Following a piece published by Kotaku on Riot Games' alleged "bro culture" and company-wide sexism, Meagan Marie, a former Riot Games employee, revealed her experiences of alleged sexual harassment while working for Riot.
Marie joined Riot Games at the League of Legends developer's office in Dublin. She mentioned she noticed gendered language, often meant as an insult, was used regularly by largely male employees both while playing League of Legends and throughout the work day.
"I also overheard a group discussing how a female professional made it far in the industry, suggesting she 'sucked c*ck to get to the top,'" she wrote on Tumblr. Marie explained she heard employees using racial slurs and transphobic language, too.
During her first month with the company, she wrote, employees had a chance to talk to one of the CEOs anonymously through an ask-me-anything session. Marie's question asked why the female champions weren't as diversely created as the male champions. "The most prevalent characteristic of female champions at the time was sex appeal," she said.
Marie was asked to say the question in person instead of anonymously. She wrote she took it as an opportunity to directly challenge someone in power who could make a change, despite being apprehensive at first. The CEO's response was apparently dismissive and ultimately boiled down to giving players what (Riot assumed) they wanted. Marie explained the situation put a target on her back with some of the men in the office.
"I didn’t even make it to my desk before a male colleague came up and told me that 'women don’t want to play unattractive champions. They want to feel beautiful.' A woman behind us audibly laughed at the fact that he was informing us of our gender’s gaming preferences," the post read. Other male coworkers asked her why she wanted more diverse and "unattractive" female champions, stating people would not want to look at that.
Marie's story also spoke about inappropriate conversations from multiple male staff members. She claimed to hear lewd conversations about women that passed by during events, discussing whether they would sleep with them and if they thought the women were of age.
"Several times I heard male employees bragging and sharing intimate details about hooking up with players at events, including a cosplayer we worked with in an official capacity," Marie wrote.
Marie decided to leave the company after a senior staff member, who is a male, called her sexist for not wanting to sleep in the same hotel room as a male Riot employee. Marie was under the impression she would have to share a hotel room with a male coworker, but was informed it was a typo shortly after. "At first, I thought he was kidding, but he continued to make arguments to his point," she said. "The conversation continued, with him eventually saying that my unwillingness to room with a man was the same as not hiring a woman due to her gender. I left the table in the middle of dinner, unwilling to take any more after six months of such behavior."
She included more examples of alleged sexism and harassment that corroborated with the alleged sexist environment and "fraternity-like culture" Kotaku exposed in its report Tuesday about the company.
"For transparency, being four years removed from Riot has not degraded my recollection of these events. I am drawing them directly from the eight-page resignation letter I sent to Riot in August of 2014," Marie wrote.
Marie's post came two days after the Kotaku report and a day after Riot Games released a statement to ESPN in response to Kotaku, claiming it was unaware of the problems mentioned in the article but has already taken action to fix some of the instances and will continue to investigate.
"This article shines a light on areas where we haven't lived up to our own values, which will not stand at Riot," a Riot Games spokesperson told ESPN. "We've taken action against many of the specific instances in the article, and we're committed to digging in, addressing every issue, and fixing the underlying causes."
Cover photo courtesy of Riot Games