in Gaming

CEO Andy ‘Reginald’ Dinh allegedly uses ‘culture of fear’ inside TSM workplace

Andy Dinh - Andy

Andy “Reginald” Dinh, founder and CEO of a professional esports organization Team SoloMid often abbreviated as TSM and Blitz, once again hit major news headlines over allegations of workplace abuse towards his staff and misclassifying employees as contractors.

As The Washington Post’s Mikhail Klimentov reports, Reginald allegedly employed a “culture of fear” after speaking to over a dozen of current and former employers, which many did under anonymity in fear of retaliation by the CEO.

Moreover, Twitch streamer and TSM former League of Legends player Yiliang “Doublelift” Peng also revealed Reginald’s mistreatment of the organization’s professional players after criticizing the team’s roster change and other “very questionable decisions.”

Reginald’s’ culture of fear’ allegations

Allegations of an abusive work environment have been decorating the walls of TSM since the organization’s inception in September 2009. Reginald co-founded TSM alongside his brother Dan Dinh and made a series of successes in the professional esports scene competing in various gaming divisions.

Almost a decade later, the 30-year-old co-founded a coaching and statistics tracking app, called Blitz alongside TSM employee Adil Virani.

According to The Post, weeks after a new HR executive joined TSM, employees found out that the individual has been fired over a disagreement with Reginald about the implementation of new recruitment practice. In a question and answers session during the company’s all-hands call, TSM employees found out the termination reason was that “he asked a question that Andy didn’t like.”

“I think he kind of realized how ridiculous it sounded, so he followed up by saying, ‘Well, he asked two questions that (I) didn’t like.’ No one wants to ask any questions after that,” a former TSM employee told the Post.

In addition, based on a number of interviews with employees at TSM and Blitz—professional athletes, programmers, sales, and more are vulnerable to the CEO’s yelling and outbursts behavior.

“Nobody wanted to be in a one-on-one meeting with Andy because you had no witnesses,” the former senior program manager at Blitz, Anthony Barnes said. “I mean that literally. Who knew if Andy was going to scream or yell at you, degrade you, be friendly, or just be confused or inquisitive? You weren’t sure what Andy you were going to get. But the more people on the call, the more likely Andy wasn’t going to be a complete volcano.”

Many in the esports industry are familiar with Reginald’s temperament and influence. Some workers at TMS and Blitz revealed to The Post they made a policy of not speaking in meetings to not spark the CEO’s anger.

While some even felt they were considered contractors instead of full-time employees as this term differentiates in both taxes and salary among other things.

Reginald’s response, acknowledges his bad delivery

TSM shared a statement in January that the organization has hired an independent investigator for a thorough internal investigation following allegations made against the founder. The results since then are still pending and the organization refrained to provide specific comments until they are finalized.

TSM in a statement shared to Wired in January this year revealed the CEO’s response, to which his workers had found funny and ridiculous.

“I have exceedingly high expectations for myself, and I share those same high expectations with everyone I work with,” reads the statement. “I have zero tolerance for underperformance. I am intense, passionate, driven and relentless in the pursuit of winning — it’s my nature. I set an extremely high bar, and when I feel that someone is not delivering, I directly and bluntly share that feedback.

Moreover, Reginald acknowledged his use of vocabulary in the past that was “too harsh and ineffective” and had to work on his delivery.