What Happened to Wild Rift Esports?
Rumors were circulating that Riot would be ending esports competitions for Wild Rift in the West. League of Legends: Wild Rift is the mobile version of Riot’s League of Legends. Even more, just like the PC version, it has different esports titles.
The game also had an opportunity to jump into the pro gaming scene. Despite receiving major support from the community, Riot games made a decision that would change the whole spectrum.
WILD RIFT ESPORTS WILL ONLY BE FOCUSING ON ASIA
Except for Asia, the company is ending its Wild Rift Esports activities. The decision was made, according to the release, to concentrate on “where mobile esports and gaming are flourishing.”
Riot introduced a new Wild Rift League in Asia in 2022. It also included eight teams from other Asian regions and 12 teams from the WRL in China. The peak of its Esports in 2023 and possibly even beyond will be this league.
Outside of Asia, Riot Games will no longer directly operate Wild Rift Esports leagues. But, third-party organizers will still be able to hold Wild Rift esports events, according to the statement.
“We believe these changes will give the community time and runway to grow organically and establish what role high-level competition will play in their ecosystem”
Sparking Community Anger
The League and Wild Rift community showed their displeasure about the announcement. Esports organizations were even more utterly disappointed as organizations announced their departure. This also included early investors for the game’s ecosystem: Unicorns of Love and TSM.
Many fans showcased their hatred on social media, creating memes towards Leo Faria, the former global head of Wild Rift esports. Fans also didn’t hold back with their words as they showed dismay about the news.
“You guys have effectively killed any momentum you had to gain more eyes in the west. Instead of pushing your top stars in NA, EU, and LATAM, you’re relying on “big numbers” from Asia? Nice guys, I hope mobile legends bang bang continues to beat you in court”– _NerfMyDoritos
A more wordy response came from Caster Imperium. He was on the air during the Wild Rift Global Championship Icons. He referred to the announcement as a “joke” and said that it was produced with “messed up logic.”
What is Riot’s Response to Wild Rift Esports?
According to Riot, this new model will give the community time and runway to expand organically. This will also allow the community to determine what role high-level competition plays in the ecosystem.
Due to Riot’s decision, its competitors will have an advantage. Games like Honor of Kings and Mobile Legends: Bang Bang (MLBB) fill the vacancy. Even more, independent organizers like ESL Gaming, Esportsmaker, or W1N League can now fill available positions.
In my opinion, Riot may have seen something in Asia that made their keen senses useful. This also means that they chose what they think is fitting. The west showcased its skills and dedication since Asia led the rankings in the active number of players/users.
RIOT forced all other tournaments to shut down and focus on Asia. However, they did leave a message concerning coming back:
“As the Wild Rift esports landscape evolves, we’ll be ready to move in lockstep,”
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