So Riot’s not having a good week with the whole China thing either.
While the League of Legends studio was able to successfully fend off rumors earlier this week suggesting that it was censoring the term Hong Kong – and it wasn’t – it’s gone ahead and stepped right in it now. Riot’s official esports account blasted out this message this afternoon, attributing it to Global Head of League of Legends Esports John Needham. In brief, it asks League casters and pro players to avoid “personal views on sensitive issues (political, religious, or otherwise)” when it comes to broadcasts during this weekend’s World Championship group stage.
The rationale is what’s particularly remarkable here, as the company suggests participants should avoid these subjects not because they would make Riot look bad or cost it money; instead, it claims such topics can’t be “fairly represented in the forum [its] broadcast provides.” The studio even appears to be warning gamers that talking about these “sensitive subjects” could lead to harm for Riot employees in regions of political unrest.
A message from John Needham, Global Head of League of Legends Esports pic.twitter.com/5Au9rE7T86
— lolesports (@lolesports) October 11, 2019
Needless to say, the comments under the tweet as well as on the League of Legends Reddit are not taking the post all that well – some of them appear to be taking this as a dare. It’s not entirely clear whether Riot aims to crack down on regular streamers or attendees, nor what the consequences for defying this “reminder” will be.
Yes, Tencent fully owns Riot Games.
Meanwhile, the governor of California this week signed into law a bill that outlaws mandatory arbitration clauses in the state. That’s a big deal for employees at Riot Games; as you’ll recall we’ve been covering the absolute clusterfudge at Riot since the expose of its sexual harassment and sexual discrimination problems last year, the shabby response to which prompted an employee protest and walkout and lawsuit and enforcement suit from the California DFEH, which accused Riot of not fully cooperating with its investigation. Among the employee grievances was the forced arbitration clauses in employees’ contracts, which ensured men and women affected by systemic sexual harassment and discrimination at the studio couldn’t sue Riot in a real court of law.
Huge news. The governor just signed a bill to end mandatory arbitration in California. https://t.co/4s5MKZsS0N
— Rioters Against Forced Arbitration (@RiotersAFA) October 11, 2019