The ongoing Echo Fox drama has taken an unexpected twist, as the Washington Post reported today that eight partners in the organization filed for a restraining order early today against co-founder Rick Fox. The ownership partners said the order, which was denied by a Los Angeles court, was necessary because otherwise they "will be subject to the whims of a rogue [general partner] who repeatedly has demonstrated that he is unbound by the business judgment of other members of the [partnership] or the advice of its qualified professionals and governed only by his own self-interest."
The restraining order was filed by Stratton Sclavos, who claimed that Fox's actions regarding the sale of Echo Fox and its LCS slot went against the wishes of the other ownership partners. Sclavos is a co-founder—along with Fox—of Vision Venture Partners, a private equity firm that has invested in esports and entertainment organizations including Echo Fox.
The partners also reportedly sent a letter to Fox on Thursday accusing him of "willful, wanton, and intentionally destructive efforts towards the Partnership," and blamed him for driving the value of the organization from $150 million less than a year ago to $31 million now.
The letter also accuses Fox of attempting to poach Echo Fox personnel and sponsorships for a new esports venture, and of attempting to eliminate his debt to the franchise by selling to his preferred buyer—not named in the report, but possibly Kroenke Sports & Entertainment—rather than to competing offers, including one from Evil Geniuses, which had made a cash offer of more than $30 million for the team.
The group that sent the letter to Fox includes Amit Raizada, an investor who touched off the dispute earlier this year when he used a racist slur in an email sent to former Echo Fox CEO Jace Hall. Rick Fox initially said he would leave the organization as a result, but later decided to stay, on the condition of Raizada's ousting. Following its own investigation, Riot Games made the same demand. But Raizada refused to budge, and earlier this month Echo Fox left the LCS as a result. The league is currently attempting to find a new owner for Echo Fox's LCS slot.
Fox denied the claims against him, and that Echo Fox had ever been worth $150 million in the first place. "These are all lies, and this is collusion on the part of Amit [Raizada] and Stratton [Sclavos] to create the narrative they need to remove me from the control of the company that we started," he said.
With the sale of its LCS slot in the hands of the Riot, Echo Fox terminated the contracts of its League of Legends players last week. "Following the departure of Echo Fox from the LCS, we’ve had to take the unfortunate step of terminating our contracts with our current League of Legends players," Echo Fox said in a statement obtained by The Hollywood Reporter. "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."
A source told the site that Fox's partners also intend to filed lawsuits against him next week.