Riot Games have announced its decision to centralize its focus on hosting Wild Rift Esports League tournaments in Asia.
After a week of buzzing rumors regarding the game developer’s decision to pull back on hosting professional Wild Rift tournaments in the West and EMEA, Riot finally made it official by releasing a blog post detailing the upcoming changes to Wild Rift Esports.
The end for Wild Rift Esports in the West
After foraying into the mobile esport bubble with the release of Wild Rift, a handheld MOBA highly inspired by their popular title League of Legends, Riot Games have chosen to center its focus on hosting league tournaments in Asia. This decision comes after the lack of player enthusiasm and response in the West and other regions, as the mobile gaming market is more popular in South Asia.
This, however, doesn’t mean that Riot has completely abandoned Wild Rift Esports in the West and EMEA. The press release revealed that the game developer and publisher have ‘unlocked the opportunity for third-party tournament organizers to host tournaments in regions other than Asia.“As part of the new plan, outside of Asia, we will no longer directly operate Wild Rift esports leagues and instead unlock the opportunity for third parties to host events – so that we will have our priority and focus on the upcoming Wild Rift Asia League.” said John Needham, President of Esports at Riot Games.
“The new Wild Rift league in Asia will be the first Riot cross-regional professional mobile esports league and will replace the original Wild Rift Esports (WRE) in April of 2023. This new league ecosystem will consist of twelve teams from China’s WRL and eight teams from the other 2022 Asian regions.” detailed John Needham. The season will follow the format of two splits each year and “will focus on showcasing the best talent from the most competitive regions in our sport.”
“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. As the Wild Rift esports landscape evolves, we’ll be ready to move in lockstep.” said the President of Esports in the press release. It is still very likely for Riot to re-invest in NA and EMEA regions for professional tournaments, but not very shortly as they begin to prioritize the Asian market.
Fans can expect more information to be revealed about the upcoming Asian league in the first quarter of 2023. To read the official press release, Wild Rift fans can click here.
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