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Riot Games’ new approach to esports in TFT pays off at Vegas Open Dot Esports

Riot Games dropped the first official Teamfight Tactics esports LAN tournament from Dec. 8 to 10, featuring players from around the globe competing for a live audience—and early impressions are more than positive. 

The TFT esports scene has been growing since Set Three, improving each year with the height of it formerly taking place through the Monsters Attack! Summit. But all that changed with the Vegas Open, Riot’s first official LAN event for TFT.  Spectator passes to the tournament sold out in record time and the playing field showcased a variety of players from around the globe ranked Master and above. Over 500 competitors showed up to the TFT Set 10 Vegas Open, each seeking to claim a slice of the $300,000 USD total prize pool and the official Riot Championship Belt

TFT Set 10 Vegas Open Championship Belt
The TFT Vegas Championship Belt. Image via Riot Games

Spectators were rewarded with live play through the three days at the TFT Vegas Open, along with panels that featured devs and content creators. Panels included design for Set 10 Remix Rumble, live balance, and the history of TFT. 

In between panels and games, the head of global esports for Riot Michael Sherman talked about the success so far from the Vegas Open to ONEEsports while confirming the League of Legends and VALORANT franchise model isn’t what’s right for TFT.

“I think the future for TFT doesn’t include a franchise model,” Sherman said. “I don’t think that that’s a relevant direction for the game. We really want to make participation and sort of high-stakes competition accessible to as many players as possible.”

Many of the players were excited to compete at the Vegas Open, especially content creators and casters like Silverfuse. “Everyone is just so excited to be here, and it’s just so hype”, competitor Silverfuse said. “I can’t believe it’s real!”

Even the TFT community stuck watching the tournament online was impressed with Riot’s investment in the Vegas Open,  with one Reddit user marking it as “the best TFT event that has ever transpired,” from production to co-casters having a chance to shine in addition to the main broadcast. 

The Vegas Open has potentially opened up new avenues for Riot when it comes to TFT esports, according to Sherman, with other opportunities gaining traction in the pipeline. And it proved that global LAN events like the Vegas Open will occur sometime in the future as well. 

Danny Forster

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