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Riot Games has announced a major tournament for League of Legends in the Philippines, aiming to reignite the country’s esports scene, which many critics have labeled as “dead.” The Empyrean Cup, boasting a P1-million prize pool, will culminate in the finals held during the Esports and Gaming Summit (ESGS) at the World Trade Center this November.

Tournament Details and Eligibility

Prize Pool and Finals

The Empyrean Cup offers a substantial prize pool of P1 million, attracting significant attention from the gaming community. The finals will be a highlight of the ESGS, taking place at the World Trade Center from November 3 to 5, 2023.

Eligibility and Registration

According to the tournament rules, participants must be Philippine residents. The tournament is inclusive, welcoming participants of any gender as long as they meet the eligibility requirements. Registration for the tournament will close on September 11, or earlier if the valid number of registrants is reached.

Qualifiers and Tournament Structure

Online Qualifiers

The tournament will feature 256 teams participating in the open qualifiers. These qualifiers are scheduled as follows:

  • First Online Qualifier: September 16-17, 2023
  • Second Online Qualifier: October 14-15, 2023

Path to the Grand Finals

The top four teams from these qualifiers will secure their spots in the grand finals at ESGS 2023. This structure ensures a competitive and thrilling journey for the participants, culminating in an exciting showdown at the finals.

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Revival of the Esports Ecosystem

Riot Games’ Commitment

Joel Guzman, Riot Games Philippines country manager, emphasized that the Empyrean Cup is just the beginning. During a Facebook live session on the League of Legends – Philippines’ page, he stated, “The Empyrean Cup will be the first of many tournaments here in the Philippines, because we want to reignite the [LoL] esports scene here in the Philippines. We are fine-tuning plans for a bigger esports ecosystem which allows a path for players to compete.”

Acquisition of Publishing Rights

Earlier this year, Riot Games reacquired the publishing rights to League of Legends in the Philippines after Garena had held them for 12 years. This change has allowed Riot Games to provide equal access to in-game loot and enhance the competitive landscape. Additionally, Riot Games has set up its own Philippine server to address ping and internet concerns.

Historical Context and Achievements

Early Days of Philippine Esports

The roots of League of Legends esports in the Philippines trace back to the late 2000s and early 2010s. During this period, notable teams such as Mineski, Team Pacific, and Liyab Esports emerged, setting the foundation for the country’s competitive scene.

Prominent Figures

Prominent names like Jon Lance “Kaigu” Hernandez and Eric “Exosen” Gubatan have made significant contributions to the scene, later transitioning to the mobile version of the game, Wild Rift.

Recent Achievements

In 2021, the Philippine national team, Sibol, secured a silver medal at the 2022 Southeast Asian Games held in Hanoi, Vietnam. Despite falling to the host country in the grand finals, this achievement highlighted the potential and talent within the Filipino esports community.


Riot Games’ Empyrean Cup represents a significant step towards revitalizing the esports scene in the Philippines. With a substantial prize pool, inclusive eligibility criteria, and a structured path to the grand finals, the tournament promises to be an exciting event for both participants and fans. As Riot Games continues to invest in the local esports ecosystem, the future looks bright for competitive gaming in the Philippines.(Superace88)