Riot employee claims company told other employee to take down swimsuit picture, reached out to by HR afterward

This follows an apparent green light yesterday on a gender discrimination lawsuit at Riot.

Image via Riot Games

A current Riot Games employee has detailed an issue seemingly regarding the company’s response to a picture shared on a personal social media account.

Riot Lydia, a software engineer on VALORANT at Riot Games, tweeted that Riot had expressed dissatisfaction at a swimsuit picture that another employee had posted on social media, making them take the picture down. 

In a follow-up tweet, she noted that a member of human resources at Riot had reached out to her to discuss the issue. Riot has not yet publicly addressed the controversy, which has spread quickly across multiple social media platforms. Lydia noted in the original tweet that there appears to be a policy preventing employees from complaining about issues like this.

Yesterday, an Axios report detailed that a lawsuit regarding gender discrimination at Riot Games beginning in 2018 that was planned to be settled for $100 million had been approved by a California judge. As detailed in a press release when the settlement was agreed upon last year, Riot employees that identify as women who worked at the company between November 2014 and December 2021 will be entitled to a collective total of $80 million, with $20 million being used for legal expenses.

An outside independent organization will also watch Riot to ensure that changes are being implemented. The California court will continue with the next steps as the year progresses.

This settlement follows an original $10 million settlement proposal in 2019 that was denied by the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing. A document obtained by the Los Angeles Times detailed that employees that were victims of gender discrimination could be entitled to up to $400 million.

Dot Esports has reached out to both Riot Lydia and Riot Games for comment.

Update 7/23/22 8:46pm CT: A Riot spokesperson has provided an official comment on the situation to Dot Esports, as well as clarified that Riot Lydia was not the one that posted said swimsuit picture:

“Unfortunately, the referenced tweet included some incorrect information about Riot’s internal policies. There is absolutely nothing that prohibits any Rioter from raising concerns if they find certain attire offensive. In fact, we want and encourage Rioters to bring any concerns they may have about their workplace environment to the attention of our HR team so that they can be explored as quickly as possible.

Similarly, when it comes to social media content of any type, we encourage Rioters to raise content that may be concerning. In those instances we may take action if the content is in violation of our policies or against our company values in order to keep Riot’s workplace safe and inclusive.

It’s difficult to create a blanket rule about what is and isn’t allowed on social media — there is a lot of context and nuance we must consider with any individual case — but I can assure you that there is no explicit policy against posting bikini photos or swimsuit photos in general. We simply expect all Rioters to use good judgment and consider the context when posting, and we hold accounts that include ‘Riot’ in the username, are regularly used for Riot-related communication, or are used for communication with Riot colleagues to a higher standard than strictly personal accounts.”