Two UK esports organisation founders have been recognised in a Forbes 30 Under 30 list focusing on rising stars in sports and gaming across Europe.
Kieran Holmes-Darby (pictured left), co-founder and chief gaming officer at Excel Esports, and Ilias ‘Rai’ Pajoheshfar, founder and CEO at Resolve Esports (right), were included in the list.
Ilias set up Resolve in 2015, which began as a Discord community providing esports community and has grown to a full org with a League of Legends team and academy side. Resolve went undefeated in the UKLC Spring 2021 Season.
Kieran set up Excel Esports in 2014 with his brother Joel and has seen the organisation go from an amateur team organisation to one of the biggest orgs in the UK, with a team in the League of Legends LEC, UK Fortnite player Wolfiez and a Valorant team that Excel recently brought on board.
There were a mix of other esports and UK-based talents featured in the 30 Under 30 list too.
Manchester United footballer Marcus Rashford MBE was included, who has been applauded during the pandemic for helping children from financially struggling families get access to free meals.
On the gaming side, Team Secret Dota 2 player Lasse Aukusti Urpalainen was included, as was Pontus Eskilsson, a VP at Twitch, Facebook sports media partnerships lead Anna Chanduvi, Square Enix product manager Karla Reyes, Ubisoft head of product management Aaron Morley, Daniel Stammler and Marina Ivanovic of Kalibri Games, among others.
Cloud9’s Perkz (no, not the teacher from Leicester) – the other one – was also featured.
Dom is an award-winning writer who graduated from Bournemouth University with a 2:1 degree in Multi-Media Journalism in 2007.
A keen League of Legends and World of Warcraft player, he has written for a range of publications including GamesTM, Nintendo Official Magazine, industry publication MCV as well as Riot Games and others. He worked as head of content for the British Esports Association up until February 2021, when he stepped back to work full-time on Esports News UK and as an esports consultant helping brands and businesses better understand the industry.