Riot’s announcement in January to hold the first world championship for League of Legends: Wild Rift, the Global Championship Icons, in the summer of 2022 instead of the end of the year like other esports raised a few eyebrows. Leo Faria, the global head of esports for Wild Rift at Riot Games, explained the reason behind this during a press conference for the Champions SEA (WCS) yesterday.
Faria said that Riot was going through an exciting stage currently as it now had multiple esports titles instead of just League of Legends. He added that while the communities around these games were unique, the ecosystem was shared. Riot has a lot of overlapping teams working on producing these esports competitions and it was important to hold them separately to ensure that the quality remains consistent.
“That’s something we’re really excited [about] because we can get the team who works on the League of Legends World Championship and have them also work on Icons and on VALORANT Champions. So the idea of having teams of that caliber working across all of our shows is really important for us to maintain the quality and hit the bar that we want to hit,” Faria said.
Another reason for this, Faria added, was to ensure that each Riot title occupied a distinct place on the calendar. This not only makes it easier for some organizations who have teams across multiple Riot games but also ensures that, at a particular time, all the spotlight remains on one game.
“We want to give the community, the game, the teams, the pros participating their moment in the spotlight when all the attention, all the eyeballs are looking at our ecosystem.”
Faria didn’t confirm if the Global Championship Icons will continue to be held in the summer in the future years, though. “We always want to inform our future plans and future strategy based on results and how they are going so let’s see how the first Wild Rift Icons Global Championship goes,” Faria said.
The 2022 Global Championship Icons will take place from June 14 to July 9. A total of 24 teams from around the world will head down to Madrid, Spain to crown the inaugural world champion.