G2 Esports CEO and cofounder, Carlos ‘ocelote’ Rodriguez, was recently caught partying with notorious internet misogynist and general piece of shit, Andrew Tate. The news provoked a huge backlash on social media, and naturally the former League of Legends pro decided to tweet through it. “Nobody will ever be able to police my friendships,” he wrote. “I party with whoever the fuck I want.” Less than 24 hours later, Rodriguez announced he’s going on two months’ unpaid leave.
How exactly did people discover Rodriguez had been popping champagne with Tate, a subject in an ongoing investigation by Romanian authorities into human trafficking who was also recently deplatformed from Facebook, TikTok, Twitch, and YouTube for hate speech? Well, because Rodriguez posted a video of himself and a bunch of others, including Tate and his brother, Tristan Tate, passing around champagne and sparklers after G2’s recent second-place finish at the summer European League of Legends championship.
Rodriguez was immediately called out by various corners of the internet for palling around with an asshole, while parts of the esports world came to his defense.
Instead of backing down, the CEO addressed the situation later that day in a tweet that implied he and Andrew Tate were friends. “Nobody will ever be able to police my friendships, I draw my line here,” it read. “I party with whoever the fuck I want.”
The following morning he un-drew that line, apologizing to G2 Esports’ fans and supporters for “failing to read the room.”
“Many G2 fans were let down this weekend which created confusion about what I stand for,” the head of the organization wrote. He went on:
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. Make no mistake, my life was full of learnings and I had my fair share of situations I got into in the past. I failed to read this room right, feel terrible about the discussions it created and will stand up and accept the consequences in full.
G2 Esports put out its own separate statement announcing that its supervisory board and Rodriguez had agreed the CEO should take an eight-week unpaid leave of absence. “Last night we failed you,” the organization wrote, claiming Rodriguez’s actions were in stark contrast with the hard work it has done to make esports a safe and inclusive space.
Notably, however, neither Rodriguez nor G2 denounced Tate even as the organization just recently announced its first all-women League of Legends team. The “King of Toxic Masculinity,” Tate has routinely gloated about abusing women and treating them like property, and encouraged his male fans to do the same. Esports has a long and checkered history with racism, sexism, and all sorts of vile attitudes and behaviors, and this incident is the most high profile example in a while of why the space is still so unwelcoming to so many.
Despite removing G2 Esports from his Twitter bio, replacing his handle with a “relieved” emoji, and making his avatar a baby phoenix in the process of being reborn, Rodriguez still doesn’t seem to have an issue with any of that. Or perhaps he’s just afraid of appearing to completely capitulate in the face of those G2 supporters who also don’t have a problem with misogyny. I wonder what League of Legends new president, Lil Nas X, thinks.
Rodriguez and G2 Esports did not immediately respond to a request for comment.