Immortals CEO Noah Whinston announced Wednesday the organization has hired Tomi “Lurppis” Kovanen as the general manager of its Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (CS:GO) division. Kovanen’s focus will be on business operations, content, and event formatting.
After retiring from professional Counter-Strike 1.6 play, Kovanen continued to work in esports as a caster, analyst, and writer, all while building a career in investment banking. Most recently, he worked as an Investment Banking Analyst at J.P. Morgan.
“Tomi occupies a really unique position in the industry in that he’s worked on pretty much every side of it, said Whinston of Kovanen. “He’s been a player. He’s been casting talent. He’s evaluated it from an investment perspective. He has a set of skills that in combination are really hard to find in the industry with both grassroots, endemic esports knowledge, but also professional experience from outside of esports.”
While Immortals does not currently field a CS:GO roster, the hiring of Kovanen shows signs of change on the horizon. As the team’s general manager, Kovanen will draw upon his varied skill set to ensure the franchise is set up for success long into the future.
“Adding Tomi signals that our plan of action in Counter-Strike is going to expand pretty far above and beyond just team operations,” Whinston continued. “Tomi’s not coming in to help us land a better team, or to take a team and make them ten-percent better and more competitive. He’s joining us to build out a piece of the Counter-Strike ecosystem that enables us to engage fans in ways that most teams just aren’t right now.”
As for Kovanen, he’s ready for the challenge.
”I look forward to starting the next chapter of my career at Immortals, where I will get an opportunity to combine my interests in business and esports,” said Kovanen. “Noah has put together a great team of people, and I am excited to see what we can accomplish together as we start working on the Counter-Strike franchise.”