Riot confirms League of Legends and TFT inclusion at upcoming Saudi-backed Esports World Cup

On March 30, Riot Games confirmed the inclusion of League of Legends and Teamfight Tactics in the 2024 Esports World Cup, which is going to take place in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia this summer as part of the nation’s continued push into the entertainment industry.

Underlining the “economic challenges” faced by many esports organizations and players, the developers stated that they “didn’t want to deny esports teams and players the option to participate in a major economic and brand-building opportunity.”

According to Riot, the EWC offers not only the chance to compete on an international stage but also the ability to earn a piece of a meaningful prize pool, which helps enhance financial stability for everyone involved in the esports ecosystem.

Riot admitted that they “haven’t delivered the ideal player experience in MENA (Middle East and North Africa) for League of Legends,” as the developers still haven’t fulfilled the promise of an Arabic localization first mentioned in 2019’s Riot Pls: 10th Anniversary Edition. As an explanation, the team is looking to ensure that “the linguistic nuances and champion voiceover feel right,” which included reworking game interfaces so the text could work when it’s read right-to-left.

Riot stated that they see “international third-party events playing a bigger role” in the game’s esports ecosystem, much like the earlier days of the game’s history, and the event is part of a “broader strategy to allow for additional high-impact tournaments” to the competitive calendar.

The developers pointed out that they will use the initial first-year EWC exploration to evaluate the overall tournament experience, assess the benefits to pro teams, and better understand the value of EWC to players worldwide. Previously, Riot also got involved with events like the Asian Games and the Red Bull League of Its Own in 2023.

Alongside League of Legends and TFT, the tournament is now confirmed to feature Counter-Strike 2, DOTA 2, StarCraft II, and Street Fighter 6, with further announcements expected to come. 

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