esports [xplayn]ed

Riot Games announce the hiring of their first CDO:

Angela Roseboro, a globally recognized leader in creating inclusive workplaces, will lead the Diversity, Inclusion, & Culture teams as they transform Riot Games.

Angela is joining Riot as our first Chief Diversity Officer and the new leader of our diversity, inclusion, & Riot culture initiatives. This is a major milestone for our company and our work to make Riot the most inclusive company in gaming, and we couldn’t be more excited to welcome Angela!  

Support player with 20 years of experience
"I can't wait to get started and to do my part to make sure we have a culture that embraces the uniqueness of every Rioter and a community where everyone feels a sense of belonging." - Angela Roseboro

   

You can tell how serious Riot Games is about dismantling the culture of sexism, misogyny, and harassment revealed last year in a bombshell Kotaku report.

The first sign is that the CEO isn't even mentioned, second sign being that the only people mentioned in the press release are women in power. Yes it feels a bit clumsy, but there's obviously some level of strategic thinking here. Move along. #NoBro zone, nothing to see here.

Kotaku later revisited their story, reporting that little to nothing had been done. That prompted Riot Games to apologize to everyone. A new CEO was even brought in to fill the offices with fresh air. And Riot has promised transformative action, the "bro culture" has officially been targeted for termination.

As of March 2019, 6 months after Riot began to "transform" itself, the company is logo is still a bro fist. Good meta.

Bro fist to you

The new Church of Riot is reinventing itself to be "the most inclusive company in gaming". That's a significant messaging downgrade, especially from their previous purpose of being the most player-focused company in the world.

How significant? So significant that their internal Culture, Diversity, and Inclusion (D&I) Initiative is creating truly bizarre groupthink behavior and competitive rulings determined by perceptions of social justice.

In Riot's eager to become the most inclusive company in gaming, the company utterly failed to react last month as the Russian LCL-team Vaevictis fired their male roster and hired 5 subpar female players in their place.

Support carrying a water bottle

While the competitive integrity of the Russian pro league took a hit, playerbase ability and skill-level has arguably never been more diverse. Or inclusive. Or this decidedly amateur.

In the first official game against Vaevictis, the opponent RoX banned their 5 most played heroes. As has been done in countless games before that. But this game awarded them with an official warning from Riot, because you are not inclusive or respectful if you ban 5 support champions against women. Yes. You read that right.

The team received an official warning for their ban/picks. If you play against female players, you are not allowed to focus bans on support champions. Or something.

It's the single dumbest competitive ruling I have seen in the 20 years I've been in esports. It's a groupthink decision dictated by some obscure social justice warrior code, by Riot neophytes clearly suffering from cultural convulsions.

But I bet you that they felt incredibly inclusive, cultural and diverse as their ruling was decided.

   

Thorin does a fantastic job at exploring just how much culture, diversity, and inclusion that's involved in this situation. Highly recommended, even if you don't care one bit about League of Legends.

Supporting commentary

Bro fist to you, Ms Roseboro. May the Summoners Code and the competitive integrity be with you. Always.