‘Culture of fear’: TSM CEO Reginald accused of retaliation, verbal abuse, and misclassifying employees

Riot previously said it was investigating the LCS team owner.

Screengrab via Logitech

TSM CEO Andy “Reginald” Dinh has been accused of fostering a “culture of fear” in TSM and Blitz, a company Dinh co-founded, according to a Washington Post report by Mikhail Klimentov.

The report included numerous statements from more than a dozen current and former employees of TSM and Blitz, many of whom claimed they feared retaliation from Dinh. One former TSM employee said Dinh fostered a “culture of fear” inside the esports organization that stemmed from multiple alleged instances, including Dinh allegedly firing TSM’s head of human resources weeks after their hiring because the person “asked a question that Andy didn’t like,” according to a former TSM employee.

That termination, along with Dinh’s alleged penchant for verbal abuse, public shaming, and firing people after directing his anger toward them, reportedly led many employees to avoid meeting with Dinh at all costs. Former Blitz senior program manager Anthony Barnes said many employees also attempted to never meet alone with Dinh, who Barnes likened to a volcano.

“Nobody wanted to be in a one-on-one meeting with Andy because you had no witnesses,” Barnes said. “I mean that literally. Who knew if Andy was going to scream or yell at you, degrade you, be friendly, or just be confused or inquisitive? You weren’t sure what Andy you were going to get. But the more people on the call, the more likely Andy wasn’t going to be a complete volcano.”

Former TSM and Blitz employees also told the Washington Post they believed their employment statuses were misclassified as contractors instead of employees, which typically changes the benefits to which the person is entitled, in addition to taxes that the worker and company would owe.

TSM and Blitz spokesperson Gillian Sheldon told the Washington Post the companies would not be “commenting on confidential personnel issues, especially complaints made by anonymous individuals who feel they were misclassified in their employment status.”

Riot Games, which operates the LCS and VALORANT Champions Tour, told WIRED in January that it launched an investigation into Dinh following allegations from former TSM League of Legends player Doublelift, who claimed that Dinh was a “bully” and verbally abused several players to the point that the players began to cry.

“You’d be very fucking surprised at how many of your favorite familiar faces in the LCS [had a] legit mental breakdown because of how badly they were getting berated—how badly they were just getting verbally assaulted,” Doublelift said.

In January, WIRED’s Cecilia D’Anastasio reported numerous alleged instances in which Dinh engaged in “mental abuse” and led to TSM being “dominated by a culture of fear,” a term also used by a former employee who spoke with the Washington Post.

In response to WIRED’s report, Dinh said he had “exceedingly high expectations for [himself]” and that he was attempting to improve how he communicated with employees, saying that his “vocabulary was at times too harsh and ineffective.”

Update May 4 11:17am CT: Dinh commented on the Washington Post’s report on Reddit, specifically in regard to the firing of TSM’s head of human resources. He said that the person asked for “recommendations on hiring for a competing organization” and that Dinh and that person disagreed about whether that was “a good use of time.” Dinh defended the firing, saying that he did not believe the “approach was effective or would work long term,” which led Dinh to believe it was “best to part ways sooner rather than later.”