Sentinels CEO and co-founder Robert Moore is suing Kroenke Sports & Entertainment — the group that owns sports franchises Arsenal and Denver Nuggets and esports teams Los Angeles Gladiators and, soon, Echo Fox — ESPN reports. Moore’s lawsuit claims that the Kroenke group did not include or inform him in the purchase of Echo Fox (and their LCS slot) for the reported $30.25M.
Why the Kroenke group is buying Echo Fox?
The Kroenke group expressed interest in buying out Echo Fox after the latter faced issues with one of their partners, minority co-owner Amit Raizada. After a report by Richard Lewis made public company emails in which Raizada had used racist language, the scandal broke out and developed over the course of several weeks, ultimately leading LCS commissioner Chris Greeley to impose an ultimatum to Echo Fox — oust Raizada or you’re out of the LCS.
Echo Fox struggled to find a solution in the given time frame, and their one proposal — to transfer Raizada’s shares to his brother-in-law — was rejected by Riot Games. Even with a seven-day extension to the deadline, Echo Fox could not find a solution that would keep them in the LCS and selling the slot was made inevitable.
Although recent reports stated that choosing an offer was difficult due to internal disagreements, Echo Fox eventually chose Kroenke Sports & Entertainment as the buyer and agreed to the price of $30.25M.
What is Sentinels’ Robert Moore claim?
In short, Sentinels Robert Moore claims in his lawsuit that the Kroenke group, and specifically Josh Kroenke — the heir to the group — did not inform him that the company is planning to purchase Echo Fox. This, according to the lawsuit, is in violation of a verbal agreement between Moore and Kroenke.
Moore and Sentinels have been operating Kroenke’s single esports venture, the Overwatch League franchise Los Angeles Gladiators, and since 2017, Moore has acted at the CEO of Kroenke’s esports vertical — KSE Esports. In the lawsuit, Moore states that not only was he as CEO of KSE Esports left out of the Echo Fox purchase, but also had “gone out of pocket” on some OWL expenses, which is why Moore is seeking majority share of KSE Esports.
According to ESPN sources, the deal itself is supposed to close by the end of August, after the LCS Summer Split has ended. Currently 10th in the league, Echo Fox have no prospects of making playoffs, which eliminates the complication of having to potentially change brand identity midway through the season or ahead of Worlds.