Now that Echo Fox has been forced to sell its LCS franchise, Founder, Owner, and Manager of Echo Fox Rick Fox appeared as the guest of Episode #142 of The Richard Lewis Show to share the process that brought his organization's involvement in League of Legends to an unfortunate end.
In the tell-all, hour long conversation, Rick Fox explained the details of the process in Echo Fox's forced selling of it LCS franchise slot. Fox had relinquished a majority of control in Echo Fox to people he considered superior businessmen, including Amit Raizada, who would end up racially attacking Rick Fox and threatening his family per a Dexerto report by Richard Lewis.
For a majority of the past year, Fox was looking to regain full control of Echo Fox with his partner and Co-Owner Khalid Jones by buying Raizada out. However, Raizada countered by assuming the debt of Echo Fox and then demanding it be paid. Fox also told Lewis that Raizada altered the operating agreement without going to other shareholders for disclosure and input, and through breach of contract, doubled the debt owed and moved certain shareholders to lower positions.
Raizada then had the entirty of Echo Fox in a sleeper hold, or as Rick Fox put it, "He had a gun to everyone's head." Raizada had put the organization in a position that it would be better suited to let him take over entirely than be spent into a tailspin from that debt. Echo Fox had already dropped a good amount of contracts before 2019; it was not in a position to pay off all its debt at once, let alone double the amount.
Regardless of intention, it's not like Raizada was out of options, either. As a General Partner, Raizada would have had the ability to extend the debt payment out through a calendar year. But Echo Fox would have no time to think about the next year as the LCS conducted a formal investigation into Raizada's behavior.
LCS Commissioner Chris Greeley announced that Echo Fox had 60 days to part ways with Raizada, and while the rest of Echo Fox rallied behind Rick Fox in an effort to oust Raizada, it simply wasn't possible due to the stranglehold he had on the organization due to the assumption of compounding debt.
As a result, a stalemate ensued for 60 days, and then another 7 days when the LCS extended the deadline. Unable to find a solution, Echo Fox was forced to sell its LCS franchise spot. However, the public foray into Raizada's reputation following the exposure of his inappropriate behavior meant Echo Fox was not exactly the easiest sell.
However, the team found a buyer, as not even one hour after Echo Fox's proposal to sell was made public, ESPN Esports' Jacob Wolf reported the propsed buyer was Kroenke Sports & Entertainment.
Kroenke Sports & Entertainment was a good buyer for Echo Fox to have attracted. The group owned esports organization Sentinels, whose humble beginnings — long before a teenager signed by the org became a millionaire — began in the 2016 NA LCS Summer Split as Phoenix1. In addition to the LCS experience, Kroenke also franchised the Overwatch League's Los Angeles Gladiators.
However, whether it would be Phoenix1, Sentinels, or something else, the proposed sale being approved would mean the cease of Rick Fox's involvement in the LCS. While it was something Rick Fox was prepared for, he was willing to sacrifice just about anything if it helped the Echo Fox shareholders get a return on their respective investments.
“I’ll stay in and make no money. I’m an esports guy, I’m not going anywhere," Fox told Lewis. "I want to stay and work with the group...I can take a hit." According to Rick Fox, another deal on the table would have assumed all assets: the Echo Fox IP, the staff, and Fox himself would have stayed on as well. However, even with Kroenke Sports & Entertainment taking things in its own direction, Fox voted for the proposal because it benefitted his shareholders, albeit at his and others' expense.
While Raizada's actions are nothing short of despicable, Fox holds himself accountable for picking a bad partner and is doing his best to treat the entire experience like a lesson. Moreover, Fox hopes that his plight will help progress handling of these situations in a positive fashion.
"Look at Hector," Fox said to Lewis in reference to OpTic Gaming CEO Hector "H3CZ" Rodriguez. "Hector doesn't have this situation, but there are situations out there that show I'm not the first. But I want to be the last."
As sole Manager of Echo Fox, Rick Fox is left with his Fighting Game Community roster headlined by Dominique "SonicFox" McLean. But Rick Fox assuress that he's far from done with League of Legends. Fox has gotten himself a personal coach, and has made his way all into Iron 2. Rick Fox's affinity for esports started as a bond with his son Kyle, but seems to have turned into a passion all of his own.
The saga of Echo Fox's end is truly unfortunate, and the LCS has lost a great ambassador in Rick Fox's indirect forced exit from the league. However, Rick Fox seems plans to continue to be a part of the League of Legends community.
When Lewis expressed a potential for concern that Rick Fox would feel jaded from the experience with Echo Fox, Rick Fox made it clear he was here to stay. Fox attributed his toughness and resilience in the face of the odds to his experience at his current solo queue rank:
“You ask me if I’m gonna leave? I’ve got thicker skin than that.. I live in Iron.
I’m an Iron Fox.”
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