According to a recent tweet from Riot Games’ lolesports account, the European Challenger Series team, Red Bulls, has been temporarily forced to change its name to Team RB due to “certain formalities.”
Due to certain formalities not yet being locked, Red Bulls of the EU Challenger Series will be referred to as Team RB until further notice.— lolesports (@lolesports) June 18, 2017
The most likely issue with the name comes from the large number of minor sponsorships held by Red Bull throughout League of Legends, and the LCS in particular. Red Bull currently sponsors two North American esports organizations and LCS competitors, Team SoloMid and Cloud9.
According to ESPN, Red Bull plans to pull out of their sponsorship deals with both teams in response to Riot’s decision to force a name change on the brand’s EU CS team. Presumably, once these conflicts are resolved the team will be allowed to return to it’s former name.
This situation is not altogether unfamiliar to Riot as it bears a strong resemblance to two past cases in the LCS. The first was Team Curse, who owned a team while sponsoring several different teams, including Team SoloMid, and were asked to either drop their sponsorships of the teams or release ownership of the Team Curse LCS team, which ended up being sold to Team Liquid. Similarly, an EU CS team called Team Kinguin was also owned by Kinguin, as website that sponsored several LCS teams and players before the brand’s Challenger Series team could compete.
It remains unclear if this sponsorship issue is what Riot was referring to, or if Team RB will be able to return to its former name after all conflicts of interest are removed from the league.