Former NBA champion Rick Fox's and NBA Hall of Famer Shaquille O'Neal's League of Legends teams will face off on Sunday, August 7 at 12 p.m. PDT to determine who advances to the next season of the League of Legends Championship Series (LCS).
O'Neal's team NRG eSports and Fox's team Echo Fox placed ninth and tenth in the North American LCS regular season, respectively, and as a result are fighting for their LCS lives in the post-season promotion tournament. The loser will be eliminated from the LCS and will not be able to qualify again until next season's promotion tournament.
The promotion tournament features the bottom three NA LCS teams and the top two teams from the Challenger Series, League of Legends' official amateur league, as of the end of the regular season. While Echo Fox won its first match against Challenger squad Team Liquid Academy, it lost to eighth place LCS team Phoenix1; meanwhile, NRG eSports lost to Cloud9 Challenger. In the tournament, the losers of both of the latter matches play each other for the final LCS spot of spring 2017.
O'Neal, Alex Rodriguez, and Jimmy Rollins invested in NRG eSports this past March, with O'Neal enthusiastically endorsing the team on Twitter and even reaching out recently to an Overwatch team to recruit them to the NRG banner. Rick Fox purchased Gravity Gaming's LCS slot late last year for a reported $1 million and renamed the team Echo Fox. Both teams have competed in the 2016 LCS spring and summer splits.