written in broken English) says its vision is to use blockchain to tackle centralization and break existing profit distribution models.

It’s hardly the first time that a token-issuer has been accused of appropriating big names. In August 2019, Modern Consensus reported that Fight to Fame was using an endorsement by Mike Tyson that the boxing champion denied making.

Updated 10:35 a.m. July 20 to reflect no reply from OKEx.

Updated 10:41 a.m. and 10:45 a.m. on July 20 with images.

Updated at 12:34 p.m. to add comments from OKEx.

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Connor Sephton is a journalist with an interest in cryptocurrencies, personal finance, and financial inclusion—as well as the challenges the crypto industry faces in achieving mainstream adoption. He owns cryptocurrencies.