MTG pro Aaron Barich joins Legends of Runeterra balance team

Hiring professional tabletop and digital card players is a good sign of what’s to come.

Legends of Runeterra Eager Apprentice
Image via Riot Games Legends of Runeterra

Riot Games is expanding its Legends of Runeterra balance team with competitive tabletop and digital card players, adding Aaron “Runeclaw” Barich to the ranks last night.

Barich went full-time as a Magic: The Gathering pro two years ago, grinding the SCG circuit with numerous accolades, streaming, and competing at Mythic Championship V this past year. But now, she’ll join former Magic pro and LoR lead Steve Rubin at Riot as a QA Playtest Analyst.  

“Today I completed my first steps towards a goal I have wanted for years,” Barich said. “In a few months, I will be moving to Los Angeles to work at a position at Riot Games as a member of the Legends of Runeterra balance team. I’m scared and nervous at the thought of leaving most of my life behind, but more than those I’m excited about this opportunity and what it means for my future.”

Over the past two years, Barich has won three SCG tournaments in the Standard and Modern formats. She also had a total of nine top-eight finishes. Barich competed against the best Magic players in the world at Mythic Championship V and is qualified for the upcoming Players Tour Series 2 in May. She plans to continue competing in Magic while working with the LoR balance team. 

LoR is a free-to-play digital card game that’s in open beta right now. An official launch is scheduled for sometime in 2020 along with a mobile release. The digital card game contains a unique blend of gameplay and mechanics, mashing together popular concepts from Hearthstone and Magic in combination with League of Legends lore and champions.

Adding an experienced card game pro like Barich to the balance team is a positive sign of what’s in store for the future of LoR

Update 2/29/2020 at 1:30pm CT: Riot Aleco clarified that “balance team” is not a position but is instead composed of several “disciplinary efforts” including designers and playtesters. Barich’s official job title at Riot will be QA Playtest Analyst.