Launched in 2009, League of Legends is credited as one of the founding pillars of the esports industry, standing as the largest title in the billion-dollar industry. The game is credited for its high skill ceiling, accessibility – being based on the freemium model – and entertainment value for players and viewers.
Over the years, LoL has gone from strength-to-strength, expanding its gameplay, and continuously growing its audience. The 2020 World Championships reached a peak viewership of 3.8 million viewers, per Dot Esports, with the grand finals series averaging 2.6 million viewers. Yet, this success has come from the game being a purely PC title, which makes up the smallest segment of global game revenues. Now, a new age of the world-famous MOBA is on the horizon, with League of Legends: Wild Rift on the horizon.
Getting even more players into the realm of Legends
Historically, mobile hasn’t been a respected platform for gaming. An increase in mobile gamers to make it the dominant force, however, has brought more top-class developers to the field. Prime examples of this are PUBG Mobile, and particularly Fortnite. The latter was already a global sensation, but its jump to mobile with cross-play rocketed it into the stratosphere, with the game getting 100 million downloads on iOS devices alone.
The free console and PC game’s accessibility went through the roof, with PUBG Mobile becoming the most-played game in newer smartphone markets like it did in India. Now, League of Legends is finally looking to expand its audience via the mobile platform. On October 27, an iOS and Android open beta of Wild Rift was launched in seven Asian nations. Soon, LoL will be more accessible than ever.
Mobile esports app space is thriving
Smartphones are now powerful enough to host quality, competitive games, but there are several key elements to consider when moving from the PC platform to mobile. The Betsson casino app for Android is a prime example of this, with the app focussing on easy navigation and intuitive touch-screen controls to enhance the gameplay. Apps have made playing games more convenient, but easy access needs to be accompanied by an easy way to play.
Wild Rift will adhere to this sentiment, making the game entirely separate from the PC title. It’s still LoL, but games will be shorter in length, there will be a smaller roster of champions, and several other tweaks have been made to make it a more mobile-friendly game. The controls will be the most essential aspect of Wild Rift, as they have been in online casino gaming, especially if it wants to establish itself in the mobile esports scene as Fortnite and PUBG Mobile have done.
The name ‘League of Legends’ alone will be enough to bring in millions of new players. More importantly, it’ll offer existing players another way to engage with the universe. There’s already a fully-fledged esports mobile ecosystem of apps, with the likes of ESPN, Twitch, and Strafe, offering fans the chance to keep up with news and watch live events. Now, those same esports enthusiasts will be able to game on-the-go as well.
Wild Rift and League of Legends aren’t going to be tied games, nor will they be the same. However, Wild Rift will open up the universe to a whole new crowd of potential players, being more accessible through its platform and gameplay. As a result, the franchise should become an even more dominant name in gaming.
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