Tom B. August 4, 2019
Robert Moore, CEO of esports organization Sentinels, has apparently filed a lawsuit against Kroenke Sports & Entertainment. Sentinels is the organization behind the newly crowned Fortnite World Champion Kyle “Bugha” Giersdorf.
Part of the reason for the lawsuit is the $30.25m acquisition of a League of Legends LCS franchise slot formerly owned by Echo Fox.
This sale follows a period of controversy for Rick Fox’s Echo Fox brand surrounding one of its investors, Amit Raizada. Following investigations by Riot and a failure by Echo Fox to adhere to instructions to remove Raizada over accusations of racism, Riot offered the LCS slot for sale. KSE Esports, the esports arm of the Kroenke group, is the organization looking to capitalize on the Echo Fox chaos.
According to an ESPN report, the basis for the lawsuit is an alleged verbal agreement in which Moore and the Sentinels operated the Los Angeles Gladiators, the Overwatch team owned by Kroenke Sports & Entertainment, in 2017. Moore is claiming that in running the organization he incurred costs that he paid out of his own pocket and which were never paid back to him.
As compensation Moore is looking for a majority stake in KSE Esports, the esports side of Kroenke Sports for which Moore was the acting CEO. He is also seeking to be paid back for all expenses incurred.
With the $30M LCS deal on the table, Moore stands to gain hugely if the lawsuit is successful and he becomes a majority shareholder in an LCS franchise.
Kroenke Sports & Entertainment are working to finalise a deal with Riot Games to enter the LCS in the spot previously owned by Echo Fox. If everything goes according to that plan, the deal could go through in just over three weeks. But there still remain questions over the sale process and the legitimacy of the bid.
At the time of writing there has been no comment from representatives from either the Sentinels or the Kroenke Sports & Entertainment group. It is likely that a lawsuit of this nature could take significant time for a decision to be reached, should it not be settled out of court.