After months of internal strife following the news that one of its investors had called a fellow shareholder the n-word, the esports organization co-founded by Rick Fox has officially lost its coveted spot in the League of Legends Championship Series, Riot Games announced today.
“On August 13, the LCS and Echo Fox entered into an agreement that will terminate Echo Fox’s participation in the LCS,” said LCS Commissioner Chris Greeley. “As part of that agreement, the LCS will sell the now-vacant tenth slot in the LCS and will provide the bulk of the proceeds from the sale to Echo Fox.”
Echo Fox had previously arranged to sell its slot to Los Angeles Rams owner Stan Kroenke for $30.25 million, but last week it was announced that the deal had fallen through. “Due to circumstances unrelated to Echo Fox, Kroenke Sports and Entertainment was unable to meet Riot Games’ requirements for acquiring Echo Fox’s LCS slot,” a spokesperson for the organization told Kotaku in a statement at the time.
Today, Greenley simply said that the sale “did not come to fruition,” without elaborating on why it had fallen apart.
“The Echo Fox organization is proud to have worked so closely with Riot Games and the LCS these past few years, we made the decision to consent to the Riot process as it would allow a fair outcome for all parities involved,” a spokesperson for Echo fox told Kotaku in an email. “However, in addition to our support for our LCS team, we have long shown our commitment to growing and nurturing our teams in fighting games and battle royale games, and will continue to seek out and participate in the ever-expanding universe of esports competitions — both domestic and international. We would like to thank Riot and Chris Greeley in helping us through this transition.”
The loss of Echo Fox’s League of Legends franchise is the result of comments made by one of its investors, Amit Raizada, who was revealed in April to have called fellow Echo Fox business partner Jace Hall the n-word in an email. Following an official investigation, Riot Games announced in May that Echo Fox would be ousted from the LCS if it did not remove Raizada from the organization. “Hate speech, threats, and bigotry have no place in the LCS,” Greeley said at the time. “We have directed Echo Fox to take appropriate corrective action within 60 days.”
In July, Rick Fox accused Raizada of trying to “engineer a fire sale” of the organization’s League of Legends franchise, but Raizada has denied the charge, instead blaming the state of Echo Fox on Fox’s leadership.
Riot said it will be accepting applications for Echo Fox’s spot in the LCS for 30 days starting August 16 with the goal of expediting the process of finding a new owner for the franchise ahead of the league’s 2020 season.