June 25, 2024

Recent updates from Riot Games indicate that they are setting up a server for parts of the African region, which is expected to launch in the coming weeks. The introduction of these servers appears to be an effort to enhance the participation of teams from the Middle East and Africa in the Esports World Cup, scheduled to take place in Riyadh this summer.

Riot Games clarified that the Esports World Cup is not an official League of Legends (LoL) esports event, and the company will not participate in the curation or production of the LoL tournament, nor will it be involved in the selection of competing teams. According to an article on their website, Riot Games’ primary goal is to foster the development of esports, regardless of the region where LoL tournaments or related events are organized, while making decisions that improve the gaming experience for players globally. This clarification seems to be in response to inquiries about Riot’s involvement in the Saudi Arabian event.

It raises the question of how game developers, particularly Riot and other major companies, decide on server locations. With Africa having the youngest population and rapid internet penetration, more individuals could potentially access these games. Riot’s statement on their website suggests that the server setup may primarily benefit esports athletes in the MENA region—Middle East and North Africa—potentially excluding teams from the rest of Africa. Discussions in various chatrooms suggest that this move by leading game developers might be a trial to explore new regions.