It’s still only in beta, and isn’t even out in some regions yet, but Riot Games has already announced that it will be supporting a competitive esports scene for League of Legends: Wild Rift.
Clearly not wasting any time in jumping onto the mobile esports train that gathered a lot of momentum in 2020, Riot has committed to kickstart a competitive scene for Wild Rift. Speaking during the Season 11 livestream, Riot’s global head of esports, John Needham says: “While it’s still incredibly early, we are all very excited to bring our passion and dedication for esports to mobile.” Riot confirms Wild Rift esports will kick off in March, but will be contained solely in Southeast Asia for the time being. Global plans are in the works, however.
With ten years of experience running the competitive scene for League of Legends on PC, and recent experience in launching a new esports title with Valorant, it’s safe to say Wild Rift is in good hands in the esports department.
However, with Needham’s emphasis on mobile, it sounds as if console players of the game (when it is eventually released on those platforms) will not be as big a part of the competitive Wild Rift scene as their mobile counterparts.
This is understandable, with mobile games like Free Fire and PUBG Mobile exploding in popularity over the last 12 months and establishing themselves as some of the most watched esports in the world.
As well as Wild Rift, more commitment and support to develop esports scenes for Legends of Runeterra and Teamfight Tactics was promised by Riot.
It also revealed that this year’s League of Legends Worlds will take place in China for a second year in a row, taking on the multi-city format it had to ditch in 2020 due to the pandemic.