On 14th July 2022, Riot Games fined and ruled TSM CEO and co-founder Andy Dinh (better known as Reginald) over allegations of disparaging and bullying behavior toward the organization’s staff and players. Accordingly, Andy was fined $75,000 with two-year probation following the investigation led by Riot Games’ North American League of Legends Series Championship (LCS) last November 2021.
TSM Reginald Hit With Two Year Probation For Verbal Assault
Andy Dinh’s initial allegations were brought up last November 2021 by a former TSM player who made public allegations against the CEO and co-founder for disgusting and heinous acts against the organization members.
These allegations included accusations of bullying and berating players and staff on TSM. In addition, the former TSM player stated that Andy’s "verbal assault" caused the organization’s staff and players to face public humiliation, mental breakdowns, and more.
In the light of these allegations, the Riot-owned League of Legends esports series, LCS, came forward to investigate. Word soon spread through the NA LCS Players Association, and TSM members who were present at the time of Andy’s verbal outbursts started speaking out.
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On 14th July 2022, the LCS found Andy guilty of the allegations based on the reports drawn from its independent investigators. LCS believes there was a pattern and practice of disparaging and bullying behavior exhibited by Andy, which included verballing abusing players and TSM staff, communicating in a demeaning manner, and belittling others.
Following Riot investigation, TSM has been fined $75,000 for Reginald’s disparaging and bullying behavior towards players and staff— Jake Lucky (@JakeSucky) July 13, 2022
He is also subject to sensitivity training pic.twitter.com/If35gZ6SME
All the witnesses throughout Andy’s tyrannical behavior and the allegations agreed the CEO and co-founder’s outbursts were abusive and generally because of staff or player’s performance.
However, none of the witnesses recall any behavior targeting protected classes (race, gender, age, sexual orientation, sexual identity, etc.), and there were no reports of any physical harm or threats against TSM staff or players.
Additionally, TSM investigated the matters too. On 27th May 2022, TSM’s director reported the finding of its investigation. This report was conducted without the involvement or leadership of Andy and solely through an independent investigation. The director stated, “there was no unlawful conduct by Mr. Dinh. [But that Dinh] provided feedback to employees, including players, in an aggressive and harsh tone.”
The TSM report recommended corrective actions such as mandatory executive coaching for Andy, voluntary coaching for other executives, leadership and culture-building training, and an anonymous reporting hotline for TSM employees and players to lodge complaints without fear of retaliation.
In LCS’ official ruling, Andy was fined $75,000 for his disparaging and bullying behavior. The LCS will donate the fine to an appropriate charity focused on anti-bullying and/or mental health selected in conjunction with the Player’s Association. The CEO also faces two years of probation from the competitive series.
LCS stated, “Finally, Dinh is being placed on probation for the next two years. 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.”
“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,” the LCS added.
Competitive Ruling: Andy Dinh— LCS (@LCSOfficial) July 13, 2022
Read now at: https://t.co/hwMqbJjZLMpic.twitter.com/fAz5kHUWAe
Ultimately, Andy’s behavior should be a breath of fresh air for those who were tormented and bullied during his close control over TSM’s competitive scene. Although the damage has been done, and his acts against those trying their best still bear their emotional and mental scars, things will hopefully look better for TSM.
Bullying isn’t okay at all, and there’s no reason why people should feel scared to voice their opinion. We hope Andy learns from his mistakes and uses this opportunity to grow as a human and be a better leader. For TSM. For the LCS or other competitive scenes. And for himself.
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Featured image courtesy of TSM and Andy Dinh.