The publisher behind the ubiquitous League of Legends esports phenomenon, Riot Games, has agreed to pay $100m in settlement of a US lawsuit alleging pay disparity, gender discrimination and sexual harassment.
The suit dates back to 2018, when the Kotaku gaming website published a story outlining a culture of sexism at Riot. The story claimed that the Los Angeles company passed women over for promotions and that male staff made unwanted sexual advances and questioned female staff about the legitimacy of their love for video games. Following publication, more former Riot employees came forward with similar claims.
The California Department of Fair Employment said the suit will remedy violations against more than 1,000 female employees and 1,300 female contract workers. Riot has also agreed to hire a third-party expert to conduct an equity analysis of its employment practices, granted pay transparency and created a $6m cash reserve to fund diversity, equity and inclusion programmes in each of the next three years.
League of Legends is the world’s most popular esport, enjoyed by 180m players each month. Riot Games operates all of its 12 professional international leagues.