Riot Games’ League of Legends Champion Series commissioner, Chris Greeley, recently announced that he would take action against Echo Fox, a participant in the LCS, if the esports team did not remove their owner, Amit Raizada from the organization within 60 days. This league action comes after Amit Raizada admitted to using racial epithets towards another team’s CEO and allegedly racially abused Echo Fox founder and NBA star, Rick Fox.
The gaming industry is currently trying to incorporate diversity and inclusion into their operations, communities, and culture. And for good reason. The industry is and has historically been shrouded in majority-centric tendencies that left many gamers feeling less than welcome. One person who definitely did not received the memo is Amit Raizada.
According to a comment that he provided to Dexerto, Raizada stated, “In a heated and contentious email exchange with Jace Hall several weeks ago, I lost my temper and used a racial epithet directed personally at him… My language was wrong and there is no excuse for it. I have stepped down from all day-to-day decision-making with all entities in which Jace Hall and I were involved.”
Raizada did apologize in this statement but denied the allegations related to Rick Fox. The lawyers representing Raizada commented to Dexerto, “Raizada has never used or made a racial epithet or statement towards Mr. Fox or anyone in his family… Any allegations or suggestions to the contrary are simply false.” True or false, Rick Fox has announced that he will be selling his shares of Echo Fox and leaving the company for good.
Rick Fox Gives Echo Fox Ultimatum
“I will not support or be associated with such behaviour and attitudes displayed at the shareholder level,” Fox emailed his shareholder, “Racism is an anathema to what my personal brand strives for and tolerating any form of discrimination such as this is not acceptable.” Whether Rick Fox or Amit Raizada ultimately leave will be up to the Echo Fox board. Dextero reportedly spoke with sources close to the situation that said, “Most shareholders have tried to ignore this in the hope it goes away, and this has forced Rick’s hand to leave. He obviously isn’t going to stand for that and was hoping the matter would be addressed on a shareholder level rather than just swept under the carpet.”
Rick Fox is an integral part of Echo Fox, founding the company in 2015 when he purchased esports team Gravity Gaming LCS slot in the League of Legends and renamed the team to Echo Fox. To put in simpler terms, without Rick Fox, only a shell of a esports team will remain.
Raizada also has a considerable interest in Echo Fox despite his actions that suggest the contrary. Raizada is one of the founding partners at the Vision Venture Partners group that invested in Echo Fox following a $38 million raise of capital under the name Vision Esports. The Echo Fox team gave comment about their current predicament saying:
These incidents are especially significant for us as Echo Fox boasts an unparalleled level of diversity in its principal ownership group, management, leadership and player base. Upon being made aware of the incidents, the Company has made various demands to the offending investor, including the investor’s disassociation from the company and we are continuing to work diligently towards this end.
How diligently, becomes the question. Dexerto reported that they had spoke with an anonymous source close to Echo Fox’s predicament that said, “since the story came out publicly the shareholders have made it clear that they are behind Rick… It’s a complicated financial situation and Raizada will be hard to get rid of but more than a few people want it now.”
Riot Games League Championship Series Pressure
Adding their name to the list of those wishing to get rid of Raizada is Riot Games. On April 25th, LoL LCS Commissioner announced that Riot Games would start an investigation into the matter commenting, “The LCS believes in creating a fair and inclusive environment for everyone and the alleged comments are contrary to our values and have no place in our league.” Upon a preliminary investigation, Riot Games will pressure Echo Fox to “take action by removing any individuals whose actions violate League rules and agreements” within 60 days. “The League will take formal action that may adversely impact the future of Echo Fox in the LCS.” said the LCS Commissioner.
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