As Head of Esports for North America, Chris Hopper oversees the operation of the League of Legends Championship Series (LCS), the premiere league for the world’s most popular esport in the United States and Canada. Under his leadership the LCS incorporated a franchise model, creating long-term partnerships with esports stalwarts such as TSM, Cloud9, and Team Liquid as well as traditional sports teams such as the Golden State Warriors, the Cleveland Cavaliers, and Houston Rockets. During his tenure, the LCS attracted sponsors like Dell Alienware, State Farm, Secretlab, & Jersey Mike’s and saw the average starting salary for players rise above $320,000. Additionally, Chris works alongside the College League of Legends team to advise on its development in North America which currently sees the participation of 300 colleges & universities.
“It’s been an incredible journey over these last six years as Riot has developed League of Legends into a global sport. I’m excited to continue to build on the groundbreaking progress we’ve made in esports history - the NA LCS was one of the first leagues to require contracts and offer a guaranteed minimum salary, and is also one of the first to franchise teams and offer significant revenue-sharing for pro players,” said Chris Hopper. “I’ve spent years building this league from the ground up, and am energized by the tremendous responsibility I feel to continue the successes we’ve achieved,” he added.
Prior to his position as the Head of Esports for North America, Chris Hopper worked on the central Riot Games esports team that first launched League of Legends as an international esports around the world. During this period, the League of Legends esports ecosystem grew to 14 regional leagues, over 113 professional teams, 860 full time players and sold out multiple iconic arenas, including New York’s Madison Square Garden, the Los Angeles’ Staples Center and the Beijing National Stadium (also known as the Bird’s Nest).