Former League of Legends developer Aaron "Riot Sanjuro" Rutledge has parted company with Riot Games in the wake of an unfortunate outburst on the official League of Legends Discord server in which he predicted that streamer Tyler1 will "die from a coke overdose or testicular cancer."
Tyler1, as noted by Eurogamer, is a notoriously toxic streamer who was handed an indefinite ban from LoL in 2016 because of "verbal abuse, intentional feeding, as well as account sharing/purchasing, evasion of sportsmanship systems, and player harassment." He now claims he's reformed, but Rutledge apparently isn't buying it.
The trouble began in what looks like a reply to a request to reinstate Tyler1. "Free tyler one to make 100k+ a year on being a dick in a game he didn't make," Rutledge wrote. Things really went off the rails, though, when he appeared to suggest that his bad experiences with the streamer were behind him.
"He looks like a damn humunculous [sic] ... honestly.. it's fine he'll die from a coke overdose or testicular cancer from all the steroids.. then we'll be gucci," he continued. "u know how much bullshit he's caused me? personally? i've spent many many hours of my work day dealing with his bullshit. if games had terrorists..."
"I mean I get it.. i get the comedy of his streams and his 'brand'. but its at the expense of a LOT of other innocent people and that's not cool."
Rutledge also claimed that Tyler1 has had more than 20 accounts permabanned, and his comments were met with a not-inconsiderable degree of sympathy: "They ain't wrong about Tyler1, I'd be sick of dealing with his shit too," one player wrote on the Riot forums. Despite that, it's obviously not the sort of thing you can say as a representative of your company and just walk away from. Images of the comments quickly made the rounds—the whole conversation can be seen on Imgur—and Rutledge apologized on the LoL subreddit.
"Reddit, League Players, Tyler - I displayed a gross error in judgement last night and whole-heartedly apologize for my comments," he wrote. "They were out of line, and not what any of you deserve to hear, especially from a Rioter. I’ll be taking time away from Reddit, discord and in game chat to reflect on how I communicate with players. Sorry again for the insults and the language."
Riot, as you'd expect, issued a statement of its own: "To be very clear here: what was said is NOT okay, and we take it extremely seriously. I’d like to apologize on behalf of Riot to both Tyler1 and the community for this. We will be taking action internally to address this (although it would not be appropriate to go into specifics here)."
The ultimate outcome appears to be that Rutledge is no longer with Riot. It's not known whether the split was his decision or Riot's, but he said on Twitter earlier this week that he was no longer with the studio (the account has since been deleted, but @RLewisReports captured an image) and his LinkedIn account indicates that his Riot employment ended this month.
As for Tyler1, the subject of his ire, he said on Twitter that "it really sucks that some people still hold a massive grudge vs old T1 and refuse to acknowledge I've changed." But he added, presumably without irony, that he has no hard feelings.