Updated on January 6, 7:37 a.m. (GMT+8): Improved relevancy.

There’s a buzz in the air. Gamers in the Southeast Asian region have responded with enthusiasm to Riot Games’ self-publishing League of Legends and Teamfight Tactics from January 2023 onwards.

It’s been 12 years since Garena was given rights to the MOBA. Since the partnership began in 2009, the player base has experienced positive and negative effects. In more recent years, technical, player, esports, and infrastructural support from the third-party publisher have shrunk.

At the same time, Riot Games released and self-published more game titles, such as Valorant and Wild Rift, which some players have favored over the stagnant status of League.

Now that Riot is self-publishing its most successful game and esports title for the first time in SEA, ONE Esports spoke to Alex Kraynov, Managing Director APAC in an exclusive interview to find out more about its player base in the region.

League of Legends player base in SEA still healthy, according to Riot Games

League of Legends, PCS Summer 2021, Liyab Esports, Kanji, PSG Talon Maple, Boom Esports Wako
Credit: Liyab Esports, Riot Games, BOOM Esports

It’s not just the game itself that hasn’t had quality of life improvements, but also the fact that support for LoL esports leagues across all levels of competitive play has decreased over the years. Fewer and fewer tournaments were held, and there became less incentive for players to stay.

As a result, competitive players have migrated to other LoL esports leagues, or changed games altogether to Riot-supported Valorant or Wild Rift.

Given these trends, you might be surprised about the health of the player base — the overall League of Legends player base in the SEA region isn’t shrinking, Alex shared with ONE Esports.

Audience in SEA for League is stable now. In some countries it’s even growing and it’s not declining. That’s a real fact, which is great news to us,” he said. “We’re not coming in to take over a shrinking business.”

Regarding match-making and ranked queue times, he mentioned that Riot will definitely be checking on it once they assume ownership.

“Overall, player base is fairly good. We were positively surprised ourselves because we didn’t have too much control here in SEA. We were happy to see it,” he added.

The account linking process started on November 18, 2022. The full step-by-step account migration tutorial and FAQ can be found on Riot’s official Account Migration Microsite here.

Follow ONE Esports on Twitter for more LoL interviews, news, and more.

READ MORE: Exclusive: TFT mobile will be available to players in SEA soon