League of Legends: Wild Rift Southeast Asia Championship 2021 to Inspire Mobile Esports Globally

Riot Games, the world’s most player-focused game developer and publisher, will kick-start the inaugural League of Legends: Wild Rift SEA Championship 2021 on the 14th of September 2021. The online tournament will see 21 of the region’s best Wild Rift teams battle it out to be the first ever Wild Rift SEA Champions.

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The inaugural tournament is set to kick off on 14th September

The Wild Rift: SEA Championship 2021, organized in partnership with ESL Asia, marks a significant milestone in Riot’s quest to make Wild Rift its first true global mobile esport.

The participating teams come from 9 countries and territories across the region, including Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, the Philippines, Indonesia, Vietnam, Oceania, Taiwan and Hong Kong, all of whom will compete for a total prize pool of USD200,000. Each of the teams have qualified, following impressive performances at the Wild Rift SEA Icon Series: Fall Season.

Southeast Asia spearheaded Riot’s foray into mobile gaming and mobile esports, with the region being selected for the mobile title’s initial Regional Alpha and Open Beta phases. The Wild Rift SEA Icon Series was subsequently announced in February 2021 as the company’s first mobile esports league across the globe. Southeast Asia is the world’s fastest-growing region for mobile Internet penetration, with users spending three to five hours per day on their smartphones - more than any other users in the world.

Being mobile first also means that mobile gaming is deeply ingrained in SEA’s youth culture. Close to 50% of consumers in SEA are believed to have played a mobile game on their phone on an app or website, and 80% of all gamers in the region are believed to play games on their mobile phone. This trend offers a great opportunity for the growth of mobile gaming esports and establishing the region as a global hub for mobile esports.

Speaking at Wild Rift: SEA Championship 2021 virtual press conference, Leo Faria, Global Head of Wild Rift Esports at Riot Games commented on Wild Rift esports’ journey thus far. He said, “We intend for Wild Rift esports to be Riot’s first truly global mobile esport. While we are still in the early stages of building out our newest sport, our progress in Southeast Asia sets the tone for what we want to achieve in other regions.

The Wild Rift: SEA Championship 2021 shines a spotlight on the incredible talent and passion of these Southeast Asian teams, and also sets a standard for how mobile esports can be viewed and enjoyed. We’re excited to bring this same player-focused strategy and high-quality productions to other mobile audiences around the world.”

The Wild Rift SEA Icon Series has accounted for close to 1,000 participating teams since the start of its league, with daily unique views peaking at 1.28 million during the Summer Super Cup. Wild Rift and its esport play a massive role in Riot’s growth strategy for Southeast Asia.

Commenting on Riot’s approach to the region, General Manager of Riot Games Southeast Asia and Taiwan, Justin Hulog said, “In the course of the past two years, Riot has released a slew of new games, such as Legends of Runeterra, VALORANT, and League of Legends: Wild Rift, and also made meaningful strides into the entertainment, fashion, and music industries.

From the launch of our virtual pop band K/DA’s second EP and partnerships with Uniqlo and Warner Music, to the upcoming release of Arcane, our Netflix animation series, later this year, we continue to seek new opportunities to delight and surprise our fans across the world. Esports plays a huge role in this strategy and is a key, golden opportunity for us here in mobile-first Southeast Asia. We have created a vision for this region to be Riot’s hub for mobile esports, and are proud to have been the first to roll out Wild Rift esports.”

Esports has also been gaining increasing recognition among the region’s governments, with more countries unlocking the potential of esports through economic investments and career development in youth. Esports was a medalled sport in both the 2018 Asian Games and 2019 SEA Games, and Wild Rift was announced earlier this year as a medal event for the next 2021 SEA Games.


ABOUT THE WILD RIFT SEA CHAMPIONSHIP 2021

21 of the best teams from the ongoing Wild Rift SEA Icon Series: Fall Season will qualify for the SEA Championship 2021. These teams will come from 9 regions across Southeast Asia - Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Philippines, Indonesia, Vietnam, Oceania, Taiwan, and Hong Kong - and will be competing for a total prize pool of USD 200,000.

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There will be 3 stages of competition for the Wild Rift SEA Championship 2021:
  • Stage 1 - Play-Ins: September 14 - 19, 2021
  • Stage 2 - Group Stages: September 23 - 26, 2021
  • Stage 3 - Main Event: September 30 - October 3, 2021
WHERE TO WATCH

The Wild Rift SEA Championship 2021 will be broadcasted in English, Tagalog, Bahasa Indonesia, Bahasa Malaysia, Mandarin, Vietnamese, Thai, and Cantonese. Broadcasts will begin at 12:30 PM SGT, with the first match starting from 1:00 PM SGT. The matches will also be live on Twitch, Facebook, and YouTube on Riot SEA’s official channels as well as on our partners’ broadcast channels:

English:
Tagalog:
For more information and updates, please visit the Wild Rift Competitive Play website for all the latest news and follow ESL Asia on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for more information.

Chris Tran, Head of Esports, Riot Games Southeast Asia, Taiwan, Hong Kong and Macau

“With the Wild Rift: SEA Championship 2021, we wanted to re-imagine what we think amazing mobile esports can look like. For this and future Wild Rift esports events, teams and fans can expect Riot to double down on production, creativity, and operational quality.”

“We’ve seen significant esports talent come out of SEA and are keen to work with local governments to bring the industry to new heights. We aim to do this by leveraging our experience and expertise in running world-class esports tournaments, building an ecosystem where various subject expert matters including professional athletes, casters, streamers can thrive, unlocking opportunities for pro teams by working with partners like SPORTFIVE to secure sponsors for localized entitles of our international events, all of which we hope continues to propel the gaming and esports industry forward.”

Nick Vanzetti, SVP Managing Director of ESL, APJ

“We are extremely excited to present the Wild Rift SEA Championships 2021 together with Riot Games as part of ESL Mobile’s launch in APAC. ESL is honoured to be able to provide the best Wild Rift teams the opportunity to shine on the regional stage,”

“This tournament is another great chance to see players prove their skills and compete for honours as the best in SEA.”

Matthew Chan, Strategy Business Development for EVOS Esports

“It’s amazing to see the journey that the Wild Rift SEA Icon Series has taken since its conception. Despite the current pandemic, we have still been able to compete at incredibly high levels, and we can’t wait to go against the very best teams at the Wild Rift: SEA Championship 2021 next week.”

“The challenge is tough. There are some very good Wild Rift players in this region, having Won the super summer Cup this year, there's a lot of pressure on us to perform. Teams are stronger, hungrier, and are more prepared. With worlds on the line, we will definitely put in double the effort to push through.”.

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