Just days after Riot Games announced an agreement between the League of Legends Championship Series and Echo Fox that removed the team from the league, Echo Fox announced Friday that they're cutting loose all of their players.
"We've had to take the unfortunate step of terminating our contracts with our current League of Legends players," the team said in a news release. "While each player contract is different, we are making sure to handle every case with the care necessary to ensure they are treated fairly in this time of transition.
"We will also be working to support them as they enter the next phase of their careers, whether that be with another esports organization or whatever path they may choose. We are deeply grateful for our players for what they have given to Echo Fox during our time in League of Legends."
Echo Fox, co-founded by three-time NBA champion Rick Fox, has been in turmoil for months over news that an investor used a racial slur to refer to a business partner. Riot Games requested the removal of co-founder and limited partner Amit Raizada, who used a racial epithet in an email exchange with former Echo Fox CEO Jace Hall. In another email, Raizada threatened Fox and his family.
Late last month, ESPN reported that the team's ownership was set to sell its LCS slot for $30.25 million to Kroenke Sports & Entertainment, owner of Arsenal, the Denver Nuggets, the Colorado Avalanche and the Los Angeles Gladiators.
Echo Fox announced last week that the proposed deal fell apart.
The Kroenke group withdrew from the deal after it was sued by Sentinels CEO Rob Moore over an alleged violation of a joint venture agreement if the Echo Fox deal went through, as reported by ESPN. The LCS plans to accept applications from parties that want to acquire the spot vacated by Echo Fox. That process is expected to be similar to the one that occurred when the league franchised in late 2017.
--Field Level Media
Jacob Wolf contributed to this report.