Richard Lewis sat down with Rick Fox and talked about the situation that Echo Fox faced before selling their League of Legends spot to Kroenke Sports & Entertainment for upwards of $30 million. We take a look at the critical elements of this exclusive interview. We will overview of what occurred between Echo Fox and Amit Raizada, the shareholder that made racial remarks towards Fox and other partners.
For those unaware of the situation, this story was broken long before this exclusive interview was released. Back in April, Dexerto reported that Fox had decided to leave Echo Fox due to racist abuse from one of the organization’s shareholders. We later found out that the shareholder in question was Amit Raizada, a partner of Vision Venture Partners. Through a heated email exchange, he threw racial slurs toward Jace Hall, former CEO of Echo Fox, as well as towards Fox. The incident forced the LoL Esports division of Riot Games to investigate what had been occurring inside Echo Fox.
After the investigation concluded, LCS commissioner Chris Greely made the following ruling:
“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.”
“If Echo Fox does not take action by removing any individuals whose actions violate League rules and agreements within the required time period, the League will take formal action that may adversely impact the future of Echo Fox in the LCS.”
Echo Fox’s Troubles
A week ago it was reported by Jacob Wolf that Echo Fox had sold its spot to Kroenke Sports & Entertainment for $30 million. Kroenke Sports & Entertainment are known for being the parent company of teams such as the LA Rams, the Denver Nuggets, and Arsenal. Phoenix1 was part of the Kroenke Sports & Entertainment group, so they are not unfamiliar to League of Legends scene.
Taking a look at the situation, Fox discusses all the intricacies of what occurred with Amit Raizada. He also looks back at where all the troubles began. Fox found out the team was in debt when he took control of Echo Fox. Due to this, they had to release some of their players due to insufficient funds to stay afloat. Fox decided to make a deal with Amit Raizada to get him out of the company when he took control. It all seemed to be running smoothly as both parties agreed on a deal. Part of the agreement was that Echo Fox would pay Raizada what the team owed him through installments. Meanwhile, Raizada would help negotiate with the bank to push back the date on the debt.
After Echo Fox paid the first installment, Raizada bought the debt and asked the team to pay it in full. The actions caused a breach in the agreed deal. A renegotiation was in place between Raizada and other Echo Fox partners. The renegotiation kept Raizada in the organization, even giving him a more significant portion of what he earned. “He put himself on top of the waterfall,” Fox said.
Echo Fox’s Departure
Fox was not pleased with having Raizada still in the company. Regardless, he accepted the fact that it was necessary to keep the company afloat. All of this occurred before the scandal that led to the sale of Echo Fox’s spot. Once that happened was when Fox took it upon himself to find investors to buy out Raizada. According to Fox, he and other partners found many potential investors that all faltered because what Raizada would make in the process.
Riot Games had given Echo Fox 60 days to get rid of Raizada. When those 60 days passed, Echo Fox asked for an extension so they could sell their spot altogether. At this point, Fox was in sole control of Echo Fox for the first time in five years. He was able to find three offers at first. Fox also had the option to take the spot to Riot for them to auction. Echo Fox partners felt that this was too risky and was forced to go for the offer with Kroenke Sports & Entertainment.
“I am 100% accountable for picking a bad partner,” Fox said about what he learned from the situation. Before this, Fox also had a piece of advice.
“Just like anything in life whether it’s a relationship, whether it’s a partnership, whether it’s a business you are getting in or a team you are starting, picking the right teammates is imperative, picking the right teammates is something you have to do in life. Some of us learn that through trial and error, you learn that through mistakes.”
Regardless of the situation, Fox wants to “right the wrongs” and will continue to work on fixing the issues at hand. He feels that people should realize that he has invested the time and money to take control of the situation. It has been somewhat tricky when Fox was not able to get rid of Raizada to get people to help the organization stay afloat. “He is holding the company hostage,” says Fox on what Amit Raizada is still doing.
When asked what would happen with the Echo Fox brand, Fox responded that they will continue existing in esports. Echo Fox will mainly be in the fighting game genre, where it reigns supreme. Fox is hopeful of expanding again but will have to deal with Amit Raizada still being part of the company.
When asked if he would leave esports, Fox said “I have thicker skin than that, I live in iron… I have iron skin.” As heartbreaking as it is to hear what Fox has had to withstand, he is making a stand and making sure his story is set straight. His son Kyle Fox also tweeted for the community to send words of support towards Rick via this tweet:
I tried to post this on rleagueoflegends but they took it down. So I’m putting it here. Any retweets appreciated. pic.twitter.com/gLrxttfBYL
— Prince Fox (@Kyle_Fox17) July 29, 2019
To Rick Fox
We want to thank Rick Fox for what he has brought to the table. Thank you for the great memories that you’ve conveyed. We know we will keep seeing you in the esports scene bigger and stronger than ever.
Images via Dexerto.