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Riot Games takes back League of Legends from Garena after 12 years

by Joyce Remo

THE video game League of Legends will be self-published by its original developer, Riot games, in Southeast Asian countries after the game severed its ties from game developer Garena.

Beginning today, January 6, all SEA League of Legends players will be integrated into the global community, allowing them to access cross-game events, global campaigns, and more.

On November 9, Riot Games announced that it will begin self-publishing the multiplayer online battle arena (MOBA) game League of Legends, commonly referred to as League, across Southeast Asia in January 2023.

When it was released in 2009 by Riot Games, League only had one server located in California, USA. Because of this, other League players, especially in Southeast Asia, had to endure a ping of 150 to 200 milliseconds (ms) to play the MOBA game.

A ping refers to the network latency between a player’s computer and the game’s server. The average ping for smooth gameplay ranges from 50 to 100 ms. The higher the ping, the more lag or delays are experienced when gaming.

Garena’s entry

Because of this, Garena, a Singapore-based game developer and publisher, stepped up in 2010 to publish the game in the Asia Pacific region.

Garena held the League’s first-ever Esports league, the Garena Premiere League, in 2012. 

While the event was enjoyed by many game enthusiasts and professional gamers, Garena’s technical, player, esports, and infrastructural support for it dwindled over time.

Amid several controversies  such as exploitative business practices and gambling misbehavior, Riot Games took back the League from Garena after 12 years.

Why Riot took back the League

According to Riot, it decided to terminate its partnership with Garena to cater to more players worldwide.

“With Riot’s growth and expansion into a multi-game studio, we are continuing to focus on serving more players around the world and especially in the Asia-Pacific regions. With that in mind, we’ve decided to end our partnership with Garena and self-publish our games across Asia-Pacific,” Riot wrote.

Riot aims to revamp its operations and expand its growth in the Asia Pacific region by establishing local offices in countries including the Philippines, Indonesia, Malaysia, and Thailand. 

“Players in these countries can look forward to having a dedicated Riot office focused purely on creating hyper-local experiences by tailoring our games to audiences in each country and the region as a whole,” the game developer added.

Welcome party for League

To welcome League back to its original home, Riot will spearhead “a month-long  prize-filled, server-warming party for players in Southeast Asia.”

The American game developer and publisher prepared a kick-off party starting January 13 to ensure the smooth and enjoyable transition of players from Garena to Riot.

Riot also reminded players to migrate their account to guarantee that their progress and game possessions will not be lost, and to ensure they would enjoy the new developments from the League.

Banner courtesy: Riot Games



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