Evil Geniuses have purchased Echo Fox’s League of Legends Championship Series slot after months of internal talks. EG will return to professional LoL for the first time since September 2014.
You saw that right — Evil Geniuses will be returning to the North American LCS (@LCSOfficial) for the 2020 Season.
— Evil Geniuses (@EvilGeniuses) September 26, 2019
The Ultimatum: One man, or one organization
The sale comes at the end of a controversy that shook the Echo Fox organization to its core. In April 2019, Rick Fox criticized major shareholder Amit Raizada for using racist and threatening speech towards him, his family and his close friend and former Echo Fox CEO Jace Hall. After an investigation by Riot Games, they gave Echo Fox an ultimatum: either remove Raizada from the organization entirely or face the removal of Echo Fox from the LCS.
The LCS has concluded its preliminary investigation into the alleged comments made by a member of the Echo Fox ownership group. Hate speech, threats, and bigotry have no place in the LCS. We have directed Echo Fox to take appropriate corrective action within 60 days. (1/2)
— lolesports (@lolesports) May 15, 2019
After a busy and emotional two months, the situation had remained unsolved. Riot gave Echo Fox an extra week to meet the conditions but to no avail. On July 23, Echo Fox submitted a proposal to sell their LCS slot.
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.
— lolesports (@lolesports) July 24, 2019
Echoes of the future: The return of Evil Geniuses
The buyer at the time was Kroenke Sports & Entertainment, owner of the LA Gladiators, the LA Rams, the Denver Nuggets and more. Echo Fox’s slot was to be purchased for $30.25 million dollars, but the deal fell through two weeks later.
With no deal in sight, the LCS slot would remain up in the air for two more months. Fast forward to today, Evil Geniuses, one of the organizations who originally made an offer for the slot in May, have been approved for the purchase by Riot Games.
Previously in 2013, they purchased the fan favorite Counter Logic Gaming Europe roster featuring players like Henrik “Froggen” Hansen and Mitch “Boris” Voorspoels, formerly known as Krepo.
They had decent results in Europe but decided to move to North America in the next year. They reinforced their roster with the NA talent of Eugene “Pobelter” Park, but they couldn’t find the same success. After two straight bottom two finishes, EG sold the slot to Winterfox.
After five long years, Evil Geniuses will return to League of Legends. While the contracts of the ex-Echo Fox players are still in up the air, EG have the capability to build a roster to be a true competitor in this new LCS era.
This move, in addition to their acquisition of the NRG CS:GO roster earlier today, will help to solidify EG’s legacy in esports.
Written by Zakaria Almughrabi