If Red Bull’s new League of Legends team reaches the European Challenger Series, the organization will likely have to stop sponsoring Enrique “xPeke” Cedeno.
Riot Games told Slingshot in a statement Monday that there are no conflicts of interest regarding Red Bull’s team, The Red Bulls, right now because the team not qualified for the European Challenger Series. If it does, Red Bull would “need to unwind any conflicts” at that time.
Red Bull launched the Red Bulls last week and will compete in the qualifier for the European Challenger Series starting Tuesday. Red Bull sponsors xPeke, the owner of Origen, a team that will compete in the Challenger Series after being relegated from the European League of Legends Championship Series last month. It would be a direct conflict of interest for one team to compete in the same league with another team whose owner it sponsors.
xPeke became the first Red Bull sponsored League of Legends player in 2015. There’s no explicit mention of him as a Red Bull athlete on the website, but he’s draped in Red Bull gear in photos for a Dec. 16 interview in Red Bull’s esports news section. Red Bull also sponsors Team SoloMid’s Søren “Bjergsen” Bjerg.
It’s unclear whether or not Red Bull has already distanced itself from xPeke. As noted above, he doesn’t have the same profile page as the rest of Red Bull’s sponsored athletes, and, as Slingshot reported Friday, neither Bjergsen nor xPeke is listed with the rest of Red Bull’s sponsored athletes (though Bjergsen’s page is still available to be viewed). Both players still say they are Red Bull athletes in their Twitter profiles.
Even if the Red Bulls qualify for the European Challenger Series, it’s unclear if Red Bull would have to cease its sponsorship of Bjergsen because he plays in a different level and region (The North American LCS). Requests for comment from Red Bull, Team SoloMid and xPeke were not answered.
The European Challenger Series qualifier consists of 12 teams, and the top two will qualify.