Riot announces their new head of LoL Esports!

League of Legends is one of the mots popular esports in the whole world – Riot Games has been dutifully supporting their flagship title for years… a decade, actually. Now, after several years, it’s apparently time for a change in leadership. The current co-heads of esports are stepping down and taking up other positions in favour of one John Needham.


© Riot Games

Jarred Kennedy and Whalen Rozelle have been overseeing record-breaking growth and expansion while LoL exploded to the popularity it has now. Riot Games CEO Nicolo Laurent spoke about the change in leadership: “Riot’s aspirations are growing, and we are moving three of our proven leaders to accomplish even bigger things, on games, and beyond games John’s global experience, track record with our regional esports leagues, and true passion for gaming will accelerate the evolution of League of Legends into one of the leading sports and entertainment properties in the world.

As for the previous co-heads: Whalen will be leading new esports initiatives across the organisation, while Jarred is going to lead a division focused on building and operating new businesses for Riot Games and the partnerships the company has already formed.

John Needham in the meantime has been with Riot for a few years and has experience as the Managing Director of Europe and North America, and as such he has rebranded and revitalized the European Championship which expanded only this year and added 10 teams!

After three incredibly successful World Championships under Whalen and Jarred though, it’s time for John to show his skills for future major world-wide events – with over 100 teams across multiple leagues, over 800 pro players, matches broadcast in 19 different languages and a hundred million unique viewers for some events, he certainly has his work cut out for him!