Right after Riot Games has had a spotlight shed on the company due to accusations of it fostering a sexist and generally toxic work culture, the developers of League of Legends has found itself amid a new controversy. As the title says, Riot Games has created “women and non-binary” only events at PAX West – no men allowed.
Besides the main event room for a more general update on League of Legends, the company hosted a special workshop for women and non-binary folks interested in working at Riot Games. According to Comicbook, the workshop provided people with an opportunity to have “one-on-one resume reviews, presentations about different careers at Riot Games, and a chance to ask Rioters questions.”
Here’s Riot’s official Twitter statement regarding the events.
To help recruit women into gaming, we held PAX workshops for women and non-binary people. We’re proud of that and stand with Rioters at PAX. Regarding conversations about this, we need to emphasize that no matter how heated a discussion, we expect Rioters to act with respect.
— Riot Games (@riotgames) September 2, 2018
People are very divided on the issue with many supporting Riot’s attempts to take a more active approach to dealing with their recent bad PR. Others, see this as simply sexism on the opposite gender. The Reddit community on the League of Legends subreddit has exploded over the past few days on the issue. The original post highlighting the existence of the women/non-binary event has since gained over 5,000 upvotes. Since then, numerous satirical posts appeared poking fun at Riot’s seemingly bizarre attempt to create some good PR.
The biggest satirical post is now sitting at over 17,000 upvotes and jokes about how the next thing Riot Games is going to do is separate ranked queues for female and non-binary players. Several other large satirical posts receiving thousands of upvotes have already been deleted.
Riot Games seriously needs to hire a brand new team to help rebuild the companies’ brand image. While the intent behind these events is a seemingly noble one, the execution leaves much to be desire. The introduction of “women and non-binary only” events have just added fuel to the fire. The creation of such events just go to show how out of touch Riot Games has become. The key decision makers are clearly struggling in their attempts to get something done right about their recent bad PR – they desperately need to get some new people with some fresh ideas to help deal with their there many problems.