Rick Fox's E-sports Partners Move to Remove Him From Company
Following clashes between the former NBA star and venture partners over the sale of Echo Fox's 'League of Legends' slot, the group is claiming "grossly negligent" behavior as grounds for Fox's removal.
Rick Fox's confrontations with partners at his e-sports venture, Echo Fox, continue to heat up as the partners this week sent a "for cause removal notice" and on Friday filed a temporary restraining order against the former NBA All-Star.
In an email obtained by The Hollywood Reporter, sent to Fox on Wednesday, the partners call for the removal of Fox from his position as co-owner in the next 60 days, claiming he was "grossly negligent or committed willful misconduct in the performance of [his] duties." After that window, a limited partner supermajority can officially vote Fox out unless he convinces them the allegations in the removal notice are unfounded.
On Friday morning, a breach of fiduciary duty lawsuit was filed by Vision Esports against Fox in L.A. County Superior Court alleging Fox "engaged in reckless and fraudulent self-dealing" and "willfully or recklessly breached confidentiality agreements to which he was bound." Vision also asked the court for a TRO that would constrain Fox's control over the company until the notice window expires. During an ex parte hearing, the parties stipulated that, pursuant to the terms of the partnership agreement, a supermajority will be required on any financial decisions Fox makes until Oct. 21.
The suit follows a string of disputes between Fox and his partners over the past few months. Earlier this year, Fox said he would cut ties with Echo Fox because of what he described as an "abhorrent" display of racism by a shareholder. (The shareholder is similarly accused of smearing ex-partners in an ongoing unrelated Missouri lawsuit.) Riot Games LCS commissioner Chris Greeley announced an investigation into the incident, and ultimately Echo Fox decided to give up its slot in Riot's North American League of Legends Championship Series.
Following that announcement, Fox was accused of tanking a deal for the open slot in favor of pushing one that personally benefited him. Meanwhile, Fox told THR the claims are "outrageous" lies and that Riot had vetted the deal. A Riot Games rep, meanwhile, said "no bids were pre-approved."
In the wake of the arguments, Echo Fox terminated the contracts of all of its League of Legends players.
"Mr. Fox willfully refused, on more than one occasion, to accept offers for the sale of the Partnership assets or its League of Legends slot … despite repeated demands by all of the Limited Partners that such offer(s) be accepted," the email reads. In stronger terms, the partners say that Fox engaged in "willful, wanton and intentionally destructive efforts towards the Partnership."
Of those who signed the email calling for Fox's removal are two members of the Raizada Group. Though the signatures are not clear, both are also listed as representatives of Everglades One LLC. Both the Raizada Group and Everglades One are registered under Amit Raizada's, the investor accused of making racist remarks which sparked the current debates, name in Miami Beach, Florida.
The email also claims that Fox refused to resign from his position when asked by partners, saying, "in the presence of others," that he was "going to burn this company to the ground."
A request for comment from Fox was not immediately returned.