Echo Fox’s first season in the LCS proved to be a long and difficult year as they managed to earn the last spot in next year’s LCS season. The team funded and owned by former NBA player Rick Fox, was put together using the leftovers of North America’s top challenger talent built around one of Europe’s most experienced players, Froggen.
At the time Rick Fox acquired Gravity’s spot in the LCS, other teams had already solidified teams, meaning that the roster consisted of unproven talent with 14 LCS games between them, excluding Froggen. After achieving seventh place in the Spring season, Echo Fox had hoped they would continue to grow by earning a place in Summer Split playoffs. However, the competition in the LCS got stronger and Echo Fox was left with a disappointing 1-17 record during the summer regular season, resulting in a hard fought battle for a place in the LCS. Luckily, Echo Fox beat NRG Esports 3-0 in convincing fashion to resecure their spot in the LCS for another season.
Too often in traditional sports, fans want results as soon as possible. This is particularly prevalent in the Barclays Premier League, where managers are constantly held under scrutiny and are pressured by the fans to make signings with the hope that one player can solve all problems. While Echo Fox’s first year in the LCS was not a successful one, it was good to see Echo Fox stuck with the roster, which for the most part, did not change from when it first fully formed.
We often hear about teams mistreating players and for the most part, Echo Fox seems to have done right by their players and the industry. After a mediocre season, Echo Fox could have made changes during the offseason to find “quick fixes” to their problems, but they have remained adamant in developing a young roster. After all, Rick Fox understands the sacrifices the players have made to compete in the LCS.
Really three of those individuals are 17, 18? I mean they put their lives on hold. Some of them were in school. Some of them didn’t go to school.
Regardless of any future roster changes and despite not achieving any success, I am glad that Echo Fox remained committed to their players and gave them time to develop. This time it did not work out, but Echo Fox’s “players-first” attitude has earned the respect of many fans. Since Echo Fox’s introduction, the team has gone on to sponsor Julio Fuentes and Jason “Mew2King” Zimmerman, two of North America’s top talent at their respective games and has invested in teams from other games as well. Froggen has also shown his commitment to Echo Fox, expressing his desire to stay with the team prior to Echo Fox’s victory over NRG.
Echo Fox is not the only team that has shown commitment to their players. Team Liquid has been incredibly progressive in investing heavily into their infrastructure and support for their players. But Echo Fox’s first eight months in esports have set an example of how teams should act if they want to be a well-established team in esports, and as a result, this organization has earned the respect of fans across the world.
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