Riot employee fired over toxic chat comments says he deserved it

Last week, news that Riot Games Lead Experience Designer Aaron “RiotSanjuro” Rutledge had insulted a banned League of Legends streamer in a public chat under the Riot tag, calling him a “humunculus” and remarking, “[H]e’ll die from a coke overdose or testicular cancer from all the steroids.. then we’ll be gucci.” Following the circulation of the comments on Reddit, Rutledge initially appeared to deflect criticism and defend his comments before being digitally strung up by the community and dressed-down by Riot. And while the target of the slurs, so-toxic-he-was-already-banned Tyler1, dismissed the insult, saying he had no hard feelings, within a few days Rutledge announced he was no longer with the company.

That’s apparently because Riot, a massive online gaming studio ostensibly at the forefront of the push to reduce toxicity in gaming, fired him. In fact, in an interview with Rolling Stone’s Glixel blog, Rutledge says he respects Riot’s decision to boot him, saying he’d have done the same in the studio’s position and noting he’s since checked himself into rehab, as “too many whiskeys” contributed to his lapse in judgment (and to what he now refers to as his “spectacularly stupid” defense).

By the next day, he says, he was suffering a wave of harassment himself. “The doxxing and threats and insults kept coming for several days,” he says. “Pretty scary stuff – but nothing I didn’t deserve.” He says he’ll try to get back into games once he’s finished solving his drinking problem, though he flat out says “drinking was no excuse for [his] actions.”

“I violated the trust of Riot, the best employer I’ve ever had, out of sheer stupidity. There’s no excuse for that kind of toxicity from players or devs. I let you all down, and as a huge fan of the game, I hope I can make amends one day.”

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38 Comments on "Riot employee fired over toxic chat comments says he deserved it"

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Mewmew
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Mewmew

What he did was wrong, but he got fired over it. Fired! He already lost his job, and it was basically being toxic to someone who was even more toxic (and who didn’t even care what the now ex-employee said, because he himself is toxic to others so he doesn’t take it as a big deal).

So after all that he does not deserve death threats and doxxing! The people making actual death threats to him are worse than he is and deserve to be caught and get a criminal record for doing so. Making death threats while publishing where to actually find him and such in real life, geez, the guy made a drunken mistake and already lost his job. Leave him alone already.

All the people saying anything bad to and about him need to take a long look in the mirror.

I wish the worst of them would get caught and lose their jobs too (just because they’re giving someone death threats).

The toxic community is so pissed at him for what? Slightly acting like they do when he got drunk?

He made a mistake and paid dearly, why continue to harass and screw with the poor guy?

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Mr Poolaty

Too many whiskeys and too many lines of coke and text!

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Frank White

Another case of PC extremism. I agree that the guy shouldn’t have said what he said, it wasn’t professional, but I don’t agree that he should have been fired over it. Unfortunately for him, the company needed a sacrificial lamb to prove how “committed” they are.

Tizmah
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Tizmah

If only people heard what goes on in break rooms at work. I think every company would have no workers then.

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Darthbawl

Drinking and internetting is bad, mmmmkay? :P Glad to see he owned up to having a problem and sought help.

PurpleCopper
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PurpleCopper

He had to be fired, otherwise Riot would look like hypocrites.

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TomTurtle

At least he’s admitted his mistake and is trying to better himself. And no, no one deserves doxxing, threats or insults.

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Melissa McDonald

I probably drink more than I should too, though it hasn’t really gotten me in trouble yet, that doesn’t mean it WON’T.
Admitting you have a problem is a big step, Rehab is a huge step. God bless him, I hope it helps him.

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Jeff

really bizarre situation….I have had developers be extremely nasty with me before, just last week a very well known ESO developer told me on Facebook I was responsible for the Vegas shooter because I didn’t back his candidate for president and I along with everyone else who didn’t back her should be put on trial for war crimes.

I marked him off as being “mentally unstable”, (which is a very nice politically correct term for what I actually said.) like many are in this industry and moved on, and even the mentally unstable should be free to express their opinions.

No one deserves to be doxxed or harassed seriously, as Scotty once said we’re big enough to take a few insults.

I hope the guy gets help and and lands on his feet.

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Melissa McDonald

Yes, you can put that in the dictionary under mentally unstable. Making grandiose statements like that because you didn’t vote for Hillary is not a thing a rational person does. Just like I don’t condemn everyone who did vote for Hillary to be mentally unstable.

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Robert Mann

Yep.

I do, however, consider that the vast majority who voted for either are fulfilling their own prophecy that we can’t select somebody else. I tried though, I tried people! :D

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Schmidt.Capela

The gap in the US between the two big party candidates and everyone else is simply too big. If you get to the point where you have, say, about a hundred congressmen that don’t belong to either of the two main parties, then I would agree that electing a president outside those parties might be possible; until then, though, it makes more sense to try to steer one of the big parties into choosing a candidate you can live with and, failing that, to vote for the lesser evil between those two parties’ candidates.

Something of the kind happened in England with the Labour party. A huge influx of young voters led to Jeremy Corbyn — a politician despised by the status quo, including most of the Labour MPs — being selected as the leader of the Labour Party (and confirmed as leader, with even more votes, when the Labour MPs passed a motion of no confidence, with an 172-40 vote, trying to oust him). Having someone like him, far more to the left than the average Labour MP, as the party leader was unthinkable just a short few years ago.

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Robert Mann

The problem is that the myth you are referencing is self-fulfilling. If nobody votes against the big parties because only the big parties will win, then of course only the big parties will win! XD

We have all the power to decide otherwise, if we just stop believing we can’t.

