Today Engage for Good awarded League of Legends players the Golden Halo Award in Consumer Donation/Crowdfunding for their overwhelming support of local nonprofit organizations through our Dark Star Cho’Gath campaign. In total players raised over $6.1 million for 21 different nonprofits around the world thanks to our partnership with GlobalGiving.
It’s the highest honor for corporate social initiatives in North America and, because of League players, Riot Games has the honor of standing alongside previous winners like Microsoft, Google, and Disney. It’s a humbling experience to see how players around the world rallied together to give back to their communities.
It Started with a Wish
Dark Star Cho’Gath wouldn’t have been made a reality—or even a concept—without Bryan, a League player who visited Riot in 2017 through The Make-A-Wish Foundation. His wish was “to meet the creators of Riot Games and create a skin with them!”
A Cho’Gath one trick, Bryan’s wish was to help design a skin for his favorite champion. After spending a day at Riot HQ in Los Angeles, Bryan not only acted out what he wanted for the skin’s unique back animation, but performed the clarinet on Cho’Gath’s theme song.
At the end of our work with Bryan, we knew the end result was too good to keep to ourselves, so we made the skin available to players for a limited time and donated all proceeds from its purchase to over 20 nonprofits around the world, with each organization receiving a minimum of $10,000 (USD).
A History of Charity
League players have a long history of doing social good. In 2010 players who purchased the Urf Warwick skin on April Fool’s Day donated to the Save the Manatees Club. The next year, after Japan’s devastating earthquake, they raised more than $162,000 for the Red Cross. In 2012 their purchase of the Jaximus skin went to the Make-A-Wish Foundation in honor of Joe, a League player who visited us earlier that year.
Their social good wasn’t focused purely in North America. Players in Oceania teamed up in 2015 to donate proceeds from Cosmic Reaver Kassadin to local charities. In 2017 the global League community raised over $2 million for BasicNeeds, Learning Equality, and the Raspberry Pi Foundation through the purchase of Championship Ashe. Just last year Dutch players who donated blood with Sanquin (the official blood supplier of the Netherlands) received the Blood Moon Thresh skin.
League players, and gamers as a whole, can do incredible things, and we’re so happy to give them the chance to do just that.
Every time we work with players to donate to charitable organizations we learn something new and try our best to improve upon our previous efforts. The Dark Star Cho’Gath campaign was the first time players could give back to charities in their own area, and it certainly won’t be the last.
Jeffrey "Kushnood" Burrell
Jeffrey "Kushnood" Burrell is the Head of Corporate Responsibility ("Karma") at Riot. He previously was at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Apple, and worked with Microfinance Institutions in Tanzania. A man of many talents, he can optimize his farm harvests in Stardew Valley while letting his own house plants perish. Jeffrey received an MBA from Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University and an MPA from Harvard Kennedy School.