August Dean Ayala, former Hearthstone game director, has announced his new job. After more than 11 years at Blizzard, he joined the League of Legends team.

Ayala shared the news on Twitter, saying that he will serve as the design director for Riot Games’ League of Legends.

“Looking forward to working with a new team and immersing myself into the League community,” he wrote.

Ayala stepped down as the game director for Hearthstone last week. He thanked players and his colleagues, saying that it was an honor “to have played even a small part in its creation.”

What was August Dean Ayala’s role at Blizzard?

  • Alya joined the studio in June 2021 as a QA analyst. He worked on several World of Warcraft expansions and Diablo III, later moving to the Hearthstone team.
  • He once said it took him “lots of work and 4 rejections” to finally get a job at Blizzard, so he urged other people pursuing careers in game development to not give up.
  • In 2014, Alya became a game designer for Hearthstone, working on card expansions and implementing new features. He later led the design team before being promoted to game director in February 2022.
  • The promotion happened after Ben Lee stepped down as game director for Hearthstone to work on a new unannounced project at Blizzard.
  • As game director, Alya led 38 game designers, being responsible for Hearthstone’s roadmaps. He was also involved in the game’s live service support and development of unannounced projects based on this IP.

Ayala is not the only Blizzard dev to join Riot Games

  • World of Warcraft lead systems designer Greg Street left the studio in 2013 and got a job at the League of Legends team. He currently serves as vice president and executive producer for Riot’s upcoming MMO title.
  • Michael Scipione, who worked on StarCraft II and WarCraft III: Reforged, left Blizzard in 2020 and later joined Riot Games. According to his LinkedIn page, he is now working as a senior technical designer on the Teamfight Tactics team.
  • Last year, Riot Games hired Jonathan Zweig as chief commercial officer, who is now leading the studio’s global business development. He previously worked as vice president for global corporate alliances at Activision Blizzard.
  • The offices of the two companies are located close to each other, so it is no surprise that Blizzard employees regularly find new jobs at Riot Games.