Ibai steps in as KOI partner Rogue reportedly faces financial challenges
Dark clouds appear to be hanging over Rogue’s partnership with KOI as financial issues seem to be impacting the joint esports venture.
According to a report by Spanish outlet Esportmaníacos, the financial problems stem from technology firm Infinite Reality, Inc., which acquired ReKtGlobal, the parent company of Rogue and the London Royal Ravens, for $470 million in April 2022.
Six months later, KOI, the Spanish organization founded by Ibai Llanos and Gerard Piqué, partnered with Rogue to form what was described as “a strategic alliance”. As part of the deal, Rogue’s League of Legends, Rocket League, and Rainbow Six teams began competing under KOI’s name.
Less than a year into the partnership, cracks seem to have been forming all over the place. Infinite Reality is reportedly behind on payments to employees in the company, as well as to content creators and players.
Moreover, it is reported that Infinite Reality has also struggled to pay the franchise fees for the League of Legends EMEA Championship (LEC) spot, which “could jeopardize” KOI’s license in the league.
Ibai has reportedly spent €3 million ($3.28 million) of his own money to cover some debts, paying “in full” the salaries of some players and content creators, and the gaming house of the Superliga team.
“All of this has led to great concern around KOI as they see that the project lacks economic solvency and is generating great instability in the club,” the report adds. “The continuity of the project as such is being considered.”
According to Spanish content creator Kuentin, Ibai is considering the possibility of leaving KOI as a result of these issues.
In addition to competing in the LEC, KOI has a Valorant team in the VCT EMEA League. The team finished in ninth place in the regular season and third in the LCQ, narrowly missing out on a spot at Valorant Champions 2023.