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Riot Games Responds to Controversy Over PAX West Plans That Exclude Men

Tanner Dedmon

09/02/2018

(Photo: Riot Games)

Riot Games’ announcement of its PAX West plans caused controversy when it was learned that men wouldn’t be allowed to participate in certain events, a controversy that Riot addressed on Twitter.

The discussion about Riot’s PAX West situation began when the League of Legends creator shared a schedule of the panels and events that would take place throughout the weekend. Dillon “ADillonMostDaddy” Buckner, associate manager for communications at Riot Games, said in the PAX West post that one room would be dedicated to “hosting a variety of sessions to support women and non-binary folks who are interested in getting into games professionally.” These included one-on-one resume reviews, presentations about different careers at Riot Games, and a chance to ask Rioters questions.

When a commenter asked for clarification on events for women and non-binary individuals and inquired about whether the events were exclusive to those demographics, Riot Games recruiter Mel “Riot swimbananas” Capperino-Garcia responded to say that the first two events would be restricted only to those groups.

“The first two events of room 613 will be only open to women and nonbinary folks (there might be some exceptions. I will try and post on Twitter the sechedule [sic] everyday),” the Rioter said. “However, all the activities of the room will be open to all after 3pm, including the ‘Ask a Rito’ time.”

News of the situation in room 613 was shared on Reddit where a post within the League of Legends subreddit amassed nearly 5,000 upvotes and more than 4,100 comments. League followers contrasted the PAX West plans with the recent allegations of sexism and more issues within Riot’s company culture and expressed frustration at the idea that men would be excluded from part of Riot Games plans with many taking issue with the fact that the exclusion would be happening at a paid event. Follow-up posts from the Reddit community applauded the League followers who are “really coming down hard on rioters,” though many community members said the discussion was nothing to be proud of.

The posts attracted attention from Rioters who shared their takes on the PAX West plans and the community discussions. Riot Games systems designer Daniel Z. Klein attracted more controversy for his comments on the discussions where he addressed the “toxic landfill” that was the original Reddit post and used the term “manbabies” to describe part of the League community. Another Reddit thread with over 16,000 upvotes tracked Klein’s comments with many commenters highlighting one tweet where he told a Twitter user who responded to his tweets to “fuck off and sea lion somewhere else.”

Other Riot Games members such as color castor Indiana "Froskurinn" Black shared their insights into the situation with the conversations continuing throughout the weekend. The Riot Games Twitter account shared a tweet on Sunday that referenced the discussions while saying that Riot “expects Rioters to act with respect.”

Riot Games' full plans for PAX West can be seen here.

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