G2 Esports loses bid to join Valorant’s league thanks to the org’s CEO partying with a flagrant misogynist

    
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If you’ve heard of the esports organization G2 Esports recently, it may very well be for all of the wrong reasons. The Berlin-based org was reportedly on the cusp of joining Valorant’s international esports league, but thanks to the actions of org CEO Carlos Rodriguez, those aspirations have been dashed.

Reporting from WaPo and a timeline assembled on Reddit detail the scope of the matter. It started when Rodriguez posted a video celebrating G2’s championship that was attended by self-described misogynist and “king of toxic masculinity” Andrew Tate, a former kickboxer and reality TV contestant whose vile content creation regarding women saw him de-platformed this past August after growing concerns and backlash.

Initially, Rodriguez dug his heels in over the video, stating that he can “party with whoever the f**k [he] wants” and that “nobody will ever be able to police [his] friendships.” A day later, G2 issued an announcement that Rodriguez would be on unpaid leave for eight weeks, while Rodriguez himself tried to walk back his statements.

But the damage was already done: G2 was not on the list of included partner teams.

Reporting from WaPo as well as esports journalists confirmed that Riot Games held an emergency meeting shortly after the controversy, which appears to be the point when Riot cast G2 out of the running. The announced list doesn’t draw attention to the debacle, but it does note that orgs for the Valorant league were selected because they “share our values of always putting fans first, celebrate our diverse community, and are committed to supporting pros” among other reasons. Both G2 Esports and Rodriguez declined to comment on the matter.

sources: Reddit, The Washington Post, The Guardian, NBC News, Valorant website, Twitter (1, 2), cheers Pepperzine!
Riot Games is considered a controversial company in the gaming world following a 2018 exposé of the sexual discrimination and harassment inherent in what workers described as its “bro culture.” The scandal brought forth accusations against multiple developers and high-ranking executives and ultimately led to a developer labor dispute and walk-out. Former workers and the state of California, which alleged that Riot was refusing to cooperate with its investigation, lodged lawsuits though Riot settled with one victims’ group at the end of 2021 for over $100M.
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