In May, the LCS gave the Echo Fox organization two months to remove a shareholder who had made racist comments towards owner Rick Fox. After a week-long extension, Echo Fox has submitted a sales proposal that would give their LCS spot to Kroenke Sports & Entertainment.
A loss for Rick Fox
Rick Fox, owner of the Echo Fox organization, did all he could to stay with Echo Fox and the LCS scene. The criteria given by the LCS was clear: remove one racist shareholder or risk losing an LCS spot. It is a disappointment that this was too much for the organization to achieve. Rick Fox even stated that he would stay with the organization if it severed ties with the investor. And after two months of silence, we finally have a conclusion to the story.
Echo Fox has submitted a proposal to sell its slot in the LCS to a new ownership group. The LCS is reviewing the potential sale and will be meeting with the proposed ownership group in the coming days.
— LoL Esports (@lolesports) July 24, 2019
Nearly everybody was on Rick Fox’s side. Chris Greeley, the commissioner of the LCS, demanded the shareholder be removed. Fans of League of Legends and esports as a whole wanted Rick Fox to stick around. But he wasn’t supported blindly. Rick Fox was a powerful voice that pushed to challenge society’s views of esports. Even despite being mocked on national television, he stood his ground in defending esports as a whole.
Rick Fox has done a great amount for esports, and we hope to see him again soon. His passion for both the Echo Fox organization and esports in general makes him a fantastic owner if he pursues another organization.
New organization, familiar faces
If the sale is finalized, the Kroenke Sports & Entertainment group would own the LCS position. The Kroenke group is not new to the esports scene, however. This group has founded the Sentinels, who operate in the Overwatch League as the Los Angeles Gladiators. The Sentinels also have signed players in Fortnite, Apex Legends, and Hearthstone. After losing their LCS spot during the franchising process in 2018, Phoenix1 merged with the Kroenke group and rebranded as the Sentinels.
Outside of esports, the group also owns Arsenal F.C., the Denver Nuggets, the Colorado Avalanche, and more. The company’s founder, Stan Kroenke, also individually owns the Los Angeles Rams.