Wild Rift: Is Riot open to holding its global championship in PH?

Angela Coloma, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jul 01 2022 11:06 PM

Wild Rift Esports
The Wild Rift Icons trophy. Courtesy: Wild Rift Esports

MANILA - Southeast Asia, particularly the Philippines, boasts of a robust mobile esports scene, and the Philippines' League of Legends: Wild Rift scene has started to grow since the game launched in 2020. 

Equally, highly-competitive teams such as RRQ Philippines earned the adoration of the worldwide Wild Rift community for their vibrant attitude while competing in the global tournament, the Icons Global Championship. 

Asked by ABS-CBN News on the chances of the Philippines hosting the game's biggest tournament in the future, Riot Games' esports director for Wild Rift Leo Faria says it's "very much possible." 

But a "likely" model to it would be a multi-staged tournament held in different parts of a region, just as they intend to do with the game's PC counterpart, League of Legends, this year in North America. 

"That's a really nice way of bringing a show to fans and regions and I thin, yeah I could totally see a world in the future where we do either all of Icons in the Philippines or we do Icons across Southeast Asia and we do multiple stops, which is very more likely to happen, one of the stops being in the Philippines so yeah, It's very much possible," Faria said in an exclusive interview. 

Riot Games previously mentioned its targets of entering global markets, including the Philippines, when they announced they would mount a local office this year. 

For the last couple of years, it has held its Wild Rift global tournaments such as Horizon Cup 2021, and the first crowning event, Icons 2022 in Singapore. 

There were plans to hold Icons 2022 in Spain but logistical and travel documentation problems hampered their original plans. 

Faria admitted that there are things to consider in selecting the venue, as most stadiums and convention centers globally remain booked "until 2024" due to the resumption of live shows and concerts. 

"[We consider] how big is the community in a specific country, we look at the viability to fly both people crew teams in a COVID world - that is becoming a challenge," Faria said. 

As of the moment, Icons is off-limits to an audience, but they said they are compensating for it through global, off-site activities such as tournament watch parties and fan events. 

But they are looking to welcome audiences in the future. 

"There's nothing like the feeling of being in an arena full of fans that play at watch the game and that's what we're looking forward to do now in Icons," Faria said.