Following the fallout between Echo Fox owners over the use of racist slurs, an investor will now purchase the team for $30 million, sources say.
Kroenke Sports Reportedly Buys Echo Fox
Echo Fox will be selling its League of Legends Championship Series franchise, the Riot Games hosted competition running around the globe and culminating in the League of Legends World Championship.
While no official confirmation has been made, reports have suggested that the potential buyer would be Kroenke Sports & Entertainment. Based on information published by Riot Games, Echo Fox has “submitted a proposal to sell its slot in the LCS to a new ownership group.”
Before an official decision can be reached, Riot Games will need to review the withdrawal proposal and the LCS will need to establish communication with the new buyer and how the entity would proceed as part of the competition.
Based on ESPN reports, the new owner will be the Kroenke Sports & Entertainment, which will be a second entry into esports for the group, after acquiring Los Angeles Gladiators, an Overwatch League (OWL) team. The group owns much bigger assets, including the English Premier League (EPL) team Arsenal and NBA franchise the Denver Nuggets.
If Echo Fox successful sell their franchise, they would receive $30 million, sources close to the deal said. Here is what LCS Commissioner Chris Greely told ESPN commenting on the potential sale:
We’re working diligently to minimize disruption to Echo Fox players and staff for the 2019 season in partnership with the LCS Players’ Association.
Greely explained that should Echo Fox turns down the deal, the LCS would be allowed to step in and negotiate the terms of the deal.
Echo Fox Blues
Echo Fox’s investors’ trouble began when in May the team’s owners, Rick Fox, was embroiled in a scandal revolving around Amit Raizada’s use of racist language. Mr. Raizada was and still remains one of the key shareholders in the company
Reported by Dexerto, the story made headlines quick, sending Echo Fox’s shares sliding. An investor at the time explained that what Mr. Raizada did was an “outrageous and abhorrent display of pure racism. “
The incident has been one of many in the esports world this year where bigotry and unseemly language have been used. Mr. Fox’s official position was that he didn’t want anything to do with Mr. Raizada.
Similarly, Riot Games has indicated that it won’t let Mr. Raizada be part of the organization competing in the LCS. He then tried to work around this by transferring his shares to a family member, a blatant move that was picked up on by both Mr. Fox and Riot Games.
While Mr. Echo is abandoning ship, the fresh investment from Kroenke Sports & Entertainment is a good sign as to the future of the team.