Riot Games might be expanding into Middle East and North Africa with official support in the future but the more immediate and confirmed news is that these two regions will get a tournament in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, starting on 5 December 2019.
Middle East and North Africa will get their first official League of Legends tournament sooner than one might expect since there were no announcements around.
According to a report by ESPN , the events are kicking off on Thursday, 5 December 2019, and will be a part of the Riyadh Season, which is the initiative by Saudi General Entertainment Authority. The initiative itself is trying to bring more recognition as a desirable tourism and entertainment destination.
It will not be just a standard tournament on Summoner's Rift though as there are five competitions, with a total prize pool of $2 million. The competitions will be as follows:
- Five on five tournament, a regular Summoner's Rift competition along the lines of other LoL events, with the prize pool amounting to $850,000
- Influencer tournament, probably in the same format, with $750,000 prize pool
- One on one tournament
- Teamfight Tactics tournament
- Cosplay competition
According to Onur Tamer, METAI General Manager for Riot Games, The Nexus event will be only the first step in their attempts to solidify a presence in the MENA region.
It remains to be seen how the competitions and the game itself will be regulated in Saudi Arabia though, as the country has strict rules regarding women's clothing.
League of Legends features numerous female champions and many of their outfits feature prominent cleavage and other revealing parts, which could pose problems. This issue could be extended to the cosplay contest as the cosplayers will presumably dress like champions themselves.