Riot faces criticism after League of Legends competition sponsored by Saudi megacity

Photo: Riot Games

Riot has come under fire after the League of Legends European Championship (LEC), one of the most popular esports leagues in the world, announced a sponsorship deal with the controversial Saudi Arabian megacity Neom. The developer announced today that the city would become one of the “main sponsors” for the league, joining the likes of Kit Kat and Kia.

The announcement was met with instant criticism, given the Saudi government’s long history of human rights abuse, which extends to the creation of Neom, pitched as a futuristic playground. In its announcement, Riot explained that the city “will be championing the development of esports across the world.” Fans noted their displeasure with the deal on Twitter; the timing is especially…

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