G2 CEO Carlos Rodriguez Suspended After Partying With Andrew Tate
G2 CEO Carlos Rodriguez has got himself into hot water for the silliest of reasons this week and will now be serving an internal suspension for eight weeks. Rodriguez had posted a video of himself with highly controversial internet figure Andrew Tate, for which he unsurprisingly got a lot of heat.
The CEO’s response
Rodriquez retaliated by tweeting:
“Nobody will ever be able to police my friendships” and “I party with whoever the f*ck I want.”
Double down on the outrage caused several notable League of Legends personalities to slap back at Ocelote for his comment. LEC caster Aaron “Medic” Chamberlain was one of the most notable.
Andrew Tate has garnered a lot of publicity in the last couple of months but it’s hard to pinpoint what exactly led to the infamy. A former kickboxer, Tate first got in the news for all the wrong reasons as a guest on the Big Brother reality television show. He made a bunch of homophobic and racist statements as a contestant and had to be removed after a clip emerged of him beating a female contestant.
This was followed by creating a website that promotes misogyny, acquainting himself with figures from the far right and ultimately being handed bans on most of the major social media platforms for promoting hate speech.
Rodriguez getting suspended
G2 were quick to let Carlos Rodriguez know that he’ll have suffer the consequences of his actions and handed him a suspension without pay for eight weeks. Rodriguez went on to apologize for his behavior by providing this statement on his twitter account:
“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. I failed to read this room right, feel terrible about the discussions it created and will stand up and accept the consequences in full.”
It’s hard to make out if Rodriguez is a friend, acquaintance, has a transactional relationship with Tate or a cult follower but the damage is already done. G2 will hold onto most of the support that they have but some fans will be highly disappointed to learn that Rodriguez shares a cordial relationship with Tate in some capacity.
Both the esports industry and esports teams could really do without these sorts of associations. It has taken a long time for the esports industry to find a footing in the mainstream and news of the like could sully all the hard work that’s led to this point. Sponsors might not want to associate themselves with the team, which happens to be one of the biggest brands.
Valorant franchising spot at stake
The repercussions of a simple decision to attend a party may have been bigger then Ocelote anticipated. G2 Esports as an organization applied for Valorant VCT franchising in both Europe and North America. Only days after the incident, Riot Games announced the full list of 30 franchised teams across all regions, and mysteriously G2 was not among the teams selected. Granted, neither was OpTic Gaming or FPX, both of whom had exceptional seasons.
Carlos partying may not be the sole reason G2 Esports did not get franchised, but it may have caused a last minute decision reversal. Unless Riot Games explicitly states it was the case, we will chalk this out to G2 not being as attractive.
We have to remember, esports, like influencer culture, exists largely in the digital space. It doesn’t take long for long-time doubters of the industry to conflate the two. The esports industry has already faced a lot of criticism for not being inclusive enough for women. G2 launched a brand new League of Legends female team just last week, while their Gozen Valorant team is atop the world right now. When all the attention around G2 should’ve headed in that direction, this has taken up all the headlines instead.
G2 and their fans will be hoping that Carlos Rodriguez learns the errors of his ways and comes out of this suspension with a new perspective.