League of Legends dev who insulted streamer is no longer with Riot Games

Two days ago, we reported that a League of Legends developer had landed himself in hot water after he went grossly overboard in insulting a banned troll and streamer while using a Riot tag in a public Discord channel. The dev, Aaron “Sanjuro” Rutledge, publicly suggested that it’d be “gucci” if the streamer would die from “a coke overdose or testicular cancer from all the steroids,” after likening him to a “humunculus,” incidentally causing a spike in searches for the word “humunculus.”

This triggered a quick and harsh response from both the community and Riot Games. Riot and Rutledge apologized for the comment and said he was taking some time away from the community, but now it looks as if they’ve severed ties completely.

Rutledge has since posted the following comment on his Facebook page: “Heads up to friends and family. I no longer work at Riot Games. Please call or txt me for more details.” There is no confirmation as to whether he was fired or voluntarily left the studio, as neither party has yet addressed the circumstances.

Source: Rift Herald
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draugris

Personally i can understand the guy but on a professional level, you can´t act like that. You always represent the company you work for and i think Riot had no other coice than letting him go, but the humunculus thing was funny..

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Jack Kerras

Fun fact: being shitty to people (even jerks!) when you work at a game studio that fights tooth-and-motherfucking-nail to reduce toxicity in their game is basically 99% likely to get you fired.

Mewmew
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Mewmew

Especially *especially* if you mention that you’d be happy if they died. It seems pretty obvious he was going to get more than the self time out he offered up.

Fighting toxicity with toxicity isn’t really the way to go and show everybody that it’s wrong and unwanted. That may work for other people having little chat wars and stuff on a game, but it doesn’t work for a professional company to use as a response, which he was representing at the time.

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Space Captain Zor

I really lol’d at the humunculus searching part

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Kherova

What a surprise! A toxic game has toxic devs….

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Oleg Chebeneev

Good riddance

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BalsBigBrother

The words you speak and type can have consequence for good or ill. I wish more folks would realise that in terms of their behaviour specifically in gaming or just generally in life.

The dude made a mistake and he suffered the consequences of his words but I do hope he learns his lessons and is able to get back on his feet without any problems.

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Armsbend

The lesson is that gaming is a truly one of the worst industries to choose as a talented software developer. High risk, horrible consumers, terrible hours, abuse from employers and the public.

Go into navigation apps or enterprise software where you can be appreciated and possibly rich. Not have to wake up and look at yourself knowing you are making gambling boxes for little kids.

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primal

all he had to do was keep his mouth shut or post under a name not associated with the company.

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rafael12104

The dev made a mistake. It was a slip, an aberration, in the heat of the moment. And yet, it doesn’t lessen the consequences when you are representing your employer who is trying to fight toxicity among the gaming ranks.

I feel bad for the dude, but I don’t see any other possible outcome. A reprimand would hardly be enough if RIOT is serious about dealing with toxicity.

Hopefully they guy will land on his feet. And he and Riot worked out some kind of deal on severance as opposed to just a flat out “there is the door” scenario.

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A Dad Supreme

I don’t think he should be blackballed from the industry of course. I think he should be given a fair chance to represent that he’s ‘grown up’ when he applies for a new position at a new company.

That said, I don’t hope that he worked out severance or a deal with Riot. I don’t think they should be rewarding him with pay (which it would be) for such a serious infraction (given how Riot has been harping about player responsibility for months).

If he was wise enough to have invested some of his pay into Riot as a 401k, he legally can leave it there so that will be pay enough since the company is nothing but profitable.

As far as giving him money for leaving, I don’t think that’s a good idea as it sends the wrong message to customers (we’ll take your money and pay people to leave) unless it’s spelled out in his contract that he is entitled to it.

It’s like the last episode of Rick and Morty said, “Everyone wants to be knocked-out. No one wants to be dead. Being knocked-out isn’t a deterrent.”

*Apologies if anyone hasn’t seen that episode for proper reference.

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Sally Bowls

If he was wise enough to have invested some of his pay into Riot as a 401k, he legally can leave it there so that will be pay enough since the company is nothing but profitable.

I think you are confusing some investing issues. 401Ks are retirement plans, so they are not explicitly affected by the performance of your company. Your company can be losing lots of money and your 401K should be doing quite well atm due to the “huge” stock market rally since November. Taking money from a 401k (not as a rollover) is almost always a mistake as it results in both immediate taxes and penalties as opposed to letting it continue to build up tax-deferred.

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A Dad Supreme

I didn’t say he should take money out of his 401k. No one should do that unless they are in a situation where taxes allow it under certain circumstances (school, buying a house, etc).

What he does have is a starting investment for the long term future and that’s fair enough.

I don’t think paying him extra salary in this case is warranted for bad behavior against company policy so I wouldn’t give him a severance if I was in charge.

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Tobasco da Gama

This would be a “with cause” firing, which normally doesn’t trigger severance packages. Usually, severance is reserved for layoffs.

Riot could still offer a severance if they felt like it, but I don’t know why they would. The ex-employee will still be able to collect unemployment while searching for a new job.

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Sally Bowls

The ex-employee will still be able to collect unemployment

IANAL, but that is not my understanding of labor law, although it does vary from state-to-state. My expectation is that employees fired for “willful misconduct” / “just cause” are not eligible for unemployment.

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Tobasco da Gama

That’s a very good point. Costly lesson to learn, but hopefully he learns it.

Siphaed
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Siphaed

This is true, but the problem is many companies -especially corporate ones- do not disclose employment information to outside agencies (other than the generic “yes, this person worked for us” or “no, we have no records of this person ever working for us”). Because of this, it is hard for a state run unemployment agency to confirm the reason for discharge for an individual. And due to that, the person can get away with claiming unemployment that they are undeserving of.

dixa
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dixa

Would depend if he was contracted or if his position was at-will. If contracted he may be entitled to unemployment benefits. If at-will and the company can prove this is with cause, he would be entitled to nothing

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agemyth 😩

I would feel better if we didn’t make IANAL a regularly used acronym.

IANAL
UANAL
WANAL (We Are Not All Lawyers, that one maybe needed to be spelt out :P)
EVERYBODYANAL

We are all internet certified lawyers, in actuality.

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Armsbend

loltyler seems to have scored another major troll win.

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A Dad Supreme

I think it’s fine to fire the guy or tell him to resign.

If Riot Games holds players to a certain level of decency, decorum and respect and they pay money to the company, it must demand a much higher level from it’s employees who derive those same funds they’ve accepted.

Not only to set an example to players, but to help set the tone throughout the industry that everyone should be in battling toxic attitudes from anyone exhibiting it from players to devs to directors.

Hopefully, the guy will learn at his next place of employment to be much more professional and try to be less like “one of the bros” hanging out on Reddit.

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David Harrison

Well then this developer has a future at Daybreak Games where they like their employees to be complete duchebags to their customers.

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rafael12104

Lol. Must admit, this made me chuckle. Lol.

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A Dad Supreme

I think that’s a bit harsh.

Perhaps Daybreak can be guilty of not listening or being responsive enough to their customer base (as are many companies these days in gaming) but they haven’t been in the business of acting like frat boys.

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Bree Royce

Totally agree, no matter its community/development decisions, Daybreak isn’t that kind of company at all.

oldandgrumpy
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oldandgrumpy

are your sure about that. Try there discord channel for a while to get a good feel of how they see there customers.