League of Legends

TSM Fined, CEO Placed on Probation After Riot Games Investigation Finds 'Bullying Behavior'

Riot Games' investigation of TSM CEO Andy "Reginald" Dinh has found "a pattern and practice of disparaging and bullying behavior" by the executive.
Riot Games' investigation of TSM CEO Andy "Reginald" Dinh has found "a pattern and practice of disparaging and bullying behavior" by the executive. / Photo courtesy of Riot Games

Riot Games' investigation of TSM CEO Andy "Reginald" Dinh for allegations of bullying and verbal abuse has found "a pattern and practice of disparaging and bullying behavior" by the executive, the video game developer and publisher announced Wednesday.

As part of its competitive ruling, TSM has been $75,000, Dinh must complete sensitivity training and executive training, and Dinh is on probation for the next two years across the Riot ecosystem. Riot will also be having regular check-ins with TSM League of Legends players, as well as appointing an independent monitor to operate a "tip line" through which TSM employees can anonymously report instances of abusive conduct by Dinh.

Although TSM announced in May that its internal investigation of Dinh found "no unlawful conduct" by the executive, it appears the League Championship Series (LCS) has concluded that his behavior violated Riot's ruleset.

"Based upon the conclusions we drew from the reporting of our independent investigators," Riot's ruling reads, "we believe that there was a pattern and practice of disparaging and bullying behavior exhibited by Dinh. This included verbally abusing pro players and TSM staff members and communicating in a demeaning and belittling manner. Nearly all of the witnesses agreed that Dinh’s outbursts and abuse were generally limited to a player or staff member’s perceived performance. None of the witnesses recall any situation in which Dinh’s abusive behavior focused on a protected class (race, gender, age, sexual orientation, sexual identity, etc) and there were no reports of actual or threatened physical abuse towards any TSM player or staff member."

The LCS investigation is said to have consisted of 14 independent interviews with individuals that included Dinh, all of the complainants provided by the NA LCS Players’ Association (LCSPA) and any other parties identified during the course of the process.

In addition, the LCS investigators seemingly contacted a number of former TSM players and employees who either did not respond or declined to cooperate with the investigation, as well as reviewed certain emails and other electronic communications, public statements and videos.

For the sake of "efficiency," a small number of interviews with current TSM employees were conducted jointly by the LCS with TSM’s independent investigator, though minuscule overlap, if any, is said to have taken place elsewhere.

Based on its findings, the LCS was confident enough to "determine the severity of Dinh’s behavior and the appropriate remedy in this situation," two key parts that are said to have already been shared with TSM, Dinh and the LCSPA.

"TSM and Dinh have committed themselves to a culture shift within their organization and we want to provide space for that positive shift to occur," Riot's ruling reads. "However, we also want to ensure that should that shift not occur, the consequences within the Riot ecosystem are clear. Any finding by the LCS, or any other Riot governing body, that Dinh has violated our rules during this probation period will bring severely enhanced penalties."