In 2023, Wild Rift Esports will only be active in Asia.
Riot Games has revealed on their website that they would only be concentrating on the Asia area for Wild Rift Esports and that they will stop operating in the other countries of the world in 2023. Riot has chosen to concentrate just on one particular area owing to its most active mobile esports market after the first season of Wild Rift Esports, which is also Riot’s first mobile esports game.
Riot Games to stop all Wild Rift Esports operations outside Asia
By making this choice, Riot will launch the new Wild Rift league in Asia in April 2023, taking the place of Wild Rift Esports (WRE). Twelve Wild Rift League China clubs and eight teams from the other 2022 Asian circuit will participate in the newly proposed league structure. The Riot-hosted Wild Rift league in Asia will be the first ever cross-regional mobile esports league, and the season will consist of two splits, much as the Wild Rift’s Fall and Summer split in 2021.
— Wild Rift Esports (@WildRiftEsports) November 21, 2022
Outside of Asia, Riot will no longer run Wild Rift esports leagues. For various third-party events in these areas, they will team up with third-party organizers. “We think these adjustments will allow the community time and runway to grow organically and determine what role high-level competition will play in their ecosystem,” John Needham, Riot Games’ president of esports, said in the news statement. We’ll be prepared to follow along as the Wild Rift esports scene develops.
Following the results and statistics from the first year of Wild Rift Esports in Asia and the rest of the world, a decision is made. The Wild Rift Icons were primarily dominated by Asian players, particularly Chinese teams, who played in an all-Chinese final in front of the spectators. Unexpectedly, no teams from outside of Asia were able to advance to the tournament playoffs. Other data indicate that during the just finished Wild Rift Esports season, viewership across the various areas was significantly lower than in the Asian region.
Western Wild Rift fans are extremely disappointed with Riot’s decision
The western Wild Rift community voiced their profound dissatisfaction with Riot’s choice following its announcement. Many have opposed Riot’s choice and advised them to successfully build up their community in these areas rather than discarding them.
Many organizations have already begun revealing their lineups in response to the news that Riot is shifting its attention from Wild Rift Esports to other areas. This revelation stunned many people because no one had any clue of Riot’s impending statement.
I realize these news are disappointing. When we set to build Wild Rift as a sport we went all in, and I hope big moments like Icons made you proud. But we have to be realistic, look at each market individually and do things when the time is right. Some regions need more time. 1/2 https://t.co/8tGTz8dZlh
— Leo Faria (@lhfaria) November 21, 2022
Leo Faria, who served as Wild Rift’s previous global head of esports, tweeted about the situation, saying, “I appreciate these news are disheartening. We put everything into creating Wild Rift as a sport, and I hope monumental achievements like Icons made you proud. However, we must be practical, consider each market separately, and act only when the moment is appropriate. Some areas require additional time.