Report: Riot Games Establishes Global Deals Council in the Wake of NEOM Backlash

Riot Games is looking to establish a global deals council and ethics committee according to a report by ESPN. The company informed employees of this plan in a company-wide call on Thursday.

According to the report, the council will feature representatives from Riot’s Global Esports team, social impact division Karma, diversity and inclusion as well as legal teams, and will report to SVP Mark Sottosanti and Brian Cho, head of corporate and business development.

The ethics committee will operate separately from the deals council and will have a hand in evaluating deals as well as discussing company direction and relationships with both global partners and countries.

This report follows the intense backlash Riot Games and particularly the League of Legends European Championship faced following a partnership announcement with the Saudi Arabian city project NEOM. LEC commentators and fans alike criticized the deal due in part to Saudi Arabia’s human rights record, particularly its treatment of LGBTQ people.

In less than 24 hours, Riot announced the cancelation of its NEOM deal, issuing an apology and statement from Director of Esports, EMEA Alberto Guerrero.

Yesterday, Dexerto reported that sources indicated the decision-makers behind the deal were “completely safe in their jobs,” and that no disciplinary action had been taken.

The Esports Observer has reached out to Riot Games for additional information and confirmation.

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