16 Oct 2019
Fun fact – before taking over stewardship of Pocket Tactics et al, I did a brief stint in PR (I was a deputy editor at another website before that so this was a bit of an experiment), and that company had Riot Games as a client. I helped out at eSports events (which are fascinating, by the way) and then mainly did a bunch of grunt-work since I was a junior executive.
I’d never really tried to fully appreciate MOBAs before that job, but working for a company like that meant I had to give it a serious shot. It was ok – I definitely appreciated the team-play. I play a lot of Rainbow Six Siege in my personal-time these days so I appreciate it even more in hindsight.
Riot Games has never really been a known entity in the mobile world, at least in the West. There’s that League of Legends mobile variant out in China via Tencent, but so far the MOBA studio have stuck to what they know, which is PC. Now, as they celebrate the 10th Anniversary of League of Legends, that’s all about to change.
Riot made a range of announcements last night about their plans for LoL and other projects, and we’re excited to report that a couple are coming our way. Let’s take it from the top:
Teamfight Tactics Mobile
If you’ve been following the Auto Chess craze, you might have heard of Teamfight Tactics. It was basically Riot’s own take on the format and is the third big ‘player’ in the Auto Chess/Underlords/TFF trifecta. Unlike the other two, it wasn’t on mobile and existed within the main League client as an alternative game-mode.
It’s due to release on mobile in Q1 2020. Pre-registration on Google Play is open from today.
In addition to that, a new set of champions is going to be released to the PC version themed around the elements, called Rise of the Elements.
Legends of Runeterra Card Game
They say the best strategy is to wait until all your opponents have weakened themselves by fighting each other, and then pounce when no-one can put up any kind of resistance. At least, I hope they say that, because it’s the only reason I can think of as to why Riot would announce their own free-to-play strategy card game this late in the day. I would have thought that genre had played itself out.
Still, while Hearthstone remains the champion, the competitive CCG scene has been ripe for a new leader for a while now and, well, Valve failed hilariously with their own attempt. Riot have plenty of lessons to learn from at least. The press blurb for Legends of Runeterra is a little vague, but this seemed to be the most important part:
LoR’s gameplay is built around dynamic, alternating combat that demands players use their skill, creativity, and cleverness to succeed. LoR offers players multiple options to acquire cards, including both robust free-to-play options and the ability to directly purchase any card with either earned or paid currency.
It’s due to come to PC and Mobile in 2020, but you can pre-register now.
League of Legends: Wild Rift
Not content with their experiment with Tencent, Riot has now announced a bespoke mobile and console version of League of Legends known as Wild Rift. It’s still 5v5, and it’s still a MOBA, but it’s main innovation is a twin-stick control scheme, and matches generally designed to last no-more than 20 minutes.
Wild Rift will launch on mobile in 2020, and pre-registration on the Google Play Store is available now.
And that’s it as far as known mobile projects go. Riot seem to be working on plenty of other new things as well, from an Overwatch-style competitive shooter, to a fighting game, even some kind of eSports team management game? But none of those have even been hinted at coming to mobile, so we won’t spend too much time on them here.
So, what do you think? Are you excited for any of the above? Let us know in the comments!