A popular writer for Riot-owned website LoL Esports was suspended last week following an argument with Team Dignitas owner Michael “ODEE” O’Dell on Dec. 23. Tyler "Fionn" Erzberger, well-known for his colorful tweets, was informed that his services would no longer be required for at least five months, and was suspended to the end of the Spring Split. That suspension was later changed to a month, pending a review, a Riot spokesperson told the Daily Dot.
The argument on the surface seemed a fairly innocuous exchange. O’Dell had posted that he had “just signed the largest contract” he had ever signed, prompting a joking response from the writer: “pleasure to do business with you.” From there, the Team Dignitas owner asked who Erzberger was and this was followed with a comment surrounding the payment Team Dignitas staff writers are given.It seems that the joke was particularly ill-advised. The writer temporary deleted his entire Twitter account pending an investigation into the exchange, according to . When Riot noticed, it requested the writer temporary delete his entire Twitter account pending an investigation into the exchange. . O’Dell himself never suggested this was necessary. When the writer’s account was reinstated, however, the offending tweet was removed and the writer issued an apology.
He added: “Today I learned the harsh reality of eSports. Guess it's time to write the best possible articles wherever I can” suggesting he may be looking for employment elsewhere.From Riot’s perspective, the timing could not have been any worse. Sources within Riot informed the Daily Dot that the company held meetings with team owners the previous week to discuss ways about how they can work together to create content that will rival that produced by external sources. “Coming so soon after that meeting” the source told us “they didn’t want to jeopardize the agreement of cooperation and effectively fired Fionn.”
The decision isn’t necessarily the end of the road for Erzberger. Another source has stated that he may be brought back into the fold if he “can keep his nose clean” and avoid any further incidents on Twitter.
Update 12/30 3:20pm CT: A Riot spokesperson says the company never requested Erzberger delete his Twitter account, adding that "it's not something we would ever advise." This article has also been updated to include additional information about the timeframe for Erzberger's suspension.
Illustration by Max Fleishman