Nicole LaPointe Jameson steps down as CEO of Evil Geniuses

01 September 2023

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(ESI Illustration) Image credit: Evil Geniuses

Nicole LaPointe Jameson, the CEO of North American esports organisation Evil Geniuses, has announced that she will be stepping down from her role after four and a half years.

Jameson — who oversaw both successes and controversies during her reign — will be succeeded by Chris DeAppolonio, Evil Geniuses’ current Chief Innovation Officer.

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Jameson said her final day as CEO was ‘coming up’ in September, but did not specify the date. She did not share any details about her next move.

Jameson first joined EG in May 2019 after working in several positions in business intelligence and analytics as well as investments. Notably, Jameson worked for PEAK6 Investments, the investment firm that acquired Evil Geniuses in 2019, after which she took on the position of the company’s CEO. Outside Evil Geniuses, Jameson also held various board member and advisory positions.

Jameson announced her departure from EG in a lengthy LinkedIn post days after the organisation won one a major VALORANT tropy. Jameson noted that it ‘feels fitting’ to announce her departure now, and expressed gratitude and appreciation for the company and its staff.

“All I can feel is immense appreciation for the opportunity to shake up the esports and gaming world alongside an incredible group of innovators, disruptors, athletes, and creators,” Jameson wrote.

Evil Geniuses has had very public ups and downs during her time as CEO of Evil Geniuses. The organisation had a strong run at the 2022 MSI in League of Legends and qualified for the 2022 Worlds, and just recently won VALORANT Champions 2023. Jameson — the first Black woman to head a major esports organisation — cultivated a stated emphasis on diversity while CEO of Evil Geniuses.

However, the organisation has also been mired by scandal in recent years. In March, Dexerto reported that Evil Geniuses had failed to care for a star player with mental health issues, which prompted an investigation by Riot Games. In an interview with Digiday yesterday discussing her departure as CEO, Jameson said she would not apologise for the situation.

A further four-part series of reports by independent journalist Richard Lewis further examined alleged issues at the organisation, including reported poor and inexperienced management, a lawsuit from an ex-player alleging fraud and deceit, and insight into the organisation’s botched December 2019 rebrand.

Current Chief Innovation Officer Chris DeAppolonio will become the company’s CEO next month when Jameson officially steps down. DeAppolonio has been a member of EG since August 2020, and has extensive esports industry experience, including VP of partnerships for Infinite Esports & Entertainment (OpTic Gaming, Houston Outlaws), and President at the Outlaws.

Chris DeAppolonio, the soon-to-be CEO of Evil Geniuses, said in his own LinkedIn post: “It’s an honour to take up the banner for EG. We will continue what we’ve all been focused on here at EG — making gaming and esports an accessible and inclusive place while continuing to develop champions and lift trophies.

“I have led other esports organizations but I’ve never had the caliber of people, the support of great partners, and the renewed focus we have right now at EG and look forward to charting the future for Evil Geniuses.”

Ivan Šimić
Ivan comes from Croatia, loves weird simulator games, and is terrible at playing anything else. Spent 5 years writing about tech and esports in Croatia, and is now doing it here.