Riot game director Joe Ziegler leaves VALORANT team


VALORANT game director Joe Ziegler is moving on from the role after spending eight years working on the game, Riot announced today. Ziegler has been with Riot since 2010 and was a part of the team that created VALORANT “from the ground up.” 

Ziegler said he won’t be “far” from the game and the team that will continue to work on VALORANT. But he’ll start to work on “something new,” possibly one of the next Riot Forge games teased during November’s Nintendo Showcase or he could move on to the dev’s much-anticipated MMO. 

Ziegler has been the game director for VALORANT since the launch of the first-person shooter’s closed beta. But he’s been so much more than that for Riot’s FPS. In an interview with Polygon from March 2020, he’s credited as one of the first people to even theorize VALORANT when he was “just chatting” with other game designers about “what other kinds of games” Riot could make.

VALORANT has expanded and exploded worldwide since then, with its esports side reaching more than 1 million viewers during VCT Challengers in December, according to EsportsCharts. “Esports is something we should build together with players, devs, and organizations in constant discussion, iterating on its future,” Ziegler said in April 2020. “This is what we believe.”

Andy Ho, a senior director who’s worked in the game direction department with Riot since 2017, will take over Ziegler’s position as VALORANT’s game director. “Andy is someone who I am proud to say has put many years of his own into VALORANT,” Ziegler said. ”He has my full faith and trust that he will continue to grow and evolve VALORANT year-over-year to become even better than what I could imagine it to be.”