Riot Games has confirmed that it will be selling the LCS slot that is currently owned by North American organisation Echo Fox.
On August 13th, Riot Games and Echo Fox entered an agreement that will see the organisation removed from the competition, with the slot being sold ahead of the 2020 Spring Split.
Echo Fox was given an ultimatum by the developer in May, stating that it must oust the shareholder that allegedly used racist remarks within 60 days. This period was extended for another week but the ownership group ultimately failed to meet the terms set by Riot Games.
It was reported that Echo Fox lined up Kroenke Sports & Entertainment as a buyer of its slot – for a value of $30.25 million (£24.2 million) – but that reportedly fell through once Rob Moore, CEO of Sentinels filed a lawsuit against the company for operating outside of a verbal agreement.
Much like the application process that was undertaken as franchising was being implemented into the competition in 2017, Riot Games will commence with a 30-day process on August 16th that will allow it to select a new franchise partner. The important features of the application will be brand strategy, business plan, and operational plan.
Echo Fox will receive “the bulk of the proceeds from the sale” of its LCS slot once a buyer is found.
Echo Fox isn’t the only franchise that won’t exist as we currently know it come 2020. Following Immortals Gaming Club’s acquisition of Infinite Esports & Entertainment, OpTic Gaming will be rebranded to Immortals next year. HBSE acquired Clutch Gaming earlier this year, meaning Dignitas will also make a return to the North American league.
Esports Insider says: It’s a terrible situation to have followed throughout the past few months but Riot Games had no choice but to follow through with the action it promised. The story behind Echo Fox’s internal struggles is still unfolding so it’s hard to judge what’s truly occurring there but three franchises exiting the league since 2018 isn’t the best look for the franchised league.