August Dean Ayala will be the new design director for League of Legends after leaving Blizzard on September 16. Ayala was previously the Game Director of Hearthstone and worked at Blizzard for 11 years.He announced the job change by Twitter. (opens in new tab)
In just over a week, I’ll be starting @riotgames as Design Director for @LeagueOfLegends. Looking forward to working with the new team and immersing yourself in the League of Legends community. Hype! pic.twitter.com/1tOHKSZyoASeptember 24, 2022
While Hearthstone’s game director position is prestigious, Ayala’s leave (opens in new tab) Not particularly high-profile: He only held the job for three months, from June (opens in new tab) Another position within Blizzard following the departure of former game director Ben Lee.
Ayala started QA at Blizzard and joined Hearthstone after finishing No. 1 in North America in his competitive play. He was previously responsible for extensive internal playtesting and has been the design lead for Hearthstone since 2016.
As design director for League of Legends, Ayala will have senior members of the testing, game design and narrative teams reporting to him, among other things. A quick glance at his Twitter shows that while League of Legends and Hearthstone are very different things, Ayala’s interests span a very wide range of games.
Both Blizzard and Riot have changed over the past few years, with numerous high-profile departures from both companies. League of Legends has had two design directors over the years at Riot.Blizzard’s Hearthstone team has been fairly stable and relatively immune to scandals at the top of the company’s leadership, but has remained affected in the public eye since the departure of a founding team member in 2018 (opens in new tab)followed by a wider scandal surrounding a Hong Kong player. (opens in new tab)