It’s time to light up the lanterns. As Ramadan begins around the world, this year Wild Rift is bringing the celebration in game. You’ll light up your lantern when you log in but the fun doesn’t stop there. Over the next five weeks of Ramadan and Eid al-Fitr the team behind Wild Rift has cooked up plenty to feast on. There will be poros banging on drums to make sure their buddies don’t miss Sahur, a new game mode to play with friends, and gifts to top it all off. 

“A lot of Wild Rift players celebrate Ramadan globally so it was important for us to have this event,” said Richard Zheng, the Event Producer for the Ramadan in-game event on the Wild Rift Publishing team in Shanghai. “We wanted to show players we see them and we want to celebrate the holiday with them by having a big in-game event.” 

While the Wild Rift team made the event a reality, the story of Ramadan entering the game begins with a group of Rioters who observe Ramadan themselves and knew how important this representation could be for players.

“I helped create a group of Rioters called the Ramadan strike team made up of people from around Riot’s offices,” said Anas Al Hakim, who began this project as a Brand Manager in our Dubai office and was recently promoted to Creative Lead of APAC working out of Singapore. “We know there are millions of players who celebrate Ramadan and our goal of the strike team was to bring the celebration in game.” 

The Wild Rift team heard the strike team loud and clear as the team focuses on hyper serving more and more regional players with in-game events. But if they were going to do a Ramadan event, they were going to do it right by making sure they have a full understanding of everything Ramadan. To do that, they turned to the strike team. 

“Many of the people on the team haven’t observed Ramadan before so we enlisted the help of a bunch of Rioters who helped make this an authentic, global representation of Ramadan,” said Ben Cheng, Manager of Marketing Creative Direction on the Wild Rift team in Shanghai. “One of the first things we looked at were the differences and similarities with how Ramadan is celebrated in various cultures. We had in-depth conversations with Rioters who observe Ramadan across a bunch of our offices to make sure we truly understood the local nuances in each culture and how to represent that in the game.”

“The team asked me to be a cultural and visual advisor for the event and I was honored,” Anas said. “But I didn’t want to just have my lens on the event. I’m from the Middle East but Ramadan is huge, it varies from Indonesia to Turkiye to Saudi to Lebanon. So we got a representative from each region, a lot of the members of the original strike team, to talk about Ramadan in their country for this event.” 

Now made up of the Wild Rift team and Rioters from many regional offices, the Ramadan group went to work by sharing local traditions, the food from each region, and how Ramadan is celebrated. The first major challenge: what do we name it?

Together Under the Crescent

While each region has its unique traditions borne over the centuries, every person in the strike team agreed that coming together with friends and family is core to Ramadan. By pairing that idea with the phase of the moon that signifies the beginning and end of Ramadan, they came up with the name “Together Under the Crescent.” 

“Each day during Ramadan you fast from sunrise to sundown and the most important time of the day is breaking that fast in the evening with a feast called Iftar,” said Caner Sandik, a Brand Manager who advised on this event from our Istanbul office. “After a long day of fasting, Iftar is when everyone gets together and celebrates over food. So with this event we wanted to emphasize that feeling of being together and sharing that joy with each other.”

“For me, Ramadan is a time for gathering with friends and family, even those you haven't seen in months,” said Zeinab Alayan, a Brand Manager in Dubai who helped with this event. “It’s a time of togetherness, where people tend to invite each other over for Iftar. If you want to compare it to an American tradition, it’s like having Thanksgiving every night.”

But, before the feast, is the fast. Some cultures have developed their own traditions to help span the day between meals. 

“Part of our local culture in Indonesia is during Ngabuburit, the time in the last two hours before we break the fast, people take their mind off the hunger by going for a walk, watching TV, playing mobile games, or going to a PC bang with friends,” said Resha Pradipta, the Country Manager for Indonesia and Malaysia who works out of our relatively new Jakarta office. “During this moment, there’s a lot of togetherness between the people who celebrate Ramadan. Games are a big part of how people celebrate the holiday and enjoy their time together with friends and family.”

“Another time people play a lot of games is late at night,” Anas said. “When you’re waiting for Sahur, the late night meal, it’s normal to see groups get together at 2 AM in a restaurant, in a PC Cafe playing Wild Rift, in a shisha having a late night snack. Some of those people could be fasting for the holiday but there are also many who aren't. This is just the culture during this time. Whether you are observing the holiday or not, your days change during Ramadan and you get together with friends and family. And that’s what we wanted to emphasize with this event, that feeling of togetherness that is tied so closely to Ramadan.” 

This year Wild Rift will provide even more opportunities to get together with friends as a new game mode and minigame were designed to add to the in-game celebration.

Wild Rift Ramadan Road Map

An Adorable Sahur Wake-up Call

Each day of Ramadan is marked with two feasts: Iftar, breaking the fast in the evening, and Sahur, the final meal before the sun rises and the fasting begins. If you miss Sahur, it’s a long wait for that evening’s Iftar. That’s where the giant drums come in. 

“In Turkish culture, there's been a tradition from long before the days of alarm clocks,” Caner said. “Because it isn’t easy to wake yourself up at 4 AM each morning, drummers walk the streets to wake people up before Sahur. You don’t want to miss that meal or you won’t have a comfortable fasting day. In every city in Turkiye, you will see drummers walking the streets. It’s like the soundtrack of Ramadan.” 

With this tradition in mind, the Wild Rift team went to work. 

“We knew we wanted to do a minigame but didn’t know what to focus on,” Richard said. “We looked at something about decorating the home or Ramadan trivia. But then we learned about this drum ritual that’s common in Turkiye and some other places that observe Ramadan. So we decided to have a poro go around and wake up other poros by banging the drum. We worked with a music producer to make sure the drum sound was just right to reflect the types of drums used in Turkiye.” 

The poro minigame is just the beginning. In all, Together Under the Crescent will have five weeks of unique events, new emotes, and more. In the main game, players will have a mode to try out with their friends that brings new (and powerful) combos to WR. 

“My favorite part of the event is the new double-cast game mode,” said Homer Huang, the Brand Manager of the Ramadan project in the Shanghai office. “We’ve seen players like to spend their Ramadan in game and we wanted to provide a more casual, more action-packed mode for them to play with their friends.”

Between the minigames and the emotes, there’s a wide variety of Ramadan culture and heritage represented in the event. But there’s one image that truly encapsulates all the cultures that came together to share their perspective on this event.

Wild Rift Poro Iftar

The Around-the-World Iftar

With Ramadan, like with many holidays, food is at the heart. While the overarching traditions of Ramadan span culture and region, many of the foods common at Iftar are unique to local customs. So for these 14 poros, the Rioters around the world each offered their own suggestions for what food to include as traditional dishes appear from across the Middle East, North Africa, and Southeast Asia.

“Countries often celebrate Ramadan differently so for this Wild Rift campaign we wanted to make sure we could represent as many unique experiences as possible,” Resha said. “Food was a big thing we looked at. In Indonