Riot Games' esports division announced today that Vietnam (VCS) is now its own competitive League of Legends region.
Previously existing as part of the Southeast Asia's Garena Premier League (GPL), Vietnam will soon operate as its own region in prominent League of Legends tournaments like MSI and Worlds. After recounting how dominant Vietnam has been in its qualifying regional league by winning the last four GPL splits, the esports team explained that the achievements make Vietnam more than worthy to split into a separate region.
"Additionally, Vietnam's competitive performance at international events like 2017's Mid-Season Invitational and Worlds makes them more performative than a majority of the 13 other regions that compete," the LoL esports staff said. "When we combine these consistent achievements with Vietnam's mature competitive ecosystem and passionate player base, we think the time is right for them to compete as a unique individual region."
This means that Vietnam will now have "independent representation at international events" while other members of the Southeast Asia region like Singapore and Indonesia will still compete under the same regional umbrella. These other teams will still be sending their top team from the GPL to compete on larger stages.
As for the still relatively new Rift Rivals competition, the esports announcement said that the region will be grouped with Turkey and CIS for Rift Rivals while Southeast Asia will still be grouped with Oceania and Japan. On the grander stage during Worlds and MSI, Vietnam will now have a separate slot during the 2018 competitions apart from Southeast Asia. To make room for this newest region, MSI will be expanded to a 14-team tournament, but Worlds will stay at the current 24-team number.
Looking ahead to the future of these global competitions, Riot said that the goal is to make sure every region has some way to compete while also making sure that the competitions don't become "significantly larger than what they currently are" so as not to disrupt the current balance of competition and inclusion.
More information regarding MSI and other events will come soon, and esports viewers can keep up with the Vietnam region through its official esports page.