Riot Games has become famous around the world for its breakout esport and one of the most widely played games of all time, League of Legends. For CEO Brandon “Ryze” Beck and President Marc “Tryndamere” Merrill, the 11-year transition from scrappy independent developer to international gaming giant has undoubtedly been a dream come true. However, after more than a decade spent building and managing a business around a single game, the two are ready to go back to their original passion: actual game design.
Yesterday, Beck and Merrill released a statement on the Riot Games blog, announcing that they would be stepping down from their leadership roles. Thankful for the success of League, they admitted that the rapid growth of the company had kept them from more creative endeavors.
“This growth has lots of benefits: our capabilities improved, our reach broadened, and we could deliver League of Legends and esports to more players than ever before. But this growth also meant that the majority of our time is allocated to ‘managing’ the company rather than focusing on creating incredible experiences for players, which is what we really love to do.”
Oversight of Riot Games will pass to President Nocolo Laurent, CFO Dylan Jadeja, and CTO Scott Gelb. The direction and infrastructure of League esports are unlikely to change, as this new team has been with the company long enough to be “integral to shaping our company’s vision, strategy, and culture over the last decade,” according to the announcement. Consider this good news for the tens of millions of Riot fans throughout the world.
With such a large audience, Beck and Merrill’s next project figures to be one of the most talked about topics in gaming over the next couple of years. Whether it’s an esport or something akin to their recent community projects, the duo is ready to “finally put the ‘s’ in Riot Games.”