Mentioned in this article
- Evil Geniuses will compete in the League of Legends Championship Series (LCS) in 2020 after acquiring the slot formerly held by Echo Fox.
- The move marks Evil Geniuses’ return to the LCS and League of Legends after five years away.
- Evil Geniuses has also acquired a Counter-Strike: Global Offensive team from NRG Esports.
Evil Geniuses has acquired the League of Legends Championship Series (LCS) franchise slot formerly held by Echo Fox, and will compete in Riot Games’ North American league beginning in 2020.
The organization announced the news on Thursday afternoon, stating that it will build a brand new team rather than acquire one. Evil Geniuses previously competed in the LCS until 2014 (prior to league franchising), and according to the team’s announcement, returning to the game was a key focus after the organization was acquired by investment firm PEAK6 in May.
“Part of my experience with PEAK6 (and now, with EG) is knowing that in order to be considered the best, you have to compete where the best are. I could not imagine an EG without a push towards the LCS, and we’re happy to be able to put down roots as a franchise owner,” said Evil Geniuses CEO Nicole LaPointe Jameson, in a statement. “We’ve had nothing but a good experience working with Riot, and we’ll be expanding our operations to Los Angeles to accommodate the needs of the new roster. We’re looking forward to the new members of the EG cabal that will make all this possible.”
Riot Games forced Echo Fox to sell its LCS franchise after the team failed to oust an investor accused of making racist comments. Echo Fox initially tried to sell to Kroenke Sports & Entertainment (KSE), owners of the Overwatch League’s Los Angeles Gladiators, but KSE was unable to meet Riot Games’ requirements to acquire the slot. Following that attempt, Echo Fox agreed to allow Riot Games to handle the sale process.
Evil Geniuses also reportedly attempted to purchase the slot from Echo Fox before Riot Games took over the process. ESPN reports that Evil Geniuses’ first offer to Echo Fox was for $41M USD, with $10M guaranteed and the remainder tied to contingencies, while a second offer was for $30.25M guaranteed—the same amount that KSE reportedly agreed to pay. Terms for Evil Geniuses’ successful LCS slot acquisition were not disclosed, but a source told ESPN that the offer was similar to previous ones.
The LCS entry is one of two major announcements for Evil Geniuses today, as the organization also revealed that it has acquired NRG Esports’ Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (CS:GO) team after seven years away from the game. Evil Geniuses will compete in this weekend’s $200K ESL One New York CS:GO tournament.
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