LEC Receives Backlash After Announcing Partnership With Saudi Arabian Company NEOM

Category: League of Legends, Date: 29/Jul/2020

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Riot Games

LEC has announced its partnership with Saudi Arabian company NEOM for the rest of the 2020 summer split.

The announcement was made today, “NEOM is a new community that will be the home and workplace for more than a million citizens from around the world who want to be part of building a new model for sustainable living, working, and prospering in Saudi Arabia,” the LEC’s announcement reads. “It will include towns and cities, ports and enterprise zones, research centers, sports and entertainment venues, and tourist destinations all designed to play a leading role in global development – and will be championing the development of esports across the world.”

NEOM is a planned city in the northwest land of Saudi Arabia that will border Egypt, Palestine, and Jordan, according to its website. The company is owned by the Public Investment Fund, which operates on behalf of the government of Saudi Arabia.

The LEC received massive backlash from fans, its own casters, analysts, and popular figures in the esports community. Many tweeted their disappointment with the partnership including Sjokz, Froskurinn, and Drakos.

The issue people found with the partnership is that the LEC is branded as being inclusive and diverse. While the Saudi Arabian government views differ, which makes it seem that the LEC’s support for inclusivity is hypocritical.