Hunter Leigh Named Head of Esports
Industry Veteran Will Oversee All Warriors’ Esports Activities
OAKLAND, Calif. – GSW esports LLC has named Hunter Leigh as its head of esports, it was announced today. In this role, Leigh will oversee all esports activities related to the Golden State Warriors, including Golden Guardians, its North American League of Legends Championship Series (NA LCS) affiliate team, and the Warriors’ team in the NBA 2K League. Leigh will report directly to Kirk Lacob, vice president of GSW Sports Ventures and assistant general manager of the Golden State Warriors.
Leigh, an esports industry veteran, previously served as head of esports operations for Yahoo Esports, where he helped create rivalry events for University League of Legends (uLoL) and Super Smash Bros. He also worked at Riot Games, the developer and publisher of League of Legends, as the NA LCS product lead, where he helped transition the league to a best-of-three schedule, improved player contract protections and helped pave the way for the partnership system. Leigh’s résumé also includes a stint as product and operations manager for ongamers.com, CBS Interactive’s esports site.
“The Warriors are such a well-respected sports franchise and organization, and I am fortunate that they selected me to help steward their entrance into esports,” said Leigh. “I’m eager to hit the ground running as it relates to player acquisitions and building competitive teams for both League of Legends and the NBA 2K League. The Warriors have a proven model for championship success, and I am looking to bring their player development and analytical approach to the esports space.”
Golden Guardians is one of 10 affiliate teams competing in the NA LCS, with play beginning in January 2018. The Golden State Warriors will also participate in the inaugural season of the NBA 2K League, which is the first esports league operated by a U.S. professional sports league. The NBA 2K League will begin with player tryouts in early 2018 and a draft in March before tipping off the season in May.