TSM employees detail culture of fear

According to a report by the Washington Post, TSM, one of the largest sports organizations in North America, created a toxic work culture and may have even broken employment laws in the state of California.

TSM culture created by CEO Andy Dinh

In recent months, TSM have been embroiled in controversy. With long-time members of their staff leaving and claims that a coach worked as a player-agent, the accusations made regarding TSM founder and CEO, Andy “Reginald” Dinh, are far from new. In fact, according to a piece by WIRED in January, Reginald was under investigation by Riot Games for allegedly bullying team employees.

In a quote to WIRED, Reginald stated he sets high expectations for himself and his employees, and that he will bluntly share feedback if expectations are not being met. The report by the Washington Post details similar behavior, according to the anonymous employees.

The article shared stories of people scared to step into meetings alone with the TSM CEO, stating that the more employees were around, the less likely that Reginald would be a “complete volcano.” A former TSM employee described having to read Reginald’s mind in order to do a project the way that he wanted it to be done, leaving employees frustrated.

Beyond that, The Washington Post article delved into TSM blurring the lines between a full-time employee and a contracted worker. California has strict laws about when an employee can be labeled as a contractor, and the story alleges that many employees did not meet these requirements. Based on the experiences of those employees, Brandon Huffman, a founding attorney at Odin Law and Media, said he “wouldn’t be surprised” if the state found handling employees as independent contractors as a misclassification.

Not only did TSM misclassify some employees, but some were lured into working beyond the scope of their role by chance at a full time opportunity. On at least one occasion, an employee who was told they needed to live in California to get a full-time job was let go soon after moving to California.

Employees at both of Reginald’s companies, Blitz and TSM, described a high turnover rate and an unwilling staff to speak up for fear of the consequences from Reginald.

“I can’t recall any instances where I really felt any sense of compassion or genuine interest in the well-being of the employees there,” said an employee quoted in the article.

Reginald has since responded to the article on TSM’s Reddit page, offering additional context to some of the stories written in the article despite declining to be interviewed by The Washington Post.

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