North American organization Evil Geniuses and British team Wolves Esports are both set to compete in the RLCS 2021-2022 season, causing conflict of interest concerns due to their ownership ties.
Evil Geniuses revealed on September 29 that they were set to enter Rocket League esports, with the organization aiming to compete in the upcoming season of the Rocket League Championship Series (RLCS).
Wolverhampton Wanderers’ esports division, Wolves Esports, entered Rocket League back in November 2020 and have since gone through roster woes. They have no active players on their roster but plan to continue in the game, as announced in July.
With Evil Geniuses and Wolves Esports both set to compete in the same esports title, there is an obvious risk of conflict of interest due to their shared ownership, sparking competitive integrity concerns.
— Evil Geniuses (@EvilGeniuses) September 29, 2021
Wolverhampton Wanderers and Evil Geniuses partnered in July 2021 when the football club’s majority shareholders Fosun Group made an undisclosed minority investment in the North American org. This investment was stated to have valued Evil Geniuses at $255 million.
On September 15, Rocket League developers Psyonix revealed details for their next competitive season. It’s set to have the largest prize purse to date at $6m, an updated format, and new teams taking part — Evil Geniuses, for example. The 2021-2022 RLCS season will be split into fall, winter, and spring splits that culminate in the World Championship.
Both Wolves Esports and Evil Geniuses responded to Dexerto’s request for comment on the development, including their thoughts on whether there’s a conflict present.
“Competitive integrity in this instance is a non-issue,” said Wolves esports manager Michael Moriarty. “We don’t share any overlap operationally with regards to our esports operations or Rocket League.”
We are proud to announce our new partnership with the ultimate sports and entertainment challenger brand, the Wolverhampton Wanderers F.C. (@Wolves).
— Evil Geniuses (@EvilGeniuses) July 28, 2021
“The common link between Evil Geniuses and Wolverhampton Wanderers Football Club is Fosun Group,” an Evil Geniuses spokesperson commented. “Fosun provided a capital injection to EG; whereas, Fosun owns the Wolverhampton Wanderers Football Club in full. Beyond that financial link, there is zero operational overlap.”
There’s a chance that Evil Geniuses and Wolves Esports may compete against each other in the future, whether that’s through the organizations competing in the same region or potentially meeting each other at an international competition. Dexerto has contacted Psyonix for comment on the situation and will provide updates when possible.