G2 Esports has suspended its CEO and co-founder, Carlos "Ocelote" Rodriguez, after he came under fire for posting a video of himself partying with controversial figures Andrew and Tristan Tate.
The organisation announced the suspension on their official Twitter account on Monday (19 September).
“Last night, we failed you. The actions of our CEO spoke a language in stark contrast with the values, and the culture G2 lives by and strives for,” the statement read.
The statement goes on to mention creating a "safe and inclusive environment" in esports before announcing that, after "internal discussion", G2 CEO Ocelote will be taking an unpaid leave of two months.
On Sunday (18 September), Ocelote shared a video on Twitter showing him and others celebrating G2 qualifying for the League of Legends (LoL) 2022 World Championship with bottles of what appears to be champagne and sparklers.
Andrew Tate, a controversial British-American influencer, can be seen smoking a cigar and even popping champagne with members of the organisation.
yesterday we celebrated G2's world championship pic.twitter.com/cQQLlefb3J
— 😌 (@CarlosR) September 17, 2022
Andrew Tate, who describes himself as a self-help guru for “aspiring alpha males", has been banned from YouTube, Facebook, Tiktok, Instagram and Twitter for misogynistic posts and videos claiming women are property and that victims of rape bear some responsibility for being sexually assaulted.
Tate has also received accusations and is undergoing an investigation for alleged sex trafficking and domestic abuse. A couple of videos showing Tate beating up women in 2016 circulated earlier this year. On top of that, Romanian police raided his home as part of a human-trafficking investigation last April.
The video received immediate public backlash on Twitter from fans of the organisation and outside onlookers.
Hours after his initial post, Ocelote doubled down and defended his actions, saying that “nobody will ever be able to police my friendships” in a tweet.
nobody will ever be able to police my friendships
I draw my line here
I party with whoever the fuck I want
— 😌 (@CarlosR) September 17, 2022
The G2 CEO's tweet reaffirming his alleged friendship with the Tates exacerbated the situation even more, with Ocelote and the organisation at the receiving end of the ire of the public, mostly from members of the esports community.
Ashley Kang, co-founder of Korizon Esports and a LoL esports content creator, responded to Ocelote’s tweet, saying that people will be “disappointed by that person's choice of friendship” and “the initiative to double down on publicizing it.”
LoL European Championship (LEC) caster Aaron "Medic" Chamberlain also replied to Ocelote, saying that the post was “misguided at best” and also accused the G2 CEO of “engagement bait”, finishing it off by saying "party with who you want but expect people to judge you for it".
G2 streamer Jakub "Lothar" Szygulski was one of the few employees of the organisation that spoke out about the incident:
I am incredibly dissapointed with this entire tate situation.
I was very vocal about how I am against everything this huge asshole represents.
Fuck this guy, he should never have any platform.
— G2 LotharHS (@LotharHS) September 17, 2022
Maya "Caltys" Henckel, one of the female LoL players that recently signed with G2 Hel, G2’s all-female LoL roster, also released her own statement about the incident:
My statement to the recent events. pic.twitter.com/EbRsbXVs3H
— G2 Caltys (@Caltyss) September 18, 2022
Earlier this month, G2 Esports launched its first all-female LoL roster, G2 Hel, with Ocelote emphasising the organisation's commitment to "bring in top players based on skill, talent, and brand fit — regardless of gender or orientation".
Following his suspension, Ocelote issued a public apology on Twitter:
Many G2 fans were let down this weekend which created confusion about what I stand for.
It has always been my consistent target to stand for absolute equality of opportunity regardless of who you are or where you come from, which is what gaming is all about. (1/2)
— 😌 (@CarlosR) September 18, 2022
“I failed to read this room right, feel terrible about the discussions in created, and will stand up and accept the consequences in full,” he said in the follow-up tweet.
He also said in a pinned tweet regarding his suspension from G2 that the organisation is “above Carlos and always has been” and that he will “do anything to protect this company [G2] and my colleagues in it".
However, his actions continue to be contradictory following his apology statements. Ocelote liked a handful of tweets that contradicted the tone of his apology:
Changed his pinned tweet then puts 😂 as his bio. Continuing to try and showcase he isn't remorseful and has been forced into this pic.twitter.com/lb7jzX8FHL
— Excoundrel (@excoundrel) September 18, 2022
Ocelote's suspension will last until at least 13 November.
He won’t be involved with G2 Esports activities during the eight-week time frame, which also means that he will miss the 2022 League of Legends World Championship, which kicks off on 29 September and concludes on 5 November.
Anna is a freelance writer and photographer. She is a gamer who loves RPGs and platformers, and is a League of Legends geek. She's also a food enthusiast who loves a good cup of black coffee.