Riot Games responds to community queries on future of Wild Rift esports

After mounting concerns about the future of global Wild Rift esports, Riot Games finally sent answers to the community’s... Paolo | 16. April 2024

After mounting concerns about the future of global Wild Rift esports, Riot Games finally sent answers to the community’s most pressing questions.

In a statement sent to APAC-based reporters Tuesday morning, Riot says they are working on greater sustainability of the league as one of the reasons why the WRL-A league folded.

“Since the commencement of Wild Rift Esports in 2021, we have explored several approaches to keep the competitive scene as rewarding for pro teams as it is enjoyable for fans. Wild Rift Esports has no doubt seen many evolutions, and this year, we are working towards greater sustainability of the league while putting our community at the forefront in core markets across the rest of the world,” Riot said in a statement.


Riot also confirmed that the WLA will only be operating in China, leaving the competitive esports scene in the Philippines and Vietnam without a major Riot-operated tournament.

“We’re looking to empower grassroot tournaments and influencer-driven competitions across Asia Pacific, namely the Philippines and Vietnam, which are home to our largest Wild Rift fan bases. More details will soon be shared about our plans to sustain competitive play in those markets, with an emphasis on participation and self-mastery,” Riot Games said.


Riot also revealed that they are currently in talks with WRL-Asia teams from Philippines, Vietnam and Thailand about their future status.

“We are in active talks with WLA teams to review their standing contracts, and to ensure that teams are compensated fairly and are offered various opportunities to explore future options,” Riot said in its statement.

Riot earlier stated that they will shift toward grassroots and community-driven actions for Wild Rift, and so expounded on how communities and creators will take a more active role in the future of the game’s competitive sphere.

“These explorations include but aren’t limited to local community events, influencer competitions, in-game organized tournaments, and team progressions. Stay tuned to more information about what players can look forward to in the Philippines and Vietnam as we continue building this competitive ecosystem on the ground,” the publisher said.

Among them, Riot says, is to launch a nationwide open tournament in the Philippines in the 2nd half of this year.

“Our vision for this tournament is to grow and strengthen the local esports ecosystem and birth a new generation of strong competitive teams that we can proudly call the best of the best in the Philippines,” Riot said in its statement.

In terms of empowering smaller-scale tournament organizers, Riot says, “we want to encourage more organizations who are interested in mounting their own community tournaments to reach out and have a conversation with us. We have updated our community guidelines and brand kits that organizations can easily use to add prestige to their events.”


The publisher also says, they will focus as well on tapping influencers and content creators, as well as enabling them to launch their own tournaments.

“Our pipeline for 2024 includes influencer support and activations that align with our global initiatives to ensure that we have local representation in key global events. We are also keen on supporting our influencers in organizing their own community tournaments to give our players as many competitive experiences as possible,” Riot says.

Viewership numbers presented by Esports Charts first shared to Fragster showed that Wild Rift was unsuccessful in generating popular attention worldwide, with its peak viewership only reaching a meager 130,411 when the game was launched in 2020.

This was followed by a sharp decline in views: from 62,885 in 2021, to 54,261 in 2022. In 2023, the viewership was only at less than one-tenth of its 2020 peak, at 17,739, and hitting the four-digit mark of 9,897 in early 2024.

READ MORE: Wild Rift League drops APAC: can poor viewership be the reason?

In contrast, MOONTON Games’ Mobile Legends: Bang Bang has generated millions of views for its esports tournaments while also tapping communities and schools as well as third-party organizers for our tournaments, while Honor of Kings is slowly rolling out community tournament programs and the HoK Creator Program to help promote the popular MOBA outside of China.

Despite these, Riot Games says it does not intend to back away from the mobile market, highlighting the launch of Teamfight Tactics Mobile in 2023, as well as strategic moves in the company that pledges continued support for the mobile player base.

“Riot remains committed to Wild Rift and our suite of mobile products. Last year, we announced changes in our talent recruitment strategies to focus on hiring and the shift of mobile capabilities to our Riot Shanghai office, while development and support for Wild Rift continues to happen from Riot locations around the globe,” Riot says.

Finally, Riot adds, they are waiting on the 2025 SEA Games organizers if they will include Wild Rift in its roster of esports titles. 

“The organizers of the SEA Games are still in the process of planning next year’s events and we have no news to share about Riot’s participation at this time,” the statement said.