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RIOT Games – Head of Esports China

The company

RIOT Games was established in 2006 by entrepreneurial gamers who believe that player-focused game development can result into genre-defining games. Back in 2009, that vision gave birth to their debut title League of Legends, which achieved critical acclaim among players and became the most played PC game in the world.  Riot Games are honored to serve over 100 million players worldwide every month.

In 2008, Riot Games obtained initial funding of US$7 million provided by venture capital firms Benchmark Capital and FirstMark Capital. In a second round of funding in 2009, the company raised $8 million from Benchmark, FirstMark, and Chinese technology company Tencent Holdings. In early 2011, Tencent Holdings bought out a majority stake in Riot Games, and in 2015 fully acquired the company.

Post-acquisition, Riot Games began to build their fully-functional office based in Shanghai. The Hong Kong office, which was initially set up as their Greater China market base now operates as a game studio while the Shanghai office operates across Esport and Merchandise, and they are proactively exploring other opportunities.

Riot Games China office maintains a high level of independence on all their business initiatives, while Tencent supports Riot Games on specific areas such as government relations or when specific licenses are required. To support Riot Games’ growth and nurture the relationship with Chinese players, they need top-tier leaders to lead their esports team in China.

That’s where you come in.

The Role

As a leader in Riot Games’ China Esports Team, this person will be part of the leadership that shapes the future of the Esports industry. He or she might build a team, negotiate with partners, devise strategies, or run an esports league. The role may encompass league operations, player management, business development, marketing, branding, publishing, production, live services, e-commerce, and more, depending on their experience in management and strategic thinking capabilities.

As a Rioter in China, this person will join a team of internationally and culturally diverse professionals that share the company’s prioritization of player experience, rejection of convention and maniacal passion for gaming.

We are looking for a humble, ambitious, and broad-thinking leader who can teach us a thing or two. We promise to return the favor.


  • A team leader: you have 8+ years of experience in a professional environment; with your skill in relationship management, you set ambitious but attainable goals and inspire your team to challenge themselves to reach them; you celebrate successes with your team, but are the first to step up and own your part when things don’t go as planned
  • A detailed strategist: you employ a holistic approach to set ambitious, but attainable goals, and carefully balance short-term solutions with long-term vision; not even the finest detail escapes your notice, and you take every variable into account, including: project scope, scheduling, redundancy planning, risks, and mitigation
  • Multilingual: you’re comfortable conversing in English and Mandarin; you didn’t learn these languages in a cultural vacuum and can pick up nuances that could mean the difference between pleasing someone and pissing them off
  • A critical thinker: for you, easy equals boring, and you relish a challenge because you take creative problem-solving in your morning coffee; you use data and research to find the best solutions when metaphorical (and very rarely literal) fires need to be put out
  • Adaptable: you’re someone who can tackle on any problem with ease and a fast learner who can get up to speed quickly; you’re adaptable and can course-correct at light speed in our ever-changing business
  • Talent driven: you know how to support Rioters in their career development, you hold frequent development discussions, set stretch goals. Ultimately, you love to see your team members succeed and grow in their careers.
  • A networker: you actively build and cultivate contacts who add value to esports, and who are happy to help you source specific expertise. You effectively negotiate with vendors, partners, and sponsors.
  • A sports nut: you wear face paint on game day to support your team, and seek out every stat, factoid, and story about your favorite sport, whether it’s virtual or IRL.
  • Data-minded: your analytical mindset helps you translate raw data into exciting and meaningful information through reports, budgets, and estimates that support our marketing and publishing strategy.
  • A project manager: you know how to manage projects and how to take an idea and turn it into reality by utilizing the resources available to you; you’re detail oriented and can run operations of a business
  • Player-focused: your passion for gaming can be felt in most of your big life decisions, from which computer to buy to where you live (fiber-based internet or death); it’s this passion for play that drives you to forge deeply real connections with the League of Legends community


  • Build, grow, and run highly capable esports and events teams that deliver top-notch experiences to Chinese speaking pro- and hobby players, and their fans and viewers
  • Manage all levels of pro and semi-pro esports: overall strategy and design, large-scale online and offline events production and promotion, broadcasting setup and operation, sponsors and relationships, teams interface, cost management, and content coordination through various media
  • Work with different collaboration partners to shape a winning strategy to develop League of Legends esports into a popular form of entertainment
  • Develop an aspirational path and ecosystem for all Chinese players: from grassroots to the very top we want competitive players of all kinds to level up and someday become our champions and role models
  • Create and execute on strategies that compel players to make pilgrimages to Riot esports events that’ll leave them with positive, powerful experiences and memories
  • Foster our culture: it’s all about achieving the right goals to have a meaningful impact on the market, it’s not about a list of tasks to tick off
  • Create focus within your teams: guide them in the priority-setting process, eliminate blockers, and facilitate execution
  • Establish clear directions and maintain an open dialogue within your teams and with other disciplines at our Shanghai office and global offices
  • Define key performance indicators to set goals for and track the performance of our esports and events efforts and help your teams gain and maintain a data-informed perspective on their work
  • Inspire and support the career development of our esports Rioters
  • Provide support to other disciplines, such as publishing and content creation
  • Help us make League of Legends a sport that lasts for generations


SRi is the leading firm dedicated to the constant and growing demand for executive and management talent in sports, media and entertainment. Operating from offices in Australia, Canada, China, Germany, Japan, Singapore, Switzerland, the UK, and the USA, our expert advisers provide search and consulting services operating as a global team, combining deep sector knowledge with world-class and cutting edge talent acquisition and management practice. We are proud to be the exclusive partner in this search with Riot Games

For a confidential discussion about the role, please contact:

Ting Zhang, Partner, Head of China
M: +86 18911855141


Darran Lim, Consultant Greater China, Esports APAC
M: +65 9061 2122

Tagged as: Business, China, esports, Executive, Gaming, head, Leader, Management, riot games, Shanghai, Sports

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