Marta J. August 16, 2019
After over two months of the drama related to Echo Fox’s ownership and investors, Riot Games has decided to terminate the organization’s participation in the League of Legends Championship Series.
The Echo Fox drama is finally coming to an end in the LCS, as Riot has announced its North American franchised league and Echo Fox have agreed to vacate Echo Fox’s current LCS spot. This follows Riot having given Echo Fox a 60-day deadline to either take corrective measures within the organization or sell the spot in LCS. The deadline was set in May.
Riot Games has since shared that they have conducted a thorough investigation and came to the conclusion that Echo Fox’s ownership wasn’t been behaving to the standards of the LCS.
Echo Fox was looking to sell to Kroenke Sports & Entertainment, an American sports and entertainment investment company that owns an Overwatch pro team, the Los Angeles Gladiators. The sale was proposed to the LCS on July 23, but it didn’t come through due to circumstances related to Kroenke and an ongoing lawsuit against the organization.
Riot is now looking to repeat a process of selling an LCS slot similar to what the community had seen when LCS franchising was introduced in 2017. This means the developer is looking to sell Echo Fox’s vacated spot to an ownership group that will be evaluated as a promising long-term partner with financial stability and a commitment towards the league as a whole.
In 2017, Riot was selling LCS spots for $10 million each, but it hasn’t shared if the price will remain the same this time around. Starting August 16, a 30-day application process has opened for potential team owners who believe they have what it takes to be a long-term partner that meets the LCS’ standards. A share of the sale’s proceeds will go to Echo Fox’s current ownership.
LCS commissioner and head of communication Chris “Grza” Greeley shared in an official statement that Riot is expecting to partner up with a new team before the 2020 LCS season, which will begin in late January.
“We will focus on evaluating each applicant’s ownership profile, brand strategy, business plan, and team operational plan,” Grza said. “Our goal remains to have an orderly transition as we add a new LCS team ahead of the 2020 season.”