Alienware is ending its global esports partnership with Riot Games, citing their concern with the game developer/publisher’s public image amid sexual harassment claims against their CEO, Nicolo Laurent.
The deal between Alienware and Riot Games was originally going to expire in January 2022, but it was suspicious when Riot Games removed Alienware branding from all of its competitive League Of Legends broadcasts last weekend.
In a statement to Dot Esports, a Riot Games representative said:
“Alienware has been a valuable partner to Riot since January 2019. We can’t comment on our agreement with them at this time due to confidentiality obligations. As we continue discussions with them, we have removed their branding from our broadcasts.”
The deal initially covered the entire global League Of Legends esports scene; including the LCS, LEC, LCK, LPL, Mid-Season Invitational, and the World Championship. Riot CEO Nicolo Laurent was sued in a separate matter in January 2021 by Sharon O’Donnell, his former executive assistant.
In a statement to Daily Esports, Riot said it has opened an independent investigation into Laurent’s behaviour.
“Core to giving Rioters confidence in our commitment to culture transformation is taking all allegations of harassment or discrimination very seriously, thoroughly investigating claims and taking action against anyone who is found to have violated our policies.
In this case, because some of the claims relate to an executive leader, a special committee of our Board of Directors is overseeing the investigation, which is being conducted by an outside law firm.
Our CEO has pledged his full cooperation and support during this process, and we’re committed to ensuring that all claims are thoroughly explored and appropriately resolved.”