Riot Games Names John Needham New Global Head Of LoL Esports
Riot Games has promoted Europe/North America Managing Dir JOHN NEEDHAM to Global Head of League of Legends Esports, while the previous co-Heads -- JARRED KENNEDY and WHALEN ROZELLE -- will remain with the company in "new leadership roles," according to Andrew Hayward of the ESPORTS OBSERVER. Needham has been with Riot Games since '17, "overseeing both the LoL European Championship (LEC) and LoL Championship Series (LCS)." He has previously served as a Partner and GM of Microsoft’s U.S. game studios, as well as head of its Lionhead studio. Needham will "oversee Riot Games’ international efforts and work to accelerate the spread of regional leagues." Meanwhile, Kennedy and Rozelle will "focus on other initiatives for the company." Kennedy will "head a new division centered on building and operating new businesses for the company, and also oversee Riot Games’ strategic partnerships," while Rozelle will "lead the company’s charge for new esports efforts" (ESPORTSOBSERVER.com, 6/5). The HOLLYWOOD REPORTER's Patrick Shanley notes under Kennedy and Rozelle's leadership, Riot's esports division has "expanded to 13 separate leagues across the globe, including the LCS in North America, the LEC in Europe and also leagues in Korea and China" (HOLLYWOODREPORTER.com, 6/5).
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