May 16, 2022

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Are people who control the game

Each month, ESI compiles the period’s most significant esports movers and shakers. February’s round-up features...

Each month, ESI compiles the period’s most significant esports movers and shakers. February’s round-up features personnel changes from the likes of Newzoo, TSM, Evil Geniuses and Riot Games, among others.

Image credit: ESI

Here are the key esports movers and shakers from February 2022. To read more about a story below, click the link in the corresponding title.


Spotlighted story 

Esports journalists make their own roster moves

This article first appeared in The Esports Journal Edition 10

As 2022 dawned, numerous prominent esports journalists and editors left their publications to either work for someone else, work on their own projects, or leave the space completely. Former contributors of The Esports Journal HB Duran and Adam Fitch joined the likes of James Fudge, George Geddes, and Jacob Wolf to discuss esports journalism. 


Michelle Van der Wilk-Rouhof named Newzoo CEO

Wilk-Rouhof Newzoo CEO
Image credit: Newzoo

Peter Warman, Co-Founder and former CEO of esports analytics firm Newzoo, has announced he’s handing over company leadership to Commercial Director Michelle Van der Wilk-Rouhof.

On LinkedIn, Warman revealed that Wilk-Rouhof will lead Newzoo’s operations, business and expansion going forward as the firm’s new CEO.


Jackie Felling appointed as new LCS Commissioner

Image credit: Tina Jo / Riot Games via ESPAT

Jackie Felling, the former Director of Product for the Call of Duty League, has been appointed as the new LCS Commissioner.

Felling will be tasked with steering the LCS according to Riot Games’ corporate vision. Moreover, she will also take on the position of Head of North American League of Legends in addition to the Commissioner role.


TSM bolsters sales and research operations with Matthew Boyd and Chris Insolera appointments

TSM Blitz
Image credit: TSM

North American esports organisation TSM has announced the addition of Matthew Boyd as its new Head of Research and Insights and Chris Insolera as Vice President of Sales

According to the release, Boyd and Insolera’s roles at TSM will include driving the growth of TSM’s existing commercial roster and helping guide the organisation’s strategic long-term initiatives.


LDN UTD names Connor Ball as Co-owner

Connor-Ball-x-LDN-UTD
Image credit: LDN UTD

London-based esports organisation LDN UTD has announced The Vamps bass guitarist Connor Ball as its new Co-owner.

According to a release, Ball has ‘personally invested’ in the organisation and will become a member of its strategic advisory board.


GameSquare appoints Lauren Baines as Head of European Sales

Lauren Baines GameSquare
Image credit (ESI Illustation): Lauren Baines/ GameSquare Esports

GameSquare Esports, the parent company of Complexity Gaming and Code Red Esports, has appointed Lauren Baines as its new Head of European Sales.

In her new role, Baines will oversee the company’s revenue and sales process. 


Swift Media Entertainment bolsters operations with personnel appointments

tsm ftx icon blitz
(ESI Illustration) Image credit: Swift Media Entertainment

Swift Media Entertainment, the parent company of TSM FTX, esports coaching app Blitz and ICON Agency, has announced multiple appointments. 

Woo Kim, formerly of native advertising company Nativo, will serve as Swift’s CFO. In addition, Michelle Suzuki has been appointed as the company’s VP of People Operations.


Michael Brancato departs Twitch to join Chess.com as VP of Esports

chess.com appoints VP of esports
(ESI Illustration) Image credit: Chess.com

Michael Brancato, formerly of streaming platform Twitch, has joined Chess.com as its Vice President of Esports

Prior to joining the online chess platform, Brancato spent over five years at Twitch where he held roles such as Senior Esports Product Manager and League Operations Lead. Under the alias Nintendude, Brancato was also a former competitive Super Smash Bros player.


EXCEL Co-Founder Kieran Holmes-Darby joins Formula E

(ESI Illustration) Image credit: Formula E

EXCEL Esports Co-founder Kieran Holmes-Darby has been appointed as Formula E’s Gaming Director. 

As part of his role, Holmes-Darby will oversee upcoming gamified experiences for Formula E and will help grow the electric motorsport’s gaming products. 


Evil Geniuses appoints Leonard Edwards as VP and Head of Global Partnerships

(ESI Illustration) Image credit: Evil Geniuses

Former New York Islanders executive Leonard Edwards has been appointed Vice President and Head of Global Partnerships for North American esports organisation Evil Geniuses. 

Edwards will oversee Evil Geniuses’ sales initiatives, new partnerships, sponsorships and commercial sales. As Vice President, he will also work on the company’s general strategy.

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