Riot Games announced today that Echo Fox, a franchised partner of the LCS, has reached an agreement to sell its slot in the league. Riot is reviewing the terms of the deal and will be meeting with the proposed ownership group. The company declined to give details on which parties are involved in the new ownership group.
This marks the conclusion of an ownership scandal that Echo Fox has been embroiled in for the last several months. In May, Riot Games gave the organization 60 days to part ways with minority owner Amit Raizada, who was accused by other Echo Fox shareholders, notably team founder Rick Fox, of using racist and threatening language towards fellow owners. The primary targets of Raizada’s words was Jace Hall, a video games producer, and Fox himself.
Riot Games deemed that behavior a breach of its LCS rules of conduct. It gave the organization two options: remove Raizada, or relinquish its LCS spot. In the latter scenario, Echo Fox would finish the Summer Split, at which point Riot would sell the team’s LCS spot, with Echo Fox receiving an undetermined portion of the proceeds.
According to an ESPN report, Echo Fox’s first plan was to transfer Raizada’s ownership stake into an entity controlled by a member of Raizada’s family. The team submitted that proposal after internal disagreements over how to meet Riot’s request. Riot rejected the plan, though, and extended its deadline for Echo Fox to fully divest Raizada’s shares.
Echo Fox was given an additional seven days to structure an agreement that satisfied Riot’s request. Potential avenues included the sale of the team. Recent purchases of LCS organization have been closed with valuations in the $20 million range.
This marks the third time an LCS organization has been sold since June. Immortals bought OpTic Gaming parent Infinite Esports for more than $35 million and Dignitas purchased Clutch Gaming for $20 million.