One of The most prominent executives in the eSports industry are being investigated for misconduct in the workplace. Current and former employees and eSports professionals have accused Team SoloMid founder and CEO Andy Dinh of verbally abusing and bullied her, sources report WIRED. Riot Games that the League of Legends Championship Series, in which TSM competes, opened an investigation into Dinh’s behavior late last year. TSM also confirmed that it opened its own investigation around the same time.
“We are aware of the allegations about the CEO / owner of TSM,” Riot Games told WIRED via email. “As the league operator, we have hired the law firm O’Melveny & Myers LLP to conduct an independent investigation into the allegations of misconduct made against the leader of this team under standard league process.” Both Riot and Dinh declined to approve certain allegations express, referring to the ongoing investigation.
Dinh, 29, has headed the eSports organization since 2009 and is known in the eSports community by his gaming name “Reginald”. In 2020, Forbes called TSM is esports most valuable company with an estimated valuation of $ 410 million. Last year the organization changed its official name to TSM FTX after being shortened a $ 210 million naming rights deal with a cryptocurrency exchange in Hong Kong. TSM operates eSports teams and has contracts with players and streamers over Fourteen days, Appreciation, Apex legends, Super Smash Bros. and other top games with millions of followers on social media. TSM is primarily synonymous with competitive League of Legends, the greatest esports title of all time that is attracting a glowing international fandom.
The company, based in Southern California, has 51 full-time employees. Several of these employees told WIRED that they are attracted to TSM because of its high status in the esports world and personal fandom. Many were disaffected with Dinh’s alleged “mental abuse,” as a current associate put it. Everyone asked for anonymity for fear of professional repercussions in the isolated and tightly knit world of esports. “The eSports industry is really young and toxic,” says one. “Your relationships lead to jobs more than anything.” Two sources say Dinh’s close ties with other esports team owners and professionals have deterred current and former employees or players from assuming responsibility.
“He’s like a tyrant who can get away with being a bad person because he’s powerful, because people are afraid to turn against him,” top League of Legends Player and former TSM teammate Yiliang “Peter” Peng, known as Doublelift, said publicly on a Live broadcast last November. “I’m sick of someone being basically just a bully who can get away with it because it’s in everyone’s best interests not to get in their way.”
Four people who worked with TSM tell WIRED that the esports organization is dominated by a culture of fear. As early as 2013, it is said, Dinh was known for verbally abusing and yelling at players and staff. He has labeled employees “stupid” or “worthless,” say two sources. Two sources recalled Dinh calling his staff after hours to yell at them. Three current or former TSM employees say Dinh sometimes mocks the employees for hours. His tirades were often triggered by small mistakes. Another time he yelled at employees in front of gathered colleagues as part of an “exhibition” that Dinh seemed proud of, says a current employee of a person he publicly berated.