eSports & Gaming

Stan Kroenke’s League of Legends franchise deal collapses

Sentinel lawsuit against KSE scuppers second esports venture.

by Ed Dixon

Stan Kroenke’s League of Legends franchise deal collapses

Kroenke Sports and Entertainment (KSE), the Stan Kroenke-owned sports ownership company, has seen its deal to acquire Echo Fox’s League of Legends Championship Series franchise slot fall through.

Esports operator Sentinels co-founder and chief executive Rob Moore filed a lawsuit against KSE earlier this month, with ESPN reporting he was not informed of their pursuit to purchase Echo Fox, thus violating a verbal joint venture agreement pertaining to the operation of the Kroenke’s esports initiatives. Since 2017, Sentinels has operated Overwatch League team the Los Angeles Gladiators on behalf of KSE.

In statement, Echo Fox said: ‘Due to circumstances unrelated to Echo Fox, Kroenke Sports and Entertainment was unable to meet Riot Games' requirements for acquiring Echo Fox's LCS slot. With that said, Echo Fox retains the slot.’

It had been reported last month that KSE had agreed a deal worth US$30.25 million, depending on approval from Riot Games, the esports series’ owner, but the deal is now off after KSE subsequently withdrew their Echo Fox offer on 9th August.

The future of the franchise slot now remains uncertain. Echo Fox will reportedly reassess its prior offers, which included a bid from Allen Shapiro, executive chairman of entertainment company Dick Clark Productions, as well as esports organisations Evil Geniuses and Complexity, and work with Riot Games to find a solution.