With the Swiss stage of the 2023 League of Legends World Championship in full swing, Riot Games took over Sydney at Harajuku Gyōza on the boardwalk of Tumbalong Boulevard for a night full of first-class summoners rift action, great drinks, and even better food.
In the shadow of the International Convention Centre and the greater SXSW Festival, this was one of the first fully-fledged activations Riot Games has held in Australia since the 10th Anniversary events in October 2019, and the first since Riot pulled out of the region with the shutdown of the Pyrmont-based office and the cancellation of the OPL.
They couldn’t have done it any better. The night was full of great gameplay from the pros duking it out in Korea, fun competitions including a few rounds of trivia hosted by Snowball Esports’ own Nadette Wong, as well as the aforementioned amazing food and drink from the venue. The food was so good it replaced the traditional Snowball Korean BBQ dinner the following day.
It’s fair to say that Oceania hasn’t been feeling the love from Riot all that much in recent years. Since the closure of the office as well as the Oceanic Pro League in October of 2020, the relationship between the OCE scene and Riot has grown tense, with there seemingly being more negative than positive in the last 36 months.
But with the venue decked out in banners and other promotional material for the newest League band HEARTSTEEL, and plenty of special guests in attendance including LCO talent Zac “Rusty” Pye and Athena “Kitty” Jiang, Riot Games pulled off a great return to the region, with the team dipping their feet back into OCE hopefully for years to come.
Also in attendance was League’s very own VP of operations Kjartan Arsaelsson, senior VP and studio head Andrei “Meddler” van Roon, and Riot Sydney studio head Naresh Hirani. In all, it was a brilliant evening and a positive sign of growth for the region at large.
Riot Games will be holding a follow-up event for the League Worlds final on November 19th at UTS Ultimo Campus in the Underground Bar just off Broadway. Stay tuned to @RiotGamesOCE on Twitter for more info.