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Sports

How Filipino gamers have conquered Wild Rift

Michelle Lojo - Philstar.com
How Filipino gamers have conquered Wild Rift
Filipino gamers have certainly left a mark in the wild Rift ecosystem, with many teams already showcasing how Filipinos are ready to take on the challenge of conquering the rift, both in- and off-game.
Riot Games

MANILA, Philippines – League of Legends: Wild Rift (Wild Rift) has been under the spotlight for most of the first half of 2022 with its first esports season, as well as its inclusion in the recently concluded Southeast Asian Games.

Though fairly new in the mobile esports scene, Wild Rift is slowly solidifying a loyal fanbase like its sister game League of Legends.

Filipino gamers have certainly left a mark in the wild Rift ecosystem, with many teams already showcasing how Filipinos are ready to take on the challenge of conquering the rift, both in- and off-game.

First women champions

The Philippines made Wild Rift history when its national esports team, Sibol, ruled the first ever women's category in the Southeast Asian Games’ Wild Rift esports event.

But the team didn't just make headlines because of their historic win. The fun and joy the all-female squad showed throughout the broadcast drew praises from fans and even from Riot executives.

Leo Faria, Global Head of Esports for Wild Rift, told Philippine media during the Wild Rift Icons Global Championship (Icons) media day that he had been fortunate to witness the games firsthand.

"We don’t usually have national teams playing Wild Rift. They are usually representing their team or their organization. It was really cool seeing the teams representing their country and walking on stage with their flags and singing their national anthems," said Faria.

But what made the entire experience memorable was witnessing a women's tournament for the first time.

"The [women's] Philippine team was so dominant. You could see how great they were. We had Angelailaila (Angel Lozada) walking on stage with a cartwheel. I play Olaf, she played Olaf three times in the final matches and she crushed it. It was really cool seeing them all playing." added Faria.

RRQ Philippines captures hearts with their beatboxing

RRQ Philippines, the lone Filipino representative in the Wild Rift Global Championships (Icons) held in Singapore, quickly captured the attention of fans with their cool and fun personalities.

"The whole world fell in love with RRQ, myself included. Those guys are so awesome, their personalities really shone through the broadcast," said Faria.

RRQ Philippines certainly added good vibes throughout the tournament, especially when they broke out into an impromptu beatbox performance during their match against Japan's Sengoku Gaming during the Group Stages.

They had easily taken Game One of the best-of-three series, and while waiting for Game Two's drafting phase to begin, Sean Miranda "Helios" Palisoc started the impromptu performance with teammates Keith “DevilJ” Gonzales and Charles “Chaazz” Esguerra singing the words to Michael V.'s "My Humps" Parody, "Anghang". Soon enough, Marc "Marky" Ilagan joined in the fun by drumming along on the table.

The team was back to business when the drafting phase began, but the moment certainly cemented itself in Wild Rift esports lore as one of the funniest moments in a Wild Rift tournament.

Filipino representation in broadcast

Besides featuring a lone Philippine team, Icons also had two Filipinos in its English broadcast.

Mika "Mikafabs" Fabella, a Wild Rift analyst, served as the one of the hosts and interviewers of the English broadcast, while Rikki "Riku" Quiapon was one of the analysts.

“Filipinos produced two great talents in Riku and Mika…or Miku and Rika. Thank you Rafa for confusing all of us. But I think it’s truly awesome that they are part of the global scene. They are both amazing and make any broadcast better," said Faria.

Looking ahead, Faria believes that Filipino talent both in- and off-game can only grow more.

He adds, "There’s a lot more we could do from having more [Philippine] representation on the broadcast, more teams, potentially one day, bringing a global event to the Philippines. I hope [Filipinos are] proud because you’re doing really well [in Wild Rift]."

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