Former NBA player and Echo Fox founder Rick Fox has filed a lawsuit against his partners Amit Raizada and Stratton Sclavos. Fox is accusing his business partners of several instances of fraud in the esports franchise.
Fox has claimed that his business partner Amit Riazada has used investor funds for personal gain that has been slowly but surely set the franchise that he founded into ruins. He is set on maintaining honesty and respect.
“I come from team dynamics,” Fox says. “Not every teammate is a good teammate. When I started to see losing or illegal behavior, I had to call it out.”
Lawsuits are built as partnerships crumble
Fox took to the Los Angeles County Court last Tuesday to address his discontent by filing a lawsuit against his estranged partners. The lawsuit—set for tens of millions of dollars—comes in the middle of an on-going dispute between him and his partners, Raizada and Sclavos.
Fox provided valid evidence of Raizada sending threatening texts in addition to the already present proof of Raizada sending a racist email to a partner in the corporate structure surrounding Echo Fox.
As of a result, Riot Games demanded the removal of Amit Raizada or the selling of Echo Fox’s franchise slot in the League of Legends esports league.
Riot Games received their demand but Riazada did not take his leave. The slot was sold to American professional esport organization, Evil Geniuses for a sum of $30 million.
Raizada’s attorney David Swift took to his client’s defense.
“Rick Fox’s lawsuit is a transparent attempt to divert attention from the train wreck he left behind at Echo Fox, where Rick Fox’s self-dealing and grossly inept management cost investors many millions of dollars and dozens of people their jobs,” says Swift. “Even worse, the lawsuit is littered with categorically false allegations about Amit Raizada, Stratton Sclavos, and others. If Rick Fox wants to blame someone for Echo Fox’s failures, he should start by looking in the mirror.”
The lawsuit, issued by Rick Fox, lists Amit Raizada and Stratton Sclavos as the defendants in accusations of fraud. The complaints state that Raizada attempted to befriend Fox before the lawsuit, and that Sclavos took a $2 million personal loan from company funds after acquiring a large amount of fundraising.
“Rick Fox’s lawsuit is a senseless diatribe replete with false and wholly unsupported accusations about Stratton Sclavos and Amit Raizada,” says Stratton Sclavos’ attorney Linda Mcfee. “Unfortunately, in the face of his impending removal as General Partner of Echo Fox for flagrant breaches of his duties to the company and its partners, this appears to be yet another attempt to deflect blame for Echo Fox’s failure from himself.”
“He’s threatened my family, he threatened my friends, he’s proven to be despicable. Most people are afraid to deal with that. They’re afraid to speak up. My hope is that my shining a light on this situation with myself, others will not fall prey to his actions and his deception.”
After the result of all the problematic controversy, Rick addressed his love for esports saying that “this experience has 100% not tainted my love for esports” Rick plans to “continue on in esports after this is cleaned up.”
The smoke before this fire
The lawsuit wasn’t the start of the drama that was going on in Echo Fox headquarters. Partners of the organization sought to put a restraining order on Fox due to his selling of Echo Fox’s LCS slot was against the wishes of other organization partners. Stratton Sclavos filed for a restraining order last August.
Stratton was later denied due to there being no evidence that Rick Fox would harm the company within 60 days. The period of time that was intended for after they removed the founder from the company.
The judge also ordered that the profits made from the September’s League of Legends slot sale would go into Escrow in a third party account chosen by Rick Fox and Vision Esports. The court battle last August marked the commencement of the now serious business dispute in Echo Fox while eight of echo fox’s partners have accused Fox of being “willful, wanton and intentionally destructive efforts towards the partnership.”
Echo Fox partners also blamed Rick Fox last August. The complaint addressed the valuation of Echo Fox. Stating that the valuation fell from $150 million last October to $31 million 10 months later, accusing Fox of being the underlying reason why.
“These are all lies, and this is collusion on the part of business partners Amit Raizada and Stratton Sclavos to create the narrative they need to remove me from the control of the company that we started,” says Rick Fox in a statement made about the claims during a phone call.
Since then, his partners have reportedly ousted Rick claiming that he did not act in the best interest of the company. A report from sources stated Fox said he would “burn this company to the ground.”
80% of shareholders reportedly want the founder out of the company, however, Rick Fox remains the head of Echo Fox until October 21.
Despite the controversy, fans and players alike all wish for the survival of the esteemed company in hopes that it survives the seemingly endless problematic issues that seem to stack up against it.
To many people, Echo Fox is so much more. Establishing a professional League of Legends face for itself, Echo Fox is known all around the world and will continue to be known.
But as the business dispute goes on, Echo Fox’s future is becoming more uncertain as time ticks away.
Written by Luna