Video game developer Riot Games placed Andy Dinh on probation and fined his esports organization Team SoloMid (TSM) for bullying.
Dinh, the 30-year-old CEO and co-founder of TSM, has been placed on a two-year probation and fined $75,000 following an investigation by the North America League of Legends Championship Series (LCS), according to Riot Games’ announcement on Wednesday.
Yiliang “Doublelift” Peng, a former TSM player, had previously accused Dinh of bullying and berating players and staff on his team in November 2021. Additional individuals associated with TSM also came forward with similar allegations, which led LCS to conduct an investigation.
Upon investigating the allegations, the esports league concluded that Dinh violated two LCS rules relating to profanity, hate speech and harassment.
“Based upon the conclusions we drew from the reporting of our independent investigators, we believe that there was a pattern and practice of disparaging and bullying behavior exhibited by Dinh,” the ruling read. “This included verbally abusing pro players and TSM staff members and communicating in a demeaning and belittling manner.”
TSM previously signed an agreement with LCS that prohibits harassment, profanity and hate speech, which gives Riot Games power to punish Dinh and his organization. Riot Games is a game developer, publisher and esports tournament organizer known for “League of Legends” and “Valorant.”
“The findings and associated consequences announced today have the potential to ensure a lasting impact on the workplace at TSM that will benefit all their players and staff,” a statement from the LCS Players Association read. “We are pleased to see strong action from Riot and the LCS team on this matter.”
The $75,000 fine is reportedly three times the maximum fine for misconduct due to the lengthy multi-year pattern of Dinh’s behavior, according to the ruling. The fine will reportedly be given to a mental health and anti-bullying charity by Riot Games.
In addition to Dinh’s punishments, he is also required to complete sensitivity training and executive coaching from an LCS approved provider within 60 days of his suspension. An anonymous hotline will be provided to the staff and players of TSM to report any instances of abusive conduct by Dinh during his probation.
TSM was founded in 2009 and became well-known for its competing teams in “League of Legends” and “Valorant.” Forbes previously named the organization as the highest-valued esports company at $540 million this year.