Melany M. January 10, 2020
Riot Games Korea CEO Park Jun-kyu passed away on January 9 after battling with liver cancer for almost a year.
Riot Games Korea announced that its CEO passed away on January 9. Park Jun-kyu had been battling with liver cancer for the greater part of 2019 while working for Riot Games through one of the busiest years for the developer.
Park Jun-kyu joined Riot Games in 2014 from CJ E&M, where he worked in business development. CJ E&M is one of the leading entertainment companies in South Korea that has been involved in esports for years. The company owned CJ Entus, a team that competed in League of Legends, StarCraft, and many other titles.
On January 2019, Park Jun-kyu was appointed as CEO of Riot Games Korea. 2019 was one of the busiest years to date for the developer that announced its plans to release several titles. Park Jun-kyu was responsible for the LCK, one of the most competitive leagues in the world.
100 Thieves’ general manager and former LCK caster Christopher "PapaSmithy" Smith shared an emotional message on Reddit.
“I knew the Riot KR CEO as Jaysen and he was a super friendly, approachable guy who was very interested in working with the global casters to find ways to make the LCK broadcast better for the English fans. Had no idea about his medical struggle and thus today comes out of nowhere. Rest in Peace and my thoughts go out to his family and friends,” PapaSmithy said.
Other Riot employees shared messages on Reddit and highlighted Park Jun-kyu’s integrity as a leader for Riot Games Korea.
Park Jun-kyu refused to abandon his position even when his health was deteriorating. The final months of 2019 were particularly challenging for the Korean esports scene. During this time, the CEO had to deal with the Griffin scandal among other events.
Riot Games is yet to appoint a replacement for the late CEO.