Wild Rift Esports Circuit Shut Down Again as Riot Exits Asia Pacific Scene

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In a recent announcement that has sent shockwaves through the League of Legends: Wild Rift esports community, Riot Games has made a tough decision regarding the future of its esports scene in the Asia Pacific region. Regrettably, fans and players alike have learned that the Asia Pacific region will no longer feature in the upcoming Wild Rift League Esports circuit.

This marks the second time the official WR esports circuit has been shuttered, following Europe’s closure in November 2022. Last year, Riot redirected its attention to Asia, positioning it as the premier stage for WRL Asia esports. The event featured twelve teams from China’s WRL and eight from other Asian regions, with plans for it to become an annual spectacle.

However, it appears this is no longer the plan, as the company has shifted its focus entirely to China’s esports scene, allowing other regions to forge their own competitive paths.

In a recent post on the official website, Riot acknowledges the burgeoning growth of community-driven WR competitions and expresses confidence in the potential for the APAC region to flourish under a similar model. While the WRL showcased thrilling competition over the past year, Riot recognizes the success of grassroots and community-centric events across various regions.

Riot’s statement reads, “Our goal has always been to ensure Wild Rift players can participate in competition and foster a robust sense of community and belonging. We believe that pivoting to the model that relies on grassroots and community-led competition is the most sustainable and enabling path for APAC moving forward, giving players time and the space to grow and establish what role high-level competition will play in their community.”

Rough road ahead

Despite the disappointment stemming from the exclusion of the Asia Pacific region from the upcoming WRL circuit, Riot remains steadfast in its commitment to nurturing a thriving and inclusive esports ecosystem.

Following this announcement, Riot has unveiled the roadmap for WR esports scenes across various regions, showcasing an array of events for fans in the near future. Additionally, rumors abound of a highly anticipated return of the WR World Championship later this year.

Nevertheless, this announcement delivers a significant blow to participants from the Asia Pacific region, who have strived relentlessly to carve out their place atop the fiercely competitive WRL Asia circuit. Notably, contenders from Vietnam and the Philippines have demonstrated exceptional prowess, with G2 Blacklist emerging as a notable runner-up in the season 2 of WRL Asia 2023 Finals last February.

Additionally, many avid WR fans speculate on the potential hurdles facing the burgeoning Chinese esports scene, particularly in light of the surging popularity of Mobile Legends and Honor of Kings. Both of these games have captured attention as official titles for the inaugural Esports World Cup 2024 in Riyadh this summer, posing a formidable competition for viewership numbers.

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