League of Legends: Wild Rift Esports?

League of Legends: Wild Rift has just released in the west for Open Beta and the game’s reception has never been better. As the game continues to rise and make a name for itself in the mobile gaming community, a lot of questions surrounding the game’s future are being asked. One of those questions asks the possibility of League of Legends: Wild Rift esports and how Riot Games wants to approach this kind of event. Will LoL: Wild Rift Esports be a thing in the future or will Riot just keep it as it is?

Camille, Malphite, Zed,Ahri, Braum in Wild Rift Teaser
Do you want to see a Wild Rift esports scene?

League of Legends: Wild Rift’s Successful Release

League of Legends: Wild Rift has been available for open beta in Southeast Asia and Brazil for a while now but it has recently opened up in all the other Riot Games affiliated countries too. The release in these countries was nothing short of amazing as it received a lot of positive comments which mostly about how the game remained truthful to the PC version in terms of content and functionality. The game’s launch turned out to be amazing, but like a lot of other titles, had a bit of its share of problems too.

WILD RIFT x FAKER & TEDDY | Google Play | League of Legends Wild Rift
Korean LoL Pros in a Wild Rift Advertisement

The game has been very hyped up in the past months surrounding its potential release, and if we’ve learned anything about games with a fanbase that has too much expectations of it, there’s a high chance it’ll flunk. Luckily, Riot Games was able to show their expertise as a game developer and deliver a working and satisfactory product within the projected time of release. This led to more players wanting to join in on the fun and try the game out for themselves too.

Is it Possible To Have A LoL: Wild Rift Esports Scene?

The Esports scene in itself is diverse. Esports tournaments aren’t only restricted to PC games, console and mobile games also have their own esports events despite them being less prominent than their counterparts. Regardless of popularity, an esports event can only be possible if the game has enough interest to attract viewers to watch the said event and make it profitable for the game developer to do so. In this case, LoL: Wild Rift already has a bright future ahead of it since it qualifies for those criteria.

The question of whether a Wild Rift Esports tournament is possible already has an obvious answer, especially since the game developer is Riot Games. The better question is how the structure of the LoL: Wild Rift Esports scene will work and how will the company create it in order to make it relevant for a large audience on a long-term basis. After all, it’s easy to get sick of watching something over and over again.

Mobile Game Esports Structures

Unlike traditional PC esports events, the structure of a mobile esports event is much smaller in terms of scale. However, there is a lot of other mobile game esports around the world where the events are almost comparable to that of PC. Let’s take a look at some mobile games that have been able to hold successful events surrounding their game. Here are some of the mobile esports that Wilf Rift can try to take notes from:

1. Arena of Valor (Garena)

Garena is a company that handles League of Legends in Southeast Asia. In recent years, they’ve started developing their own line of mobile games and two of those mobiles games had a huge breakthrough among Asian fans. Arena of Valor is a MOBA game, much like League of Legends, and is available on Android, iOS, and on the Nintendo Switch. The game is extremely popular in the East and because of this, they are able to hold huge esports events.

Garena's Arena of Valor Mobile Game MOBA Banner
Asia’s Top Mobile Esport

The game is similar to traditional 5v5 MOBA tournaments but instead of using computers, the players will be holding their mobile phones. The games are also fully commentated by knowledgeable analysts and play-by-play casters that make the game as exciting as it could be. Most of the bigger teams that participate are fully sponsored by huge brands and are owned by large esports companies.

2. Free Fire (Garena)

Free Fire is another Garena-developed mobile game from the FPS genre. The game is Battle Royale, similar to PUBG and Fortnite, and is held by inviting multiple teams at the same event until only 1 team or player stands on top of the competition. Since Garena has already made a big name for itself in the gaming community, it was easy for players to get into the hype after its announcement (a similar situation to Wild Rift). Garena used this to their advantage and used the existing fans to advertise their plans for an esport.

Garena's Free Fire, a battle royale on mobile
The most popular battle royale game on mobile!

The game uses an invitational format where teams from different countries are invited to play on the grand finals. Since it’s the biggest tournament, it garners a lot of hype and fans from all over the world want to see their representatives take home all the glory for them to share. Something like that makes it difficult not to watch a game, even if you’re not a fan of the team, you want to watch your reps prove that you have the best players out there.

3. Mobile Legends: Bang Bang

The highly controversial Mobile Legends: Bang Bang mobile game has always been accused of being a cheap knockoff of League of Legends. Now that Wild Rift has made an appearance on the mobile platform, loyalists are wondering if it will finally be enough to kick MLBB out of the scene. Today, the game has a huge playerbase, specifically in the Philippines where most of its players are based. Southeast Asia is making a name as the hotspot for mobile games which is why Riot Games chose them for the beta.

Mobile Legends: Bang Bang, another mobile game esport
Is it time for Riot Games to put them in their place?

The strategic choice of where you want your first tournaments to be held on to catch the interest of other regions is quintessential in establishing an esports scene. Riot Games headquarters are based in the US, but it might be questionable to start the first Wild Rift esports there when the playerbase is a bit on the small side. On the other hand, it might be the best place since other regions are already dominated by existing MOBA mobile games like Arena of Valor and Mobile Legends: Bang Bang.

Riot Games Approach to Wild Rift Esports

The best way to approach such a large-scale project is to continue advertising your game to reach certain demographics to garner a lot of interest and eventually let the community build the demand for esports themselves. If Riot Games begins an esports scene prematurely, they’ll end up with an empty audience which might discourage the company from pursuing any future plans to do more tournaments. Especially during this pandemic which makes it difficult to arrange tournaments with live audiences.

Riot Games is extremely experienced in handling esports events for their games since they’ve already created events for Valorant, Teamfight Tactics, and even in Legends of Runeterra. There is no doubt that Riot Games will eventually be able to make Wild Rift one of the most exciting mobile esports games to watch. Right now, it is too early to demand esports events since the game still hasn’t gone bast the beta stage yet. Hopefully, we’ll see the full version of the game out in the market so that we know what to expect from it.

What About Wild Rift Esports Teams?

Esports, in itself, has grown enough for large companies or clubs to immediately jump on the opportunity to recruit the best players in the country and compete. Of course, that depends on the relevance and popularity of the game during the time. You can probably expect some big named organizations like TSM, Cloud9, G2 Esports, and T1 making a move to create their own esports team and will be recruiting some players to fill up the roster.

Annie and Tibbers on the Wild Rift Esports Banner
What do you think of these plans?

Learning how to be a Pro-Player in Wild Rift isn’t that different from the tactics you need to learn to be a pro-player in League of Legends PC. There will be some independent and unsponsored teams trying to make a go for the competition as well, and it’s not farfetched that they might outperform the bigger organizations. Whether your goal is to join a team or make your own, the important thing right now is to improve and climb the ranks to make yourself noticeable by the standards of a pro-player scout.

Is LoL: Wild Rift Esports Possible?

Yes. League of Legends: Wild Rift is handled by Riot Games, one of the leading companies handling large-scale esports events. Their entire company and esports division is experienced in delivering the best experience for the fans which will most likely end up being successful.

When will LoL: Wild Rift Esports begin?

League of Legends: Wild Rift is still in Open Beta. This means that it still has a long way to go before it can be available for esports. Although, rest assured that the company is probably already making plans to make this happen.

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