Riot Games on Echo Fox Poaching Accusations: “Echo Fox Was Not Guilty of Poaching Here”

League of Legends developers Riot Games have released an indirect ruling on the accusations regarding Echo Fox allegedly poaching Adrian “Adrian” Ma from Phoenix1.

The allegations first bubbled up when TheScore posted a report that claimed Echo Fox, the eSports organization founded by the NBA’s Rick Fox, attempted to poach the support player after he had already signed to Phoenix1 as a member of their starting lineup. Unnamed sources insisted that the organization made attempts at communicating with Adrian without the knowledge of Phoenix1 management, despite him already having been announced to have joined P1’s team, which is a direct violation of LCS rules outlined by Riot Games.

Echo Fox responded to the report by stating that they acted within Riot’s rules, and released no further comment regarding the issue. Riot games did not agree to make a comment on the matter until now, though it is not a direct ruling announcement. Instead, Riot Games released a sort of public service announcement to the LoL Esports website that clarified key points in their rules on poaching and player acquisitions.

“While teams may be signing contracts before the League receives documentation, poaching protections are explicitly NOT put in place until the League approves of the acquisition and has received the proper documentation,” wrote Riot, “This is to prevent teams from claiming poaching protection despite signing potentially fraudulent or noncompliant contracts; we want to make sure that we are only recognizing valid, proper contracts.”

Following up the explanation was an example of the most recent, and most public, source of confusion: Adrian. According to Riot, Adrian had, in fact, signed with Phoenix1 but the organization had not yet submitted the proper documentation to Riot for it to be confirmed and added to the database when he had been approached by Echo Fox. Therefore, Adrian was still considered to be a free agent, as outlined by their rules.

“This contact by other teams was entirely permissible; until documentation was submitted by P1 (which has since been sent in), the League considered Adrian to be a free agent. As such, Echo Fox was not guilty of poaching here, and acted fully within the boundaries of LCS rules.”

The contract database has since been updated to include Adrians’ acquisition, but has yet to be updated to include Jason “WildTurtle” Tran’s transfer to Team SoloMid, Kim “Ssumday” Chan-ho and Lee “Chaser” Sang-hyun’s signing with Team Dignitas, and several other changes. This could be due to the fact that Riot has not received and/or approved the contracts submitted to them.

A certified weeb that passionately live-Tweets his reactions from esports events, Sian is one of those people that hasn’t seen the sun in weeks. You can find him on Twitter @FriendlySenpai