League of Legends

LPL team Edward Gaming accused of covering up harassment allegations

by Daniel Cleary

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LPL

The management of Chinese League of Legends org EDward Gaming has been accused of attempting to cover up an allegation of sexual harassment by one of their staff, after the accusation was made public by one of the LPL team’s former employees.

Despite finishing eighth in the 2020 Summer Split, EDward Gaming or ‘EDG’ is considered one of the top organizations in China’s League of Legends competition, LPL, and has competed at Worlds five times since they were founded. Having won numerous regional titles, EDG has often been held in high regard, particularly amongst Chinese fans.

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On September 12, a now-former employee claimed that the organization attempted to pay her off, after she accused a team photographer of harassment.

EDG on stage at worlds 2018.
Riot Games
EDG was considered one of the top Chinese League of Legends orgs, after making multiple appearances at Worlds.

The former employee shared her story on the Chinese social media site, Weibo, along with plenty of screenshots of conversations between her and EDG’s management.

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The ex-EDG staffer revealed that she was the “writer, director, and post-production editor” for much of the team’s content, listing their doc series ‘ELOG’ and ‘Fight Back’ as examples of her efforts.

The employee then claimed that EDG’s cameraman, A Yuan, had “sexually harassed” her for a year while they were working on many of these projects, according to a translation shared on Twitter.

The employee also claimed that Yuan used "all kinds of methods to touch [her] at work and in private" and when she brought this up to EDG's management, they allegedly attempted to “shut her up” by paying her extra.

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She included footage of her being approached by the photographer during a team content meeting.

After reporting the situation to EDG's Operation Manager Chen Mou in January, following the lack of action from EDG she was made to feel "helpless."

It was revealed that the incidents led to a nine-month back and forth between her and the company, all while trying to distance herself from the photographer, before she was eventually able to release her statement and quit working for the LPL team.

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iCrystalization, who shared the translation on Twitter, explained that EDG has been receiving backlash from Chinese League of Legends fans.

EDG responds to harassment claims

EDward Gaming has since responded to the accusations on Weibo. During their statement, they claimed that, outside of oral complaints, their former employee could not provide evidence to prove this harassment.

They explained that after investigating a video sent its legal administration for review, the clip did not show any evidence of any sexual assault.

EDG also addressed their employee's statements about their "hushing fee," claiming that it was actually a 'bonus for the video team's results in 2019' and that all members of the production staff had received one. You can find EDG's full statement here.

It is also worth noting that none of EDG's players or coaching staff have been brought up in any of these statements.

At the time of writing, Riot has not publicly commented on the situation. However, they have meted out punishments to organizations for off-the-Rift behavior in the past, as was seen with EchoFox being forced to sell their LCS slot in August 2019.