Riot Games to pay $10 million to settle gender discrimination lawsuit - Dexerto
League of Legends

Riot Games to pay $10 million to settle gender discrimination lawsuit

Published: 3/Dec/2019 0:42

by Isaac McIntyre


Riot Games has agreed to pay out $10 million in a proposed settlement, shared collectively between all women who were employed by the League of Legends developers any time since 2014, according to court documents filed this week.

The multimillion-dollar settlement from the Los Angeles studio marks one of the largest in Californian history in regards to gender discrimination suits. The LA Times reported the $10m sum will be paid out to as many as 1,000 employees.

According to the filed documents the settlement, which was first agreed between representatives and the LA game studio in August, will be finalized based on the length of tenure for all Riot employees who self-identify as female.

The documents note two class representatives, Jessica Negron and Gabriela Downie, will each receive $10,000, while full employees are expected to receive a minimum $2,500 from the post-fee ‘kitty’ of $6.2 million.

Contractors will receive a minimum of $500. The filing suggests it is expected most class members will receive at least $5,000 in the payout.

Danny Fortson for the Sunday TimesRiot has agreed to pay out $10 million to women employed at the company since 2014.

“We’re pleased to have a proposed settlement to fully resolve the class action lawsuit,” a Riot spokesperson said in a statement.

“The settlement is another important step forward, and demonstrates our commitment to living up to our values and to making Riot an inclusive environment for the industry’s best talent.”

As well as the major settlement payout, the agreement also details a host of commitments Riot must agree to, including improvements to internal programs relating to the reporting of sexual harassment and discrimination, and improving company culture.

The Tencent-owned company will be required to undertake a review into pay, promotion, and hiring practices, with aims to “increase fairness and transparency.”

Riot has also followed through on a commitment made in March to implement a dedicated chief diversity officer role within the LA-based offices. Angela Roseboro has reportedly already been hired and began her role with the company.

Settlement Declaration, Rio… on Scribd

The now-settled lawsuit was first submitted after a damning series of exposés, sparked by a February 2019 report from Cecilia D’Anastasio for Kotaku, which detailed a workplace filled to the brim with “sexist behavior.”

The suit alleged that Riot had established a predominant culture of “bro culture” which then facilitated “crotch-grabbing, phantom humping, sending unsolicited and unwelcome pictures of male genitalia,” and the circulation of a “hot girl list” that ranked past and present female employees based on their physical appearance.

Negron and Downie’s suit also alleged any female employees who attempted to question this “men-first” culture were looked over for promotions, refused compensation and pay, and in some cases were even demoted or fired.

The issue came to a head across the media and courtrooms in Spring of this year, with employees at Riot’s West LA campus organizing a mass-walkout. Riot refused the protest demands, but began the proceedings for this December settlement.

Riot GamesRiot reportedly made $1.4 billion through League of Legends alone in 2018/19.

While the payout is being welcomed by many, there are some that have voiced concern senior male employees named in the lawsuit, and were responsible for perpetuating a “harmful workplace” are still working for Riot Games.

“It’s great that Riot has decided to compensate women for the abuse they suffered here, but their rhetoric about ‘healing and moving on’ leaves something to be desired,” one Riot employee told Kotaku.

“It’s difficult to heal and move on when we are faced with the reality that at the end of the day, Riot prefers to pay the women still here for the trouble of continuing to work with alleged abusers.”

Chris YunkerSome Riot employees are still calling for more to change within the company.

It is estimated Riot Games, and parent company Tencent, earned $1.4 billion through League of Legends last year. The game studio has now added Legends of Runeterra to its title wheelhouse, with many more also coming on the horizon.

The Central District filing notice confirmed both the plaintiffs and Riot Games have agreed to the preliminary settlement, but the court has yet to approve the document.

League of Legends

Doublelift explains how TSM’s “bad” SwordArt negotiations made him retire

Published: 2/Dec/2020 1:24 Updated: 2/Dec/2020 1:43

by Alan Bernal


League of Legends star Yiliang ‘Doublelift’ Peng revealed more about the strained timeline of Team SoloMid’s negotiations with Hu ‘SwordArt’ Shuo-Chieh, which ultimately led the North American veteran to retire.

Doublelift went into the off-season with a single objective for TSM: sign an elite support who spoke English. SwordArt just got done with a stellar season lifting his team to win the LPL 2020 Regional Finals and getting second place at Worlds.

The TSM veteran also recommended Team Flash’s Nguyễn ‘Palette’ Hải Trung as a suitable support for TSM. However, DL really wanted to play with a bot-lane partner that spoke his native English; a requirement Palette didn’t fulfill, but SwordArt did.

TSM were looking forward to staving off Doublelift’s retirement by making a deal with SwordArt. However, TSM later told their star ADC that negotiations were shaky, and asked if he would be okay with Palette instead. He wasn’t.

On November 25th, Doublelift retired. On November 26th, TSM announced they had successfully signed SwordArt from Suning on a two-year deal that would pay him an LCS-high of $3 million per season.

“No, I didn’t know SwordArt was coming before I retired,” Doublelift said, before explaining how rough transfer discussions made him lean into retirement. “I was really excited for the whole SwordArt thing. They told me SwordArt was confirmed, and I got really excited

“And then I guess the negotiations were going really bad at certain points. So then they told me: ‘Actually, (the deal with SwordArt) fell through. It’s not going to work. Would you still be committed if your support was Palette?’”

Although impressed with Palette, DL was really keen on getting the bot-lane synergy rolling with someone he could effectively communicate with.

At this point, SwordArt was the unobtainable lynchpin in keeping Doublelift from retirement.

But it wasn’t until a day after Doublelift, 27, decided to retire, after production had wrapped on his retirement video, and after TSM were already moving past the seasoned ADC, that the org announced the new support.

“The whole situation made me realize: I’m better off retired,” Doublelift said.