Riot Games threatens to kick Echo Fox out of LCS over racist incident
Steven R. May 15, 2019
Riot Games has chosen a side in the ongoing conflict within Echo Fox.
The League of Legends publisher issued a pointed threat to Echo Fox shareholder Amit Raizada in a statement, functionally demanding he sell his share in the company. This is likely welcome news for Echo Fox’s frontman and namesake, Rick Fox.
“Hate speech, threats, and bigotry have no place in the LCS. We have directed Echo Fox to take appropriate corrective action within 60 days,” LCS Commissioner Chris Greeley said. “If Echo Fox does not take action...the League will take formal action that may adversely impact the future of Echo Fox in the LCS.”
Last month, Dexerto reported that Fox was looking to sell his share of Echo Fox due to alleged threats towards his family and a racist incident involving an unnamed shareholder in the organization. The individual had allegedly used racial epithets towards Fox and former Echo Fox CEO Jace Hall. Hall and Fox are African-American.
The individual was later identified as Raizada, with leaked emails and text messages backing up Fox’s allegations. Echo Fox confirmed that the incident occurred in a statement shortly thereafter, which led to Riot Games launching an investigation.
Will Rick Fox Remain with Echo Fox?
Fox has maintained his presence in the media since then, talking with TMZ and releasing a statement to Dexerto. Across all of his appearances he has made it clear that he would prefer to remain in the esports industry alongside Echo Fox, but he refuses to do any further business with Raizada. With Raizada’s unwillingness to leave and significant current financial ties to Echo Fox, breaking free of him would require Fox to depart the company.
The move by Riot is likely to force Raizada to depart the organization or face dramatic consequences.
Echo Fox has a sizable talent stable including players in Dragon Ball FighterZ, Fortnite, and Apex Legends, but its centerpiece is its League of Legends squad. Should Echo Fox lose its franchise in the LCS, it would be a huge hit to the valuation of the team, and to the wallets of anyone with an ownership stake in the organization. This puts Raizada in a position where he has to choose between selling his share of Echo Fox now, or watching his investment potentially devaluate.
The deal isn’t necessarily done just yet. Should Riot take action against Raizada, there could be grounds for him to challenge it in court.
Still, this is a positive sign for Fox, his fans, and the Echo Fox staff that sided with him. With a 60-day time limit set, expect news on Echo Fox’s ownership to come in the near future.