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Photo credit: RIOT GAMES

What is League of Legends: Wild Rift?

21 teams from around the region will soon be vying to be the first-ever Wild Rift SEA champions.

Matthaeus Choo


Published: 13 September 2021, 1:21 PM

From Sep 14, two teams from Singapore will compete in the inaugural League of Legends: Wild Rift SEA Championship 2021 against 19 others from the region to decide the first Wild Rift Southeast Asia champions.

The 21 teams will vie for both bragging rights and a combined prize purse of US$200,000 — all the excitement will be broadcasted live on Riot SEA’s official channels across Twitch, Facebook and YouTube.

Malaysia, Thailand, Philippines, Indonesia, Vietnam, Oceania, Taiwan and Hong Kong are the other countries and territories represented in the championship. 

Here is a quick primer on the game to get in on the action!

Objectives and player roles

Launched in 2020, Wild Rift is part of the mobile MOBA (multiplayer online battle arena) genre, where two teams battle it out to achieve the ultimate goal of destroying the opposing team’s base.

In Wild Rift’s case, two teams of five are spread out across three main lanes — the Baron lane (the top side for spectators), the middle lane, and the dragon lane (the bottom side for spectators). 

Each lane is occupied with three turrets, or defensive structures, that guard the pathway towards the Nexus — the team that destroys the opposing team’s Nexus wins the match. Teams of five are split between five main roles: the Baron laner, the mid laner, the jungler, the support, and the carry. 

 

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Wild Rift’s game map with the dragon laner on the top side and the Baron laner on the bottom side. PHOTO CREDIT: JEUMOBI.COM

 

The Baron laner usually fills the role of the team’s frontline or ‘tank’, playing beefy characters (or ‘Champions’ in Wild Rift) that are able to soak damage and protect their teammates. 

Think of the team’s jungler as akin to midfielders in football, constantly looking to create opportunities to gain an advantage by either taking down opposing players or through capturing neutral objectives on the map (more on that in a moment!). 

The mid laner is usually reserved for high damaging champions. Being the shortest lane on the map also allows middle laners to help out their teammates on the other lanes to gain an advantage. 

Lastly, the bottom lane is occupied by the team’s support and carry. Supports, well, support the team through champions with protective abilities and items and are largely responsible for providing vision on the map to track the enemy’s whereabouts. Carries are the team’s main damage dealers but are tagged with supports in the bottom lane due to their low health and vulnerability. 

One exciting part about MOBAs is that while these player roles will largely remain consistent, the champions used will constantly change and evolve based on the game’s ‘meta’ (an abbreviation of “most effective tactic available”). There are currently 57 champions in Wild Rift, each with their unique sets of abilities. 

Spectating the game

MOBAs have traditionally been unkind to spectators unfamiliar with the game, no thanks to the sheer number of champions and items. Thankfully, most Wild Rift games follow similar tempos and phases. 

The average length of each Wild Rift game is about 20 minutes so the action will come fast and furious. 

 

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The drafting phase before the start of a competitive game. PHOTO CREDIT: RIOT GAMES

 

Each competitive game of Wild Rift begins with the drafting phase, with each team ‘banning’ champions, or making them unavailable to pick for the match, and drafting their team compositions. There is a degree of mind games in this phase. Some of the main considerations during this phase are taking out champions that an opposing team’s player might be known for as well as ‘OP’ (overly powered) champions, or picking champions that have advantages over the opposing team’s. 

Once the match formally starts, players will take to their respective lanes. Laners gain experience and gold from slaying ‘minions’ that periodically flood each lane — champions level up and get stronger as they gain experience, while gold is used to purchase items that further empower them. 

Instead of lane minions, junglers mainly gain gold and experience fighting monsters in between the lanes. The main fights that will break out early on are when junglers, due to how they are able to roam around the map, ‘gank’ a lane, or create a numbers advantage against the opponents to take them down.

 

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A team working together to take down a dragon / Image credit: 2021 Wild Rift: SEA Icon Series – Summer Super Cup [Playoffs] – Day 1

 

Teams will also inevitably tussle over the map’s neutral objectives, namely the Rift Herald, dragons, and the Baron. Taking down the Rift Herald allows the team to resummon it against their opponent and quickly dispatch their turrets. Slaying dragons give teams permanent boosts — slay four and an even bigger advantage is awarded. Killing the mighty Baron will award a temporary but powerful boost that will aid in taking down turrets and making the path to the enemy’s Nexus a breeze.

In brief, the early parts of the game will be when players focus on gaining gold and experience, the middle phase will be players fighting over neutral objectives and taking down turrets, and, if the game isn’t decided by then, the concluding parts will be exciting back-and-forths with full-on clashes between the 10 players to determine the victorious team. 

By far the best way to understand League of Legends: Wild Rift would be to experience the game for yourself so give it a try on your mobile devices. Or better yet, rope it four friends to play it together as a team! 


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