Riot Games has cancelled the LEC’s partnership with NEOM.
This news came after backlash from fans when they found out Saudi Arabian tech city project NEOM would be a sponsor for the LEC League of Legends tournament.
Here's what we know.
LEC Cancel Partnership With NEOM
Riot and the LEC revealed the broadcast sponsorship deal on July 29th.
Fans were less than happy and due to this Riot has since officially cancelled the deal.
Riot’s Director of Esports, Alberto Guerrero released a statement on the 29th of July on lolesports, here's what he had to say:
“As a company and as a league, we know that it’s important to recognize when we make mistakes and quickly work to correct them.”
“After further reflection, while we remain steadfastly committed to all of our players and fans worldwide, including those living in Saudi Arabia and the Middle East, the LEC has ended its partnership with NEOM, effective immediately.
“In an effort to expand our esports ecosystem, we moved too quickly to cement this partnership and caused rifts in the very community we seek to grow. While we missed our own expectations in this instance, we’re committed to re-examining our internal structures to ensure this doesn't happen again.”
NEOM was meant to “future-proof” the LEC stage.
The deal would also include an 'Oracle Lens', a system that would supposedly predict future moves.
The deal was intended to run until the Summer playoffs.
NEOM is backed by Saudi Arabia publicly, they've also partnered with BLAST (CSGO tournament organisers).
Although Riot has cancelled the partnership the LEC still have sponsorships intact with Secetlab, KitKat, Kia Motors, Alienware, Foot Locker, and Shell.