Riot Games makes Wisdom Gaming Wild Rift tournament partner

With Multiplayer Online Battle Arena games becoming more and more popular, especially in the past decade, countless circuits have been created to capitalize on the growing industry. Especially in Asia, MOBA games have become a cultural phenomenon that unites players of different backgrounds to assemble a 5-man team and battle it out against another group of players. 

Within these games, MOBA players are given the opportunity to choose from a myriad of characters. These characters have their own unique abilities, designs and even intricate backstories that allow various players to connect with and portray as in the 5v5 arenas the game has played. 

In 2022, one of the spearheads of this MOBA genre is Riot Games’ League of Legends. Established in 2009, the game has undergone a lot of trials in both its gameplay and growing its gamer base. However, despite those challenges, League of Legends was able to grow in its gaming community. 

Thus giving the MOBA game countless game tournaments with players from all over the globe. Initially played in PCs and Macs, League of Legends players were mostly enjoyed by those with higher-powered computers at home or when visiting local computer cafes. 

Then in 2020, a year after League of Legends had announced their plans to go mobile, they released Wild Rift. Today, The Sports Eagle will be talking about the upcoming eSports tournament for Wild Rift and Riot Games’ announcement of who will be hosting the big event.

2022 Wild Rift North American Series (WNS): Season 1

Announced on January 25, 2022, Riot Games, a popular game developer of countless competitive video games such as League of Legends and  Valorant, have announced that their relationship with Wisdom Gaming, a digital media and entertainment production company, has given rise to the first Season of Riot’s 2022 Wild Rift North American Series (WNS). 

In this competition, Wisdom Gaming will be hosting Riot’s first big tournament for Wild Rift, the mobile iteration of the popular League of Legends. With the game’s growing popularity on mobile, as seen with the 3.5 million active players per month, the two companies have opted to start working on a bigger event with more stakes on the line.  

Wild Rift: Origins 

Wild Rift or the mobile version of League of Legends, was first conceptualized in 2015 by Riot Games’ parent company, Tencent. Though Riot has initially declined the offer since they believed that LoL wasn’t ‘mobile-compatible’. 

Since Tencent still wanted a MOBA game for the growing mobile phone market, they’ve developed their own game ‘Honor of Kings’ (or Arena of Valor for international gamers). The marketing campaign for this game caused a small rift between Tencent and its subsidiary. 

This is because of some significant similarities between HoK and League of Legends. Then when Tencent started working with popular League of Legends influencers to market the game, the relationship was souring. 

However, the parent company and its subsidiary found peace with one another thanks to meetings and Tencent ceasing to market their in-house game using League of Legends resources and Riot having some form of control over their parent company’s marketing of the in-house MOBA game.

Then after realizing how the mobile game industry is growing, Riot Games have finally decided that they will be placing their efforts in creating a mobile version of their iconic game. The company has since then made the world know about the upcoming League of Legends mobile game on October 15, 2019. 

When asked about the gameplay of Wild Rift, developers assured that the game was not just simply the Microsoft/Mac port to mobile. 

They’ve told the world that the game was a brand-new creation that offered new game features such as a twin-stick control panel, an exciting new map and battles that lasted for 15 – 20 minutes, shorter than the PC/Mac gameplay. However, the team has retained plenty of the gameplay of the original League of Legends game and many of its popular characters such as Jinx.  

A little over a year later on October 27, 2020, even amidst an ongoing global pandemic, Riot has since released the game internationally. 

2 years after the release

It’s no question that not everyone has access to a gaming computer and a Mac. After all, these are some of the most expensive gadgets anyone can get. However, with everyone owning mobile phones, more and more people were able to get into League of Legends. 

So much so that 2 years after its initial release, Riot Games and Wisdom Gaming were able to justify a large tournament to showcase the countless talented players who are already playing Wild Rift every month. 

As mentioned earlier, Wisdom Gaming will be headlining the tournament’s operations and broadcast to the rest of the world. However, when the North American Regional Championship (NARC) comes in April 2022, their contract ends and the hosts of the NARC will take over for the entire event.

The 2022 Wild Rift North American Series (WNS) format holds three circuit games and a Lanche Chance Qualifier that 5 contestants can take part in and combat a similarly numbered enemy team. 

Should the winning team defeat their opponents, they will receive

Should the team win the event, they will receive $150,000 (~£111,361) in the first event of the series. Later on February 4th to 6th, players can partake in the Open Qualifier 1. 

When asked about hosting the first WNS Season, Jaycie Gluck, Vice President of Media at Wisdom Gaming, has this to say: ‘Wisdom Gaming is proud to once again partner with Riot Games for the first WNS season, further supporting the continued development for North American Wild Rift esports.’

After that, Gluck then continues by saying: ‘Following the success of last year’s Summoner Series, the Wild Rift NA community has been eager to see more in the space, and we’re committed to establishing a bright future for Wild Rift esports by growing both the community and competitive scenes.’

To Wisdom Gaming, commitment to players and their partner companies is an important part of their business process. That is why to give better value to League of Legends fans and contestants of the WNS competition, Wisdom Gaming has set two podcasts: Rift Reload and Fight Night: Rift, a bi-weekly Wild Rift event.

In these podcasts, listeners will be able to get to better know the behind the scenes of the upcoming WNS event. Not just that, League of Legends fans will be able to enjoy exclusive discussions and content through various hosts. Additionally, NA talent can be better developed through these events. Both of these podcasts are launched under Wisdom’s Giant Slayer brand. 

Riot Games’ side of the story

When asked about Riot’s partnership with Wisdom Gaming, Chad Smeltz, Product Lead for Wild Rift Esports of NA/OCE at Riot Games has this to say: ‘We are excited to be continuing our partnership with Wisdom Gaming and utilizing their talents to deliver an exceptional Wild Rift NA tournament for the community.’ 

He then continues by saying, ‘Wisdom has successfully created a seamless, integrity-driven competitive experience for our players in our inaugural event, and we are confident that they will continue to provide that for the first season of WNS.’

Past connections

The partnership of the two companies had its roots in 2020, developing smaller events for Riot’s various games, but still primarily connected with the League of Legends franchise. In these countless events together, Riot Games has opted to renew its partnership with Wisdom in 2021. 

Due to this renewed partnership, Wisdom Gaming was given the task to host, fund and organize the upcoming North American Teamfight Tactics (TFT) circuit. In addition to this, Wisdom was also asked to host TFT’s ‘Gizmos & Gadgets’ esports circuit. 

This large event will soon be taking place beginning on the 4th up until the 6th of February 2022. In the large competition, it has been reported that those that compete will all be fighting for the jackpot prize of £7,321 (10,000) and will qualify in the North American regional finals.

To better understand the goings-on of the competition, Wisdom Gaming has programmed a frequently updated website that allows the competitors and spectators to view and better understand the circuit’s tournament rules and enjoy a lot of fan-made content.

In regards to the upcoming tournament, Jaycie Gluck, Vice President of Media at Wisdom Gaming has this quote to say: ‘We’re honoured to continue our partnership with Riot Games to bring fans the best experience for competitive Teamfight Tactics in North America.’ 

Gluck continues by saying, ‘Our Giant Slayer brand is ultimately a tribute for the TFT community, having spent the past year producing content that has really resonated with players and fans. We’re excited to introduce our biggest TFT tournaments to date and bring back favourites like the Challenger Series.’

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