Celebrating Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month: Riot Games showcases AAPI employees

  • 05.01.2023
  • DE&I

May is Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) Heritage Month in the United States, and Riot Games has been celebrating the diversity of the AAPI community and its contributions to the video game industry all month long.

On May 11, Riot Games formally announced their incoming CEO, A. Dylan Jadeja. Jadeja, who has previously served as the Chief Financial Officer, Chief Operating Officer and President of Riot, was born in India and raised in Canada. He will be taking the reins over the next several months as he succeeds Nicolo Laurent as CEO.

Also on May 11, Riot hosted a virtual panel, AAPI Heritage Month: Representation in the Games Industry, featuring senior leaders from Riot, ABK, Ubisoft and Xbox. Panelists discussed not only their personal experiences within the industry and the progress they have seen, but also where the industry still has room to grow – including increasing the numbers of AAPI individuals within the gaming industry in higher leadership roles, in specific disciplines, and improving the representation of ethnic subgroups.

Throughout the month, Riot Games has released a series of social media posts featuring AAPI employees, many of whom are members of its Asian Pacific Islanders at Riot and/or Filipinos at Riot Inclusion Groups. These Inclusion Groups are designed to allow employees the opportunity to share their unique perspectives, both within game design and the broader Riot culture.

Featured employees included Gameplay Engineer Ian Torres, who discussed what he appreciates most about Filipino culture and Senior Outsourcing Manager, Shiew Yeu Loh, who shared how, when she came from Malaysia to attend college in the Midwest, she was inspired by action star Michelle Yeoh. Loh says:

“I had to go to a foreign land on my own to pursue my dream. Many times, like Michelle mentioned in her interviews, it was a lonely journey and struggle. Who would have thought I would have survived almost 20 years in the gaming industry? But with Michelle going 40 years strong in her career, I guess I still have a long journey ahead. “

UX Designer Alina Aquino added:

“With our recent launch of Neon in Valorant, that was definitely one of the biggest moments for me here at Riot, where I felt like – wow, a Filipino female character in game, she has lines in Tagalog – that to me was super exciting. It made me feel so proud and just finally seen.”

As of 2021, the U.S. Census reports 24 million Asians or Asian-Americans and 1.7 million Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islanders are living in the United States. The AAPI ethnic group is the most rapidly growing in the US and is expected to reach more than 40 million individuals by 2060.

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