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Sports

More to come for Wild Rift in Philippines despite changes in esports scene

Michelle Lojo - Philstar.com
More to come for Wild Rift in Philippines despite changes in esports scene

MANILA, Philippines – Riot Games announced this week that its League of Legends Wild Rift (Wild Rift) esports scene will be seeking another downgrade, as it drops the APAC region from the Wild Rift League (WRL).

"For the past year, we’ve focused on Wild Rift esports in APAC and China through the WRL, while other regions have focused on third-party competitions. While we’ve seen some incredible competition in the WRL, we’ve also seen that our grassroots and community-focused events in a number of regions have been very successful. We’ve decided to expand that approach to APAC," said Riot Games in a statement released last April 15.

Last year, the esports scene of Wild Rift had already taken a step back by only focusing on Asia, allowing third-party organizations to host events in other parts of the world moving forward. 

They added, "Our goal has always been to ensure Wild Rift players can participate in competition and foster a robust sense of community and belonging. We believe that pivoting to the model that relies on grassroots and community-led competition is the most sustainable and enabling path for APAC moving forward, giving players time and the space to grow and establish what role high-level competition will play in their community."

Many fans, particularly Filipino fans, took to social media to air out their frustrations on the move, particularly since Filipino Wild Rift teams have reached the finals of WRL the past year, showing that the talent pool isn't just within China, where the WRL will now be focused on starting 2024.

But for the Philippines, Wild Rift still has much to offer.

"We are committed to ensuring that the competitive scene in Wild Rift continues to be vibrant and exciting for our players in the Philippines. We want to unlock new opportunities and empower competitions at the grassroots level. This means looking at communities and content creators as key strategic pillars for the Philippines," said Kimi Salazar, Riot Games Philippines' MOBA (Multiplayer Online Battle Arena) brand manager.

For 2024, Wild Rift has confirmed different events in the pipeline: the Wild Rounds: Glam Slam, an influencer tournament with some of the biggest mobile MOBA game content creators in the country happening in May; different community tournaments from around July to September, and the fourth anniversary of the game plus the release of the second season of Arcane toward the end of the year.

For the competitive scene, the Philippines will have a nationwide open tournament called Wild Rounds: Philippines set around the third quarter of the year.

"Wild Rounds: Pilipinas [is] a nationwide open tournament for all aspiring pro players to compete for gold and glory. Our vision is to cultivate a robust competitive ecosystem in collaboration with the community, nurturing a new wave of teams and players poised to propel Wild Rift Philippines to greater heights," added Salazar.

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