Kroenke Sports & Entertainment makes esports hires

Kroenke Sports & Entertainment has hired ESPN Senior Editor Ryan Garfat and former YouTube & Riot Games employee Alex Rubens, as reported by ESPN.

The hires will lead operations for the company’s esports properties, Overwatch League’s Los Angeles Gladiators and Call of Duty League’s Los Angeles Guerrillas.

Kroenke Sports & Entertainment
Photo credit: Overwatch League

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Garfat and Rubens are the first hires for Kroenke Sports & Entertainment’s esports efforts.

Josh Kroenke, Vice Chairman of Kroenke Sports & Entertainment, who made the hires, spoke to ESPN: “[Alex and Ryan] both have a wide variety of experience across the esports world. Not just the esports world, but the gaming community in general. They both bring different types of experience to the table both on the business side and team operation side just because of their exposure and their experiences.

“We’re very ambitious now with the Hollywood Park project, to say the least. We took on a lot there and when we started to think through the performance venue, way back to our initial Gladiators investment, we thought it was a great way, an additional way to bring a completely different demographic than we would attract with the Rams. We’re really excited to push the possibilities. Los Angeles is the hotbed of the gaming community and we’re really excited.”

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Earlier in July, the group was aiming to acquire Echo Fox’s slot in the LCS, but the proposal was dismissed. The slot was later sold to Evil Geniuses following Echo Fox’s official removal by Riot Games.

Esports Insider says: Kroenke Sports & Entertainment has a busy schedule for 2020, with home and away matches for both of its franchises getting underway. These two complementary hires will likely help the company as it starts to solidify its upcoming plans in the industry.