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Riot Games has named John Needham as its new global head of League of Legends esports. Former co-heads Jarred Kennedy and Whalen Rozelle will move on to other positions in the company. Rozelle has been a co-head for over seven years, while Kennedy is leaving the position after six years.
Needham has been an employee of Riot since 2017 as the managing director of Europe and North America. Many League fans have seen his work with the newly rebranded League of Legends European Championship, which had an amazing launch with some great fan feedback.
He also helped with the franchising of the European league, which saw long-term partnerships with 10 esports organizations and introduced multiple new sponsors to the LEC like Kia, Logitech, Red Bull, Beko, DXRacer, and Foot Locker.
“We believe that we’re well ahead of the curve and that esports are still only in their infancy,” Needham said in a release. “With player experience guiding us as it does all of Riot, we are building a global, sustainable ecosystem for players, teams, partners, and fans alike.”
If his work with the LEC is anything to go by, the future of LoL Esports is in good hands. He will now be focusing on the development of this year’s next big events—The 2019 World Championship in Europe and the 2019 All-Star Event.