As Head of North American Esports, Chris Hopper oversees the operation of the North American League of Legends Championship Series (NA LCS). Under his leadership the NA LCS incorporated a franchise model, combining endemic operators such as Team SoloMid, Cloud9, and Team Liquid with traditional sports teams such as the Golden State Warriors, the Cleveland Cavaliers, and Houston Rockets into a single property. During his tenure, the NA LCS attracted sponsors such as State Farm & Jersey Mike’s and saw the average starting salary for players rise above $320,000. Additionally, Chris works alongside the College League of Legends team to advise on its development in North America which currently sees the participation of 300 colleges & universities.
“It’s been an incredible journey over these last six years as Riot has developed League of Legends into a global sport. I’m excited to continue to build on the groundbreaking progress we’ve made in esports history - the NA LCS was one of the first leagues to require contracts and offer a guaranteed minimum salary, and is also one of the first to franchise teams and offer significant revenue-sharing for pro players,” said Chris Hopper. “I’ve spent years building this league from the ground up, and am energized by the tremendous responsibility I feel to continue the successes we’ve achieved,” he added.
Prior to his position as the Head of NA LCS Chris Hopper worked on Riot Games Central Esports Team that sought to professionalize esports around the world. During this period, the League of Legends esports ecosystem grew to 14 regional leagues, over 113 professional teams, 860 full time players and sold out multiple iconic arenas, including New York’s Madison Square Garden, the Los Angeles’ Staples Center and the Beijing National Stadium (also known as the Bird’s Nest).
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