G2 Esports Co-founder Carlos ‘Ocelote’ Rodríguez has resigned his position as CEO following backlash over a video with controversial influencer Andrew Tate.
The Spaniard announced the decision on social media Friday night. G2 Esports quickly followed with a statement accepting the resignation and saying that the organisation wanted to underline that it does not “support any form of misogyny”.
The organisation and its Supervisory Board had previously ‘mutually agreed’ with Rodríguez that he would take eight weeks of unpaid leave. The reasoning behind his decision to fully leave the organisation has not been disclosed.
G2 Esports as a brand has always been intrinsically linked with Rodríguez. The organisation began eight years ago as Gamers2, founded by Rodríguez — who was a former professional League of Legends player — and esports investor Jens Hilgers.
This year, Forbes valued the Berlin-based company at $340 million (~£313 million): the most valuable esports team outside of Los Angeles. In the last two years, it has inked several valuable sponsorship deals from Adidas to New Era.
Despite the organisation’s undeniable success, Rodríguez’s video of him partying with Andrew Tate last weekend could not have come at a worse time for the team’s reputation. G2 had just signed its first female professional roster for League of Legends, and had been hoping to confirm a franchise spot in VALORANT’s VCT EMEA league.
Over the course of the week, multiple outlets reported that G2 had missed out on the spot for 2023 despite initial interest from Riot Games. Reports indicated the decision was made in part due to Rodríguez’s actions on social media the weekend before.
Following several high-profile funding rounds, Rodríguez became accountable for a growing number of powerful shareholders. The decision for G2 Esports’ well-known CEO to part ways with the organisation represents a gamble. Particularly, between the value behind keeping a well-known face at the company, or trying to move the brand beyond Rodríguez. Seemingly they chose the latter.
In an emotional video on Twitter, Rodríguez said he took full responsibility for everything that went on in the last few days.
His former team declared: “As a global esports organisation serving the world’s most diverse fanbase, we take responsibility for our fans, employees, team members, and partners across the world. In this context, we want to underline that we do not support any form of misogyny. We continue to prioritise fostering inclusivity and supporting a diverse gaming community.
“We are fully committed to continue the legacy of G2.”