Riot promotes John Needham to global head of League of Legends esports

Riot promotes John Needham to global head of League of Legends esports

Developer and publisher Riot Games has promoted its European and North American managing director John Needham to head up its League of Legends esports business around the world.

Needham will be heading up development on pro-gaming events such as The World Championship, Mid-Season Invitational and All-Star Event.

He joined Riot Games two years ago in June 2017 as managing director for Riot's European business, being promoted to head up both Europe and North America in November 2018. Prior to that, Needham held roles at Sony Online Entertainment, Gazillion Entertainment and various jobs in Microsoft games business.

“We are currently in the middle of our ninth season with League of Legends esports, and when we look at the timelines under which traditional sports have evolved, over many decades if not centuries, we’re extremely bullish on what we’re creating,” said Needham.

“At Riot Games, we believe that we’re well ahead of the curve and that esports are still only in their infancy. 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. We’re honoured to be considered leaders in the esports space and believe it’s part of our responsibility to help shepherd it forward by investing in the right ideas, events, and structure to help this sport reach its full potential.”

PCGamesInsider Contributing Editor

Alex Calvin is a freelance journalist who writes about the business of games. He started out at UK trade paper MCV in 2013 and left as deputy editor over three years later. In June 2017, he joined Steel Media as the editor for new site In October 2019 he left this full-time position at the company but still contributes to the site on a daily basis. He has also written for, VGC, Games London, The Observer/Guardian and Esquire UK.


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