Lead Valorant dev calls curbing toxicity “priority” after streamer threatened in game

Declan Mclaughlin

Anna Donlon, the Valorant Dev Team Lead, responded to a viral post of a streamer who was threatened with sexual assault in the Riot Games title.

Donlon apologized, confirmed that Riot is “tacking actions against this account, and said behavior tools are a big priority for the developer.

An Australian FPS game streamer, Taylor Morgan, posted a clip in which one of her Valorant teammates made explicit threats, causing Morgan to quit the game and end her Twitch stream.

Morgan called for the player to receive a hardware ban and tagged Riot Games in the post.

“If this goes unpunished I am taking this as an active act from you that you do not give a single f*** about any of the women and minorities that play your game, and I will rally to boycott,” Morgan said.

Donlon replied to the post late on May 14 and said it had been on her mind since it was posted.

“We’re taking actions against this account, but I also know that’s not enough. Our teams are always working on our behavior tools, but we have room to improve…and we will… I promise this means a lot to us and is a big priority,” she said.

Donlon also apologized in a separate post for not speaking up sooner, saying, “It’s important to me that we lead with action first, so until we’d actually pressed the right buttons and made some necessary internal changes, I didn’t want to tweet out empty condolences.”

She said she would share her thoughts on player behavior in gaming in the future and that the developer is looking to “speak more to how we consider and decide things.”

Donlon has spoken at length in the past about policing in-game behavior and confirmed in a 2020 article from Wired that she has faced harassment in online games before.

“Toxicity, harassment, and disruptive behavior in voice chat have always been the hardest of the problems,” Donlon told Wired back when Valorant was still in beta. “And it’s definitely the problem I think we’re going most aggressively at to find solutions for.”

The Valorant Executive Producer shared in 2022 that Riot was testing “several systems” for curbing disruptive player behavior, including a trust factor system similar to Overwatch.

Riot implemented voice chat monitoring in 2022 to help curb in-game toxicity and last discussed combating the behavior in an October 2022 developer blog.

Other prominent influencers also weighed in on Morgan’s post, including Valorant streamer Jolly ‘Jollz’ Goodman and Andrew Tate, the latter of whom was widely criticised for his response.

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About The Author

Based in Indiana, Declan McLaughlin is an esports reporter for Dexerto Esports covering Valorant, LoL and anything else that pops up. Previously an editor and reporter at Upcomer, Declan is often found reading investigative stories or trying to do investigations himself. He has a bachelor's degree in journalism from Indiana University. You can contact him at declan.mclaughlin@dexerto.com.