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Sunday, July 14, 2024

Riot Games Punishes Top Esports Team Owner for Toxic Workplace

  • Andy Dinh has led Team SoloMid since 2009.
  • The 30-year-old has been placed on a two-year probation.

Riot Games has found the owner of an affiliate esports team guilty of violating company policy relating to harassment, profanity, and hate speech. 

Andy Dinh, the owner of Team SoloMid — the most valuable esports company in the world at $540 million — is now facing repercussions for creating a toxic work environment. 

  • The 30-year-old, who has led TSM since 2009, has been placed on a two-year probation.
  • Owned by Chinese conglomerate Tencent, Riot Games has also fined TSM $75,000.
  • Proceeds from the fine will be donated to a mental health or anti-bullying charity. 

Riot Games’ guilty verdict ends a second investigation into Dinh and his behavior. 

In January, following a report of “mental abuse,” TSM launched its own probe. But in May, TSM’s investigation concluded that there was “no unlawful conduct” by Dinh.

Emerging Companies 

Riot Games and TSM have a relationship that stems from the root of competitive gaming. 

TSM operates esports teams for Riot Games-produced titles “League of Legends” and “Valorant,” while Riot Games operates their respective esports leagues. 

As one of the most popular esports companies in the world, TSM has garnered the attention of emerging companies in tech. 

In June 2021, TSM secured a $210 million deal with cryptocurrency exchange FTX — rebranding to TSM FTX. In January, FTX raised $400 million in a Series C funding round, valuing the company at $32 billion.

However, that value could now be affected by the recent crypto crash.

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