With attendees tuning in from all over the world tonight, Esports Insider had the pleasure of inducting three new members into the ESI Hall of Fame’s class of 2020, concluding day one of ESI Digital Winter (#ESIDIGITAL).
The ESI Hall of Fame, which this year is being presented by Singtel and GamingMalta, was created to give credit and recognition to individuals that have helped craft this industry into what it is today.
It is with great pride that we invite Naz Aletaha, Head of Global Partnerships and Business Development at Riot Games; Mike Sepso, former President & CEO of MLG, now Founder & CEO of Vindex; and former Counter-Strike pro Anna ‘Laejten’ Nordlander, now Chief Operating Officer, DreamHack at ESL Gaming GmbH to be inducted into the ESI Hall of Fame as our class of 2020.
The digital event was streamed in two parts, first honouring Aletaha, and concluding with Sepso and Nordlander’s induction. ESI Digital Winter programming was featured in between the announcements to suit the various time zones represented during the conference.
The class of 2020 joins 2019’s honourees Hector ‘H3CZ’ Rodriguez, CEO of OpTic Gaming, Heather ‘SapphiRe’ Garrozo, VP of Marketing for Dignitas and Marcus ‘djWHEAT’ Graham, Director of Creative Development at Twitch – who were inducted on the rooftop of Nixon Peabody LLP in Los Angeles.
The inaugural Esports Insider Hall of Fame was held at the London Museum of Natural History in 2018 with the likes of Michal ‘CARMAC’ Blicharz, VP Pro Gaming, ESL Gaming GmbH, Jason ‘1’ Lake, Founder & CEO, Complexity Gaming, and Chris Puckett, legendary host & caster, christening the ceremony.
Both previous ESI Hall of Fame events have taken place physically, with this year’s edition originally slated to be held during ESI New York in April. However, Esports Insider pivoted to digital events, bringing along the likes of The Clutch and The Hall of Fame online as well in order to still celebrate our inductees’ monumental achievement.
Without further ado, here is a brief introduction of each of our newest phenomenal inductees:
Naz Aletaha is the Head of Global Esports Partnerships and Business Development at Riot Games. She has played a monumental role in helping elevate league of Legends Esports into the entertainment and production value heights it is today. She was instrumental in fostering brand partnerships between League of Legends and the likes of Luis Vuitton, MasterCard, Spotify, and Mercedes-Benz, to name a few. It is because of her handiwork that events such as League of Legends World Championships operate and entertain in the capacity that they do today.
— LoL Esports (@lolesports) November 18, 2020
With her laser-sharp focus, astute business acumen, and reverence for the high-standards of esports entertainment – we are delighted to induct Naz Aletaha as the seventh member of the Esports Insider Hall of Fame and into its class of 2020.
Anna ‘Laejten’ Nordlander
Anna ‘Laejten’ Nordlander is currently the Chief Operating Officer of DreamHack, ESL Gaming GmbH. She got her start in esports back in 2002 DreamHack competing under the gamertag ‘aNNa’ with an all-female Counter-Strike clan ‘N00b Girls’ and returned in 2004 with the iconic ‘Les Seules’ all-girl Counter-Strike clan. In 2013, she joined Modern Times Group’s esports division and after the company acquired both DreamHack and ESL Gaming and quickly climbed the ranks, this September the two sister organisations joined and now a new adventure awaits Anna.
— Anna Nordlander (@Laejten) November 18, 2020
For her years of dedication to competitive gaming, groundbreaking event experiences, and culturally defining moments with the DreamHack brand and their affiliation within the world of esports – it is our pleasure to induct Anna ‘Laejten’ Nordlander as the 9th member of the Esports Insider Hall of Fame and into its class of 2020.
Mike Sepso was formerly co-founder, CEO and President of Major League Gaming (MLG) and since last year is the Founder & CEO of Vindex, an esports infrastructure platform. Helping bring to life the vision of what esports could develop into via league and broadcast operations, he helped bring together the team to realize the Overwatch and Call of Duty Leagues during his time at Activision-Blizzard. With a board seat on 100 Thieves, as well as partnerships with investment firms, Sterling VC and Andbox, Sepso has been deeply involved in esports development for almost 20 years.
Thank you @esportsinsider! A real honor to be inducted by @JasonBWLake and to join @Laejten in this year’s class. Happy to be joining a crew of exceptional people in the #ESIHOF https://t.co/Vn4iHqS5Ff
— Michael Sepso (@msepso) November 18, 2020
For his years of dedication, innovation and craft in bringing esports into the mainstream; developing the premiere franchised league and network model – his big picture outlook and visionary stance of what esports could, and can be – not to mention his many investments and developments within the space – we are delighted to induct Mike Sepso as the 8th member of the Esports Insider Hall of Fame and into its class of 2020.
Heartfelt congratulations are given to our three inductees for their career achievements and contributions in expanding, legitimising and elevating the esports industry by working behind the scenes by providing consumer-facing entertainment audiences have come to love.
The Esports Insider Hall of Fame is the first of two special events during ESI Digital winter, with the final 2020 edition of The Clutch Digital streaming live tomorrow, Thursday, November 19th.