After claims of racism and a failed $30 million deal, an esports team will forfeit its place in one of the world's most popular leagues
Arthur Mola/Associated Press
- Echo Fox will forfeit its position as one of 10 franchises in the League Championship Series (LCS) amid claims of racism.
- The LCS is the professional league for the popular computer game "League of Legends," and franchise slots have recently sold for between $35 and $45 million.
- A deal to sell Echo Fox to Kroenke Entertainment and Sports Group fell through after a tentative agreement, leading the LCS to open an application process to replace Echo Fox.
- Despite the controversy, Echo Fox will receive the bulk of the revenue from the sale of its franchise slot.
- Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.
Echo Fox, one of 10 franchises in one of the world's most popular esports leagues, will forfeit its place in Riot Games' League Championship Series amid ongoing controversy and accusations of racism within the Echo Fox's ownership.In 2017, Echo Fox paid $10 million to become one of the first franchises in the League Championship Series (LCS), North America's professional league for the computer game "League of Legends." Now, the LCS is holding an open bidding process to find a new long-term partner to replace Echo Fox after a $30 million deal to purchase the franchise slot fell through in early August.Advertisement
Echo Fox was established in 2015 when actor and former NBA player Rick Fox and business partners Amit Raizada and Stratton Sclavos acquired Gravity, an existing esports organization competing in the LCS. The team rebranded as Echo Fox and Fox used his celebrity status to help promote the team for several years.
However, in April 2019, Fox publicly criticized Raizada for allegedly using a racial slur in an text message referring to Echo Fox CEO Jace Hall. Fox first said he intended to sell his stake in the team and move on, but later said he would remain with Echo Fox if Raizada was removed from the ownership group.Rick Fox, Jace Hall, and Amit Raizada did not respond to Business Insider's request for comment.
Here's how the Echo Fox situation has played out over the past few months.
"League of Legends" is one of the most popular games in the world, and the League Championship Series organizes professional competitions in North America.
After investigating the Echo Fox situation, LCS Commissioner Chris Greeley announced that the team would be given a 60-day mediation period to remove anyone who had violated the league's policy on hate speech beginning May 15.Advertisement
Echo Fox reportedly reached a $30 million deal to sell its LCS spot to Kroenke Sports and Entertainment. But the deal fell through after Kroenke was sued by another esports organization.
After the failed deal between Echo Fox and Kroenke, the LCS will accept applications for a new franchise.Advertisement
Three of the 10 franchises that partnered with the League Championship Series in 2017 will be gone by 2020.
Echo Fox's management issues should raise concerns about the rapidly growing esports industry.Advertisement
- Sporty badminton racket sets of 2
- Space spacing and versatile foldable wardrobes
- Samsung Galaxy F series to launch in India during Flipkart Big Billion Days sale in October
- Sony WF-H800 truly wireless earbuds launched in India at ₹14,990
- Sensex down 7% this week, sees the second-worst fall this year— these are the reasons behind the sell-off