Riot Walkout Starts Today

Riot Games (League of Legends) employees are planning to have a Walkout today from 2 – 4 pm regarding forced arbitrations. Arbitrations mean revolving disputes outside the courtroom. Last year, Riot faced 5 different lawsuits by current and former employees that stated the company had violated the California Equal Pay Act and more. Kotaku had written an article regarding interviews with Riot’s work culture of widespread and endemic sexism at the company, manifesting in Riot’s hiring practices, promotion strategies, and wider culture (Kotaku).

Image result for riot games

In April, Riot filed a notion to block two of lawsuits and have the employees signed arbitration agreements, which waived their rights to a jury trial against them. News of the arbitration was heard amongst the employees. Angered, employees organized a walkout and Riot had a world-wide company meeting to hopefully address the issues. They announced that incoming employees are allowed to opt out of forced arbitration for harassment suits and maybe for current employees as well (Riot).

According to an anonymous employee, 100 employees are expected to walkout. It’s actually the first walkout in the gaming industry. Riot has been slowly making changes to the company culture, such as hiring their first Chief Diversity Office, Angela Roseboro, in March.

Angela Roseboro is the new chief diversity officer at Riot Games.
Angela Roseboro

According to an email from Riot Games’ employees, they are supporting the walkout. He stated:

“We have asked all managers to make every accommodation to allow Rioters to participate during the 2-4pm window, including freeing up meeting times. We respect Rioters who choose to walkout today and will not tolerate retaliation of any kind as a result of participating (or not).” Employees can rest easy knowing they will not be fired for walking out. The walkout is being supported by the Game Workers Union, an organization of game workers who are organizing unions in the gaming industry.

According to some Riot employees, their biggest fear is “leadership does not budge from their current position and continues to maintain that there will be a ‘future commitment’ about current Rioters” (Kotaku).

Hopefully, Riot will be making changes soon for the employees and fix their company culture. I am a fan of League of Legends to this day and I wish the best for all of the employees at Riot. I think it’s important we support the developers and the employees who want a good working environment; especially if you’re a fan of the games they create.

Sources:

Kotaku

 

 

Riot NA LCS Finals Email Disaster

Riot continues to dig themselves in a deeper hole. This summer, there were several reports of sexism against women and sexual misconducts at the HQ. Riot promised to do a better job at representing their female employees and started with a female only event at PAX West. That led to more controversy as people on the League of Legend subreddit complained that Riot is sexist and preventing males from seeing Riot’s panels. Two Riot employees stated on Twitter that the subreddit is “filled with manbabies.” Systems designer Daniel Klein and communications associate Mattias Lehman—both outspoken advocates for gender diversity at Riot were fired after their statements on the community (Kotaku). Now Riot just released several people’s emails…including me.

September 8-9th is the NA LCS Finals in Oakland Oracle Arena. Players who purchased the balcony seats for the event received an email stating that they’ll be relocated.

ticket fail.png

Over 200 people were CC instead of BCC-like most massive email launches. Blind Carbon Copy protects the email privacy. It also prevents people from REPLY ALL all recipients and prevents spam from being spread.

ticket fail.png

While Riot and the NA Events team promises to offer the affected compensation, it is still undetermined. We received better seats for the tournament closer to the stage but I still feel the effects of people sending memes and email responses.

Sources:

Kotaku

Riot’s Apology

 

Olympics Bans Video Games involving “Killing”

People are trying to bring esports and professional gaming to a worldwide audience as it’s becoming more popular. People and or teams are competing all around the world and are representing their sponsors similar to physical sports teams. Some teams represent their countries similar to the Olympics such as the Asian Games. Earlier this year, gaming companies such as Riot, Blizzard, Epic, and the ESL, met with the Olympic Forums to discuss potentially having esports as an Olympic competition. The hopes would be the “government to help recognize esports as its own discipline” according to the CEO of Riot Games, Nicolo Laurent. Unfortunately, the Olympics will not allow any video games to be an Olympic event that has “killing” according to International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach.

Why did the Olympics deny video games from the Olympics?

While Esports may be in the Olympics in the future, Bach strongly stated “We cannot have in the Olympic program a game which is promoting violence or discrimination…They, from our point of view, are contradictory to the Olympic values and cannot therefore be accepted.” While people rebutted by stating some Olympic games involved dangerous weapons such as fencing, Bach said: “sport is the civilized expression about this.” Any games involved with “killing” for points/score will likely be denied by the Olympics in the near future. This would prevent popular esports titles from being an Olympic game such as Fortnite, Overwatch, League of Legends, and PUBG. 

What are the pros for having esports in the Olympics?

If esports was legitimized by the Olympics, it would benefit the players. Players would able to receive their Visas more easily to travel internationally for tournaments. Many players and team owners must pay for the visas. This can lead to potential delays that may prevent the players from competing. It would also give teams and players more sponsors for financial support. It can also lead to more television broadcasting opportunities for video games. Below are the hours viewed on Twitch and YouTube. If channels begin streaming video games, it could lead to people actually watch tv.

How do you feel about video games not allowed in the Olympics?

Sources:

Eurogamer

Gameindustry.Biz

AP News

Newzoo