Former Riot Games Employees React to Kotaku Report Alleging Sexual Misconduct

On Tuesday, Kotaku published a story detailing years of misconduct and sexual harassment at Riot Games. Cecilia D'Anastasio's piece contained numerous first-hand accounts of women struggling to be heard and succeed in the company that League of Legends built, and it has sent ripples across the entire gaming ecosystem.

The original post of the article on the League subreddit reached over 18,000 upvotes before it was taken down for "vote manipulation," according to the moderators. The post eventually returned to the forum after a few hours and has continued to gain support from the community.

Following the story, former and current members of Riot Games have spoken up about their experiences at the company, ranging from the good to the outright despicable.

This is a very important read.

Every person who contributed to this story is beyond brave, considering how speaking out can put individuals in the crosshairs of powerful forces, professionally and personally.

I salute you all. Excellent job, @cecianasta.

— Michael Maurino 🌹 (@Iron_Stylus) August 7, 2018

Hey - I'm gonna have time put aside this afternoon to discuss , since I know some of y'all will probably have questions. first off, DMs are open and i'm happy to talk, public or private. i also want to say i will NOT invalidate any experiences here

— lego's block's (@guldeuxchats) August 7, 2018

It's tough to read stories like the ones these women had to go through. Everyone needs to speak up, in whatever way possible when these actions happen and do our part to prevent them from continuing.

— Trevor Henry (@RiotQuickshot) August 7, 2018

My experiences at Riot are not reflected in this, but make no mistake: this is not an issue isolated one company or another. Tech and games are rotten with sexism. I'm proud of the steps I've seen Riot take, but we've all got a long way to go. via @kotaku

— Jenny Huls (@RiotTinyBun) August 7, 2018

Former Riot employee Kristen "MiniWhiteRabbit" was a source for the Kotaku story, and went into deeper detail in her own Twitter thread. In 2015, she says was tasked with running and maintaining a podcast without much support from upper management, causing her to "lose sleep" over the situation. Her boyfriend, one of the leads on the development team for the League of Legends champion Fiora rework, was pulled off the Taric rework and eventually fired for reasons he's still unaware of. Kristen was "passed around from manager to manager," working under five different people in only two years.

By her account, the constant stress of gaslighting, rude managers and a toxic work environment drove herto quit. "I'm 100 (percent) certain that my advancement in games has been ruined because I am an attractive woman," Kristen tweeted. "I've had my manager come onto me and turned him down, only to be denied promotion a month later. I know I'd be further along if I were a man."

Another bombshell story was released Wednesday night by former Riot employee Meagan Marie in a Tumblr post. In 2014, Marie packed up her life and moved overseas to Dublin to start a new career with the company. After just six months, she says a hostile work environment and overt sexual harassment forced her to quit. "Rape became a punchline to jokes quite frequently, including one instance where an employee went on for several hours about how he was going to rape his male colleague, who was his hotel roommate," Marie says in one of her posts. "He was graphic in exactly how he was going to rape his roommate, who was a new hire, and it was obvious that the individual in question was extremely uncomfortable."

Elsewhere in the post, she says she felt she had to keep her story under wraps for fear of repercussions from her former employer. "The reason I didn't share any of this before is because I felt trapped," Marie said. "I am not proud of myself for staying silent. After I quit, I was stranded in Ireland with my entire life in an apartment, no job, no car, and not even a cell phone, as it was immediately taken away from me once I resigned. I needed to get back to the United States somehow."

In response to the allegations, Riot Games released a statement to ESPN, saying, "All Rioters must be accountable for creating an environment where everyone has an equal opportunity to be heard, grow their role, advance in the organization, and fulfill their potential," the statement read.