The long-awaited League of Legends: Wild Rift has finally been given a release date, and it’s left fans from a certain region feeling a little salty, to say the least.
Wild Rift will enter open beta in Asia – unsurprisingly covering a range of South Asian territories first – on October 27th. Europe will follow in December, along with Taiwan and Vietnam. North America, however, will not be able to join the fray until spring next year. Obviously, there are a lot of unhappy American players taking to social media to voice their frustrations, which can’t be particularly motivating for the dev team. Considering that normal life has essentially been thrown out of the window at the moment, you’d think we could all agree to cut them some slack.
It’s likely that North American players are more frustrated about being last call for the regional open betas, but the South Asian territories are simply where the money is for mobile esports. By launching there first, a company with Riot’s power and prestige has the potential to shape the way the esports scene in those countries grows moving forward. They’re looking to establish Wild Rift as the premier mobile esport, so League of Legends can dominate all sides. With a strong South Asian player base, the rest of the world will presumably follow, and so it’s important to get those players onboard first.
League of Legends: Wild Rift is the classic League experience rebuilt from the ground up for mobile devices. It features an all new control scheme to support that transition, and focuses on fast-paced games that will be easy to pick up and play on the move – or to endlessly spam while you lie in bed trying not to contemplate your own existence too hard. And, no surprise many are already offering odds.
Despite the fan backlash, Riot are making sure there’s plenty to get excited about in the run up to open beta. Patch. 1.0 will introduce favourite Lee Sin, The Blind Monk, along with Knockout Lee Sin and Muay Thai Lee Sin skins. They’re also rolling out test phases for six additional champions – Akali the Rogue Assassin, Darius the Hand of Noxus, Dravon the Glorious Executioner, Evelynn, Agony’s Embrace, Kai’Sa, Daughter of the Void, and Seraphine, the Starry-Eyed Songstress. These champions will become fully playable at a later date, but it’s a great opportunity for players to get a taste of what’s on the horizon. The test phase will take place between the 22nd and 27th of October, so the last week of the closed beta will be something special indeed.
In South Korea and Japan, players will be able to link their Riot accounts and earn in-game rewards based on the time and money they’ve invested into League of Legends on PC so far. For other Closed Beta regions who may not have an account yet, you can create one and link it to rewards like champions and skins later in the year. Given that some of the players in these countries will have already invested a considerable amount of both time and money in League, it’s a nice way to give something back. Respecting time spent is something games rarely do well (looking at you, World of Warcraft).
Riot will be releasing locally tailored community content every day on the road to open beta – “to honor the legacy and history of gaming in each Open Beta locale.”. They’re promising community highlights, guides, and influencer spotlights to keep the hype train rolling at full speed. If anything can move mobile esports to the next level, it’s League of Legends, so this is a very exciting time for fans of League and the competitive scene in general. With modes supporting both casual and ranked play, and a crap-ton of community support from Riot, Wild Rift is well positioned to take the world by storm – with America last in line, apparently.
Interested? Of course you are. Head over to the Wild Rift website right now for all the details (you can also still sign up for the closed beta, but… why?). You can see developer logs, gameplay videos, character art and even sign up for the newsletter – technology is amazing these days, eh? The Rift awaits, players! Make sure you’re ready for it.
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