Vietnam is not a country you often hear about, but they are working on making a change in many ways, including with eSports. Riot Games has announced Vietnam will be an independently represented region during the League of Legends. They will be able to separate from other Asian countries during the Mid-Season Invitational and World Champion, according to an announcement made Wednesday, February 21, 2018.
The Garena Pro League contained the Vietnam Championship Series, but they are not going to be part of the six-region league hosted in Southeast Asia. It is due to the last two years when the Vietnamese teams were able to gain success in the Garena Pro League and set themselves apart. The GIGABYTE Marines are just one of the teams that have had success on the international circuit.
Riot Games decided to reward these teams by ensuring there is a Vietnamese region represented at the League of Legends. It may also give other Southeast Asian groups the chance to be represented by their independent sector and not lumped in with five or six different countries. Time will show it the Mid-Season Invitational, and World Championship will have five Southeast Asian teams in a group or more independent representatives like the Vietnamese teams.
Game Time Lineup
The Mid-Season Invitational will now have fourteen teams, where it only had thirteen before. Rift Rivals is going to have a competition between Vietnam and Turkey, as well as the Commonwealth of Independent States. All other Southeast Asian teams will be grouped in with Oceania and Japan. The World Championship will see no change, with 24 teams representing companies. However, Vietnam will represent a second spot that was often given to “non-major” regions.
A request was put into Riot Games, so it is not an unsolicited award. Garena Pro League, which has eleven teams, asked for Vietnam to be given two slots in the League of Legends. It was a solicited request when GIGABYTE Marines showed significant success at the Mid-Season Invitational in 2017. The teams, GBM and Young Generation, qualified for the 2017 World Championship, earning two spots.
It is a principal award for Vietnam. They are independent and showing their prowess against other Southeast Asian teams. It may mean that more groups lumped in with Japan and Oceania will ask to break away to represent their nations if they have the same success that the Vietnamese teams have enjoyed.