CEO and founder of TSM, Andy ‘Reginald’ Dinh, has been accused by multiple former employees of workplace bullying and abuse. Both Riot Games and TSM itself are now conducting investigations into allegations made against Dinh.
A report by Wired reveals that as of January 11, Dinh is under investigation by both TSM themselves and Riot Games for allegations of workplace bullying and harassment. Riot confirmed in an email to Wired that they have “engaged the law firm of O’Melveny & Myers LLP to conduct an independent investigation into claims of misconduct” towards Dinh.
TSM “dominated by a culture of fear”
In the Wired report, employee statements describe Dinh verbally abusing employees, calling them “stupid” and “worthless”. He allegedly yelled at colleagues in front of their coworkers in order to “make an example” of them, and contacted employees after hours in order to berate them.
It’s said that Dinh would launch tirades at employees to the point of making them cry, and that he would bring a staff member to tears “at least every other week.”
It was not just employees behind the scenes who were victims of Dinh’s abuse, though. There are multiple examples of him arguing with professional players on video or via Twitter, the most famous of which is a video recording of him berating ex-TSM toplaner Marcus ‘Dyrus’ Hill during a Twitch stream.
Ex-TSM AD Carry Yiliang ‘Doublelift’ Peng also famously spoke out against Dinh in November 2021 via a Twitch stream, calling him a “bully who gets away with being a bad person because he’s powerful”. Doublelift’s public denouncement of Dinh came after Dinh got into a Twitter spat with support player Philippe ‘Vulcan’ Laflamme, insinuating he would be working a minimum wage job if not for the LCS.
Ignorant tweet. If every LCS team left the LCS- you’ll be out of a job buddy and probably be paid minimum.
— TSM FTX Andy (@TSMReginald) February 20, 2021
Dinh was fined $5000 for “conduct unbecoming” by Riot for the Tweet, according to Travis Gafford.
Sources told Wired that the investigation into Dihn began after Doublelift’s public accusations in 2021.
The firm Riot has hired to investigate TSM, O’Melveny & Myers LLP, is an LA-based law firm that provides “transformative legal work for industry-leading companies” according to its website. TSM also confirmed to Wired that they were conducting their own independent investigation into the allegations against Dinh.
The legal firm has worked alongside gaming organizations previously, providing legal counsel to Envy Gaming and representing Google in their legal dispute with Epic Games during Epic’s antitrust lawsuit.
Reginald responds to accusations
In response to the accusations, Dinh told Wired that he has “exceedingly high expectations for myself, and I share those same high expectations with everyone I work with. I have zero tolerance for underperformance. I am intense, passionate, driven, and relentless in the pursuit of winning- it’s my nature. I set an extremely high bar, and when I feel that someone is not delivering, I directly and bluntly share that feedback.”
He also admitted that “my vocabulary was at times too harsh and ineffective,” and “I know I need to work on my delivery. I am working to improve the way I communicate with my team and those around me. I support and am fully cooperating with the independent investigations that are already underway and will gladly embrace any recommendations from the investigators.”
This is not the first time Riot has investigated an LCS organization. In 2019, the LCS made an official investigation into alleged racist behavior by a member of the Echo Fox ownership group.
The LCS has concluded its preliminary investigation into the alleged comments made by a member of the Echo Fox ownership group. Hate speech, threats, and bigotry have no place in the LCS. We have directed Echo Fox to take appropriate corrective action within 60 days. (1/2)
— LoL Esports (@lolesports) May 15, 2019
Dinh, an ex-professional midlaner turned CEO, has been a prominent figure in North American esports for many years. He founded TSM alongside his brother Dan Dinh in 2009. The organization began as community website Solomid.net, which hosted League of Legends champion and strategy guides alongside community forums.
They quickly branched out, forming a League team for which Reginald was the midlaner. They have since acquired teams in multiple esports titles, and have become one of the most well-known brands in North American esports.