Riot Games & PUBG veterans raise $3.2 million in seed funding to launch new studio Hidden Leaf Games

LOS ANGELES, May 12, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — Industry vets from Riot Games, PUBG and other studios have raised $3.2mm in seed…

LOS ANGELES, May 12, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — Industry vets from Riot Games, PUBG and other studios have raised $3.2mm in seed funding to launch new studio Hidden Leaf Games. The Hidden Leaf design team is led by legendary game designer Steve ‘Guinsoo’ Feak, whose custom Warcraft III map DotA: All Stars birthed the MOBA genre and inspired smash hits League of Legends, DOTA 2, and more. Global venture capital firm, Lightspeed Venture Partners, which has backed companies including Snap, Affirm, Epic Games and more, is leading the round, with strategic investors Vermillion Ventures, Logan Margulies (early Riot Games leader), Eden Chen (CEO – Pragma) and Alex Paley (VP of Product – Scopely) joining the round.

«From our first meeting with David and Bao, we knew they were special founders. They challenged convention, moved fast, and created a truly fun game in just months of development. It also takes pretty special founders to convince Steve Feak to come out of retirement and join as head of design,» said Amy Wu, Partner at Lightspeed.

Hidden Leaf’s studio mission is to create core PvP games that focus on competitive mastery, core progression and social play. This mission stems directly from the shared gaming experiences of studio founders Bao Lam (President) and David Li (CEO).

«Our friendship really developed because of competitive gaming and the definitive social experiences that came with it. Our friend circle followed the big competitive gaming trends, from MOBAs to Battle Royales, and that kept us connected even if we were physically far apart. Those hundreds of hours spent online competing together on voice chat defined our friendship «

Bao and David saw a game market rich with opportunities to brawl against anonymous opponents, but oftentimes the grind of competitive play and myopic focus on the solo competitive experience left their group divided.

«We wanted a game we could enjoy with a diverse group – average core gamers, esports pros, and occasional pop-in players – for thousands of hours. But it’s tough to find games with that mix of depth, ease of access, and replayability without someone feeling left out or bored. That’s why we made FANGS.»

With that goal in mind the founding team started building their dream game, spending nights, weekends and their own resources to get to a playable proof of concept. And that concept and vision got the attention of one of the biggest names in game design – Steve ‘Guinsoo’ Feak.  Guinsoo’s work on League of Legends and DOTA helped establish those global gaming powerhouses, and he and the Hidden Leaf team are hoping to bring a fresh experience to fans of the genre.


Hidden Leaf’s in-development game FANGS is a 3v3 Action MOBA at its core, but developed from the ground up by a team with thousands of collective hours invested into traditional MOBA’s. The fundamental MOBA elements of deeply strategic Real Time gameplay, a diverse roster of compelling characters, and session based rounds in a set arena will still form the game’s foundation, but Hidden Leaf intends to tackle some of the genres biggest pain points, bring in innovations from other core genres, and most importantly, focus on the fun. For FANGS updates, playtests and news, join their mailing list at

Not-so-Hidden Leaf

In spite of the ongoing global pandemic, the Hidden Leaf team is ramping up at an impressive pace. At the time of publication, they’ve formed a truly global team of 32 fully remote developers based across the US, UK, Brazil, Argentina, Slovenia, India and Spain, with alumni from Riot Games, PUBG, Super Evil Megacorp, Zynga, and more in their ranks. And the leadership group is growing too, with the addition of Chad Wavell-Jimenez as VP of Marketing & Publishing and the opening up of multiple key roles, including Art Director, Engineering Director, Senior Community Manager, and COO. For the full list of open roles, visit

About Hidden Leaf Games

Hidden Leaf Games is an indie game development studio founded with the mission of delivering a world-class experience that focuses on competition, progression and social play. We believe games are meant to be played together, regardless of skill level or platform. At our core, we’re players who deeply value the social and community interactions that competitive moments  have to offer. We believe that competitive games create lasting moments and are committed to recreating that experience for others to enjoy.

About Lightspeed Venture Partners

Lightspeed Venture Partners is a multi-stage venture capital firm focused on accelerating disruptive innovations and trends in the Enterprise, Consumer, and Health sectors. Over the past two decades, the Lightspeed team has backed hundreds of entrepreneurs and helped build more than 400+ companies globally, including Snap, Affirm, Nutanix, AppDynamics, MuleSoft, OYO, Guardant, and GrubHub. Lightspeed and its affiliates currently manage $10.5B across the global Lightspeed platform, with investment professionals and advisors in Silicon Valley, Israel, India, China, Southeast Asia, and Europe.

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SOURCE Hidden Leaf Games