Riot Games have fined TSM’s CEO and co-founder Andy “Reginald” Dinh US$75,000 and placed him on two-year probation following an investigation by the North America League of Legends Championship Series (LCS) for bullying.
In short, the findings of the investigation conclude that Reginald broke two LCS rules regarding profanity, hate speech and harassment. The investigation opens by declaring that “the League believes that there was a pattern and practice of disparaging and bullying behaviour exhibited by Andy Dinh toward TSM players and staff members.”
It should also be noted that TSM’s spokesperson Gillian Sheldon has come out and said the organisation will not be commenting on Riot’s announcement.
If you’re wondering about Riot Games’ relation to the investigation, although they are the developers and publishers of fan-favourite games such as League of Legends and VALORANT — in which TSM fields teams in both — they also run several esports leagues across multiple titles, the LCS included.
In the ruling it was stated that the monetary penalty is three times the maximum fine for misconduct by an LCS team member, reflecting the league’s belief that the pattern of “abusive and harassing conduct” stretched over several years. The money fined will be donated to an anti-bullying or mental health charity.
Reginald is also obligated to undergo sensitivity training and executive training within 60 days of the ruling to be verified by a third-party outside of TSM.
The LCS operators also want to see a company-wide transformation of TSM’s internal culture. Both Reginald and TSM have committed to providing that shift in light of yet another fine levied against the CEO.
TSM employees also have access to a “tip line” operated by an independent monitor to ensure that TSM and Reginald comply with the needed changes and to report any further abusive conduct by Reginald.
TSM’s current League of Legends roster will also be checked in on by the LCS Players Association (LCSPA) to report instances of abuse that may occur.
In the case of more violations within the time frame of the two-year probation, Riot will consider “severely enhanced penalties” against TSM.
This probation also spans over to Riot’s other ecosystems such as Teamfight Tactics, VALORANT and Wild Rift. Furthermore, the ruling also stated that TSM must make current staff and players as well as new hires aware of the probation parameters and the tip line.
The LCSPA have expressed their support for the decision and will work with Riot to ensure that TSM and Reginald comply. The association has declared this a milestone for the league to help prevent cases such as this from occurring in the future.
“Today marks a milestone in the LCS,” the LCSPA began. “Never before has an association of esports players called for an independent misconduct investigation, never before has a developer conducted such an investigation with collaboration from a PA, and never before have outcomes been imposed on a partner team that pointed towards real change to a toxic workplace.
We are pleased to see strong action from Riot and the LCS team on this matter. With that said, the PA will remain vigilant to ensure follow-through on this ruling.”