Riot Games, the creators of League of Legends, VALORANT, Legends of Runeterra, Teamfight Tactics, and League of Legends: Wild Rift, has made a move to help refugees from the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
After receiving feedback and requests from players and the community, Riot Games announced last Friday (5 March) it would be donating US$1 million toward humanitarian efforts in Ukraine.
It also launched an in-game fundraiser that runs from 5 to 12 March across all of its major titles.
The developers encouraged their community to buy battle passes, since all proceeds from these passes in all their titles (except for League of Legends), as well as the sales from the new Bee skin line in League of Legends, will be donated.
From March 5-12, we’re launching in-game fundraisers across @LeagueOfLegends, @PlayVALORANT, @wildrift, @TFT, and @PlayRuneterra to support humanitarian relief efforts in Europe.
Learn more about how you can join us in helping those in need: https://t.co/bEiE4a1gui pic.twitter.com/xgCf6LprSl
— Riot Games (@riotgames) March 5, 2022
Riot's donation of US$1 million, along with the in-game fundraiser, will benefit humanitarian relief in Ukraine and other impacted regions through three non-profit organizations — International Medical Corps, Médecins Sans Frontières/Doctors Without Borders, and the Polish Red Cross.
The invasion of Ukraine has affected some of the Riot staff and the esports community as well.
On 25 February, both the 2022 EMEA VALORANT Champions Tour and the League of Legends Continental League were put on hold following Russian President Vladimir Putin's orders to launch the invasion of Ukraine.
Almost a fourth of the VCT EMEA players are Russian and the LCL is a mix of mostly Eastern European players, mainly Russians and Ukrainians.
The VCT EMEA resumed last weekend (5 March), but the LCL is still on hold. Both tournaments will continue to adjust their plans based on events that may follow in the coming days.
Other esports organizations have also made a move to postpone tournaments following Russia's invasion of Ukraine.
WePlay Esports, located in Ukraine, also cut ties with firms in Russia and Belarus, refusing to show the Russian-language broadcast of the GAMERS GALAXY: Dota 2 Invitational Series Dubai 2022 in favor of a Ukrainian broadcast. The tournament also kicked off last week without Russian team Virtus.Pro.
In contrast to other esports competitions that have banned or expelled Russian teams and players, Riot has yet to make a comment about its stance on Russian teams playing in VALORANT and LoL events.
The developer has instead placed its priority on the safety of its players and employees, and now humanitarian aid.
If you'd like to learn more about how you can help Ukraine during this crisis, here is a list of international organizations you can donate to.
Anna is a freelance writer and photographer. She is a gamer who loves RPGs and platformers, and is a League of Legends geek. She's also a food enthusiast who loves a good cup of black coffee.