Kroenke Sports & Entertainment, the group that owns English Football Club Arsenal FC, looks like it’s buying its way into League of Legends esports.
ESPN reports that the Kroenkes have agreed to acquire Echo Fox’s League of Legends Championship Series (LCS) slot for $30.25m.
The LCS is based in North America and includes ten teams. The move would represent the latest investment from Kroenke Sports & Entertainment, who own several sports teams including the LA Rams, Denver Nuggets, Colorado Avalanche, Arsenal and more.
It’s not the first time that father and son team Stan and Josh Kroenke have got involved with competitive video gaming. They already own the Sentinels and the Los Angeles Gladiators (the Kroenkes purchased a $20m Overwatch League team franchise slot back in 2017).
The Kroenkes and Arsenal have also been linked with League of Legends esports in the past.
It’s also not the first time we’ve seen an Arsenal reference in the LCS. A ‘Wenger Out’ banner was spotted in the crowd at the LCS finals a couple of years ago.
“Echo Fox submitted a proposal to sell its slot in the LCS to a new investment group. LCS is reviewing the sale and will be meeting with the proposed ownership group in the coming days.”
Chris Greeley, Riot Games
The LCS news comes after Echo Fox founder and former basketball player Rick Fox announced earlier this year he would be cutting ties with the esports organisation following displays of racism by another Echo Fox shareholder, later named as Amit Raizada.
League of Legends developer and esports operator Riot Games later gave Echo Fox an ultimatum to remove Amit from the team or face ‘formal action that may adversely impact the future of Echo Fox in the LCS’.
Riot has now confirmed that Echo Fox intends to sell its slot in the LCS.
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
It looks like Riot will be meeting with the Kroenkes to discuss the sale this week.
LCS commissioner Chris Greeley said: “Echo Fox submitted a proposal to sell its slot in the LCS to a new investment group. LCS is reviewing the sale and will be meeting with the proposed ownership group in the coming days.
“We’re working diligently to minimize disruption to Echo Fox players and staff for the 2019 season in partnership with the LCS Players’ Association. If LCS rejects the proposal, Echo Fox has agreed that LCS will be taking over the sale process for the slot.
“Our goal is to make sure we have an orderly transition and a new team ready for the 2020 season.”
News credit: Jacob Wolf / ESPN Esports
Dom is an award-winning writer who graduated from Bournemouth University with a 2:1 degree in Multi-Media Journalism in 2007.
A keen League of Legends and World of Warcraft player, he has written for a range of publications including GamesTM, Nintendo Official Magazine, industry publication MCV as well as Riot Games and others. He works as full-time content director for the British Esports Association and runs ENUK in his spare time.