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Melissa McDonald

Seeing how both parties tried desperately to keep Trump out of office, and neither support him IN office, I’d say we have a true outsider here right now as well.

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Major Glitch

Support Trump in office?! Support him with what? His Twitting? Or perhaps he needs support withholding his tax returns. I know, Trump needs help keeping track of all the personal squabbles he’s engaged in. If Trump really needed support, then it would probably help if he stopped firing all the people that he himself hires.

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Robert Mann

IF you consider somebody who was deeply involved in the other side of politics (the buying of politicians) an outsider. Much less somebody who constantly hung out with people from both parties.

I consider both parties a single entity which thrives off making people believe there’s a difference through lies, though… so maybe that changes my perspective here.

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Utakata

It’s fascinating how this thread is going off on a Karl Hungus tangent. o.O

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A Dad Supreme

I guess it’s one of those “water is wet” moments that everyone else but him realized at the pool.

Encouraging to see he’s getting treatment for his alcoholism problems but he’s going to find out that’s not his real problem; there is something much deeper in his personal life that started him on that alcohol path with “too many whiskeys” that made that undesirable behavior surface.

Once he figures out what that is, he’ll definitely be on the right path to turning his life around so good luck to him.

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rafael12104

Well, I hope the guy lands on his feet and isn’t blackballed from the industry. Don’t know that he would be, but I do know that it would be difficult for any employer to hire him for a position interacting with a community.

Doxxing and harrasment, as I mention below, it seems we accept it as a norm on the internet these days. Why? Why aren’t authorities doing more about this across the board? Or are they? If it is futile, then make it not so. You have to at least try. Police departments and law enforcement need help, but it is notable that they have online and computer forensics groups now. Something should be done. Nobody deserves to be doxxed or harassed.

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Robert Mann

I still find it funny that a studio named for disorderly behavior, which for a long time gave a free pass to toxicity and engaged in it, is supposedly not at the forefront of trying to get players to behave.

I mean, I wish them well if that’s truly the goal. I don’t think they can succeed, but I would enjoy that. I just think that the contrasts there are… intriguing.

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MesaSage

thewhiskey

whiskey.jpeg
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rafael12104

Lol. Humunculus live! Lots of insults and drinking, or so I hear.

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Utakata

Perhaps the firing, yes. He was after all representing something the company he was working for didn’t on his own volition and their time. The harassment, the doxxing and threats? No he didn’t. No one deserves that. And by claiming he does, just normalizes behavior that should never be excused. Just saying.

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BalsBigBrother

Good point well made about the doxing and threats /bows respectfully

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Sray

That sort of statement comes out of the type of guilt one feels in early recovery. You tend to go through a period of self inflicted punishment, believing that you deserve so much worse than the worst you’ve experienced so far. I agree with you that no one deserves that sort of stuff, but it was coming from a place of guilt and atonement: give it six months of sobriety and he’s likely to change his assessment of his treatment in this regard.

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Utakata

We can only hope so.

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Sray

For guys in recovery houses it can be pretty overwhelming when first sobering up because they’re working the 12 steps (or a similar program) right away. I have a bit of first hand experience with this, and you can trust me that if he stays clean and sober, that overwhelming guilt will start to subside.

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Utakata

…or he could try the harm reduction approach. That is, cut down consumption to one tot a day at around dinner time. That sorta worked for a close relative of mine. And least takes the edge of the guilt part to my understanding. But I am probably getting way off topic… o.O

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rafael12104

True. If he really is dealing with alcohol abuse, I have not reason to believe he is not, acceptance will be a key component.

One thing that still seems to be an outlier that Uta brings to the forefront, why do people or the internet just take doxxing and harassment as a given? Shouldn’t law enforcement be trying to come up with ways to hold individuals participating in such activities responsible?

I mean, I get it, it is hard to trace etc. etc. But online forensics have come a long way and at this point nobody seems to even make attempts to deal with this.

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socontrariwise

Considering how well targeted advertisement works by now I find it hard to believe that doxing etc by “anonymous” accounts indeed works.

deekay_plus
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deekay_plus

a sobering moment for sure. at least he seems to be self aware and upfront about it. something alot of people on any segment of this hobby/industry could desperately use when involved in public drama spates.

Valen Sinclair
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Valen Sinclair

“he’s since checked himself into rehab” Of course. The “whiskey” made him do it. Typical blame deflection used by jackholes across the planet.

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Robert Mann

He actually noted it doesn’t excuse his behavior, although… I’m leery of his intent. He’s got a long history of being a jackhole, as you put it, so I’m also not going to assume (should he be with some other studio in the future on a game I might care about) that he’s not going to be a jackhole regardless of what he’s imbibing.

Assuming that it is deflection though? Nope. Not unless he’s burned me once on that (I haven’t paid attention to him on such things in the past, but maybe you have some history that shows this is a repeat offense with the drinking and behavior?)

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infreani

Why must we always jump to conclusions and say this guy is a “jackhole”. He seems pretty reasonable to me, he made a mistake, and hes owning it and fixing his personal problem

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BalsBigBrother

did you miss this bit

though he flat out says “drinking was no excuse for [his] actions.”

He acknowledges it was a factor and is taking action to correct that but accepts that there is no excuse for what he did and is accepting he did wrong with no deflection. Personally to me it looks like this person has taken a look what happened and is trying to makes some changes to his lifestyle so that he minimises the chances of this happening.

I don’t know this person but I do like that he isn’t shying away from what he did wrong and is trying to make sure he doesn’t put himself in a similar situation in the future so he can get back on track with his life.

Lesson learned hopefully

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Sray

Actually, he was accepting responsibility for his actions: admitting that his own addiction was the reason for his bad behaviour. This is the exact opposite of deflecting responsibility.

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