Riot Games fines TSM CEO Andy Dinh

tsm ftx
(ESI Illustration) Image credit: TSM FTX

Game developer Riot Games has issued a $75,000 (~£63,000) fine to TSM FTX CEO Andy Dinh today. This is a conclusion of Riot Games’ investigation of the CEO which first started in November 2021, when former TSM players made accusations against Dinh.

As a part of the ruling, Andy Dinh will complete sensitivity training and executive training. The CEO will also be on probation for the next two years and an independent monitor will operate a tip-line for TSM staff and players.

Riot Games started its independent investigation of Dinh as soon as allegations against the TSM CEO surfaced in November 2021. The LCS (League of Legends Championship Series) investigated breaches in the Team Participation Agreement the contract between a team and the LCS.

During the investigation, Riot Games and LCS representatives focused on three key areas: how serious were Dinh’s actions; did Dinh make harassing comments regarding race, national origin, sexual orientation or similar and whether were there credible reports of other actions, such as physical violence.

The LCS talked to a number of current and former TSM employees, players and Dinh himself. This included everyone who complained of Dinh, as well as any person identified during the course of the interviews.

The investigation took place at the same time as the internal investigation by TSM, which was finished in late May 2022. The TSM report stated that there was no unlawful conduct, but that Dinh acted in an ‘aggressive and harsh tone’. The TSM report suggested executive coaching for Dinh and other executives, leadership and culture training and an anonymous reporting hotline. All of these suggestions are also a part of the LCS report.

The LCS concluded in its report: “We believe that there was a pattern and practice of disparaging and bullying behaviour 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.”

The investigation did not find any evidence of abuse focused on a protected class, such as race, gender, age, sexual orientation, or identity. There were also no reports of physical abuse.

Dinh’s $75,000 fine is three times the maximum fine for conduct the League can give. The LCS will donate the entirety of the fine to a charity focused on anti-bullying and/or mental health, according to Riot Games.

TSM also made headlines today because of an alleged series of layoffs. According to journalist James Fudge, as well as other reports on Twitter, TSM laid off around 20 people on the same day that another North American organisation, 100 Thieves, laid off more than 10 members of its social media and content teams.

Ivan Šimić
Ivan comes from Croatia, loves weird simulator games, and is terrible at playing anything else. Spent 5 years writing about tech and esports in Croatia, and is now doing it here.