Alienware will end its partnership with Riot Games 10 months ahead of schedule following allegations of sexual assault against Riot CEO Nicolo Laurent. This is reported by the Dot Esports portal.
During discussions with Riot, Alienware raised concerns about the public image of the game developer amid claims of harassment and other controversy, according to Dot. The deal between Alienware and Riot was due to expire in January 2022.
Riot CEO Laurent has been accused of sexual harassment and gender discrimination by former Riot employee Sharon O'Donnell, who claims she was fired from her position at Riot for reporting Laurent's misconduct. In August 2018, Kotaku reported multiple allegations of sexism and sexual assault at Riot. In December 2018, Riot removed COO Scott Gelb from his position after a report emerged detailing allegations of misconduct.
In addition to these allegations, Riot came under fire in 2020 for a $ 500 billion deal it negotiated with the Saudi city of Neom. Critics have pointed to human rights violations by Saudi Arabia. However, Riot terminated the agreement less than a day after it was announced.
While Riot has not confirmed that the deal will be terminated, the company said in a statement to Dot Esports that it has removed the Alienware branding from its broadcasts.
Note that through Riot, Alienware has sponsored the entire competitive League of Legends scene, including LCS, LEC, LCK, LPL, Mid-Season Invitational, and Worlds.