Dell-owned computer hardware company Alienware has confirmed they’re terminating their deal with Riot Games due to allegations of sexual harassment surrounding the game developer’s CEO Nicolo Laurent.
Alienware are currently a global sponsor of League of Legends esports, supporting leagues and tournaments such as the LCS, LEC, LCK, LPL, Mid-Season Invitational, and World Championship.
It’s been stated that the deal was originally set to expire in January 2022 but the gaming hardware giants are reluctant to continue their association with Riot Games due to recent claims.
The report from Dot Esports’ Jacob Wolf claimed that Alienware were in discussions with the game developer to cancel the wide-spanning partnership as soon as possible. It was later confirmed by Dell themselves in a statement to The Esports Observer. “Dell is no longer a Riot Games sponsor,” they said.
Riot Games removed Alienware’s logo from their League of Legends broadcasts last weekend, giving credence to the original report.
It was revealed in February 2020 that Riot Games were investigating Laurent for gender discrimination and sexual harassment claims following a filed labor lawsuit. The case, filed by former Riot executive assistant Sharon O’Donnell in January 2020, claims that she was wrongfully removed from work duties after declining sexual advances made by the company’s head.
“Alienware has been a valuable partner to Riot since January 2019,” Riot Games told Dot Esports. “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.”
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— ALIENWARE (@Alienware) October 16, 2020
It was in January 2019 that Riot Games announced their multi-year partnership with Alienware that saw the company support League of Legends esports as its official “competition PC and display partner.” Their monitors and computers were utilized across the aforementioned competitions as part of the deal.
It appears that Alienware will still have a presence in League of Legends. They’re a prominent partner with LCS team Team Liquid, owning the naming rights to the org’s facilities in Los Angeles and Utrecht, Netherlands.