John Needham has become the new global head of “League of Legends’” professional esports league, a communication from Riot Games revealed.
In his new role, Needham will take charge of organizing major LoL Esports events like The World Championship, Mid-Season Invitational, and the All-Star Event.
Needham, who joined Riot in 2017, has been working as the managing director of Europe and North America. He has supervised the rebranding of the League of Legends European Championship (LEC), which recently moved to a long-term partnership model with 10 teams.
“League of Legends” is one of the major esports league in the world. It comprises about 800 professional players representing over 100 teams in a number of leagues. It is hugely popular too. The estimated unique viewership of last year’s World Championship Finals is 99.6 million. During the regular season, the viewership averaged about 90 million hours week-over-week worldwide.
“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 honored 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.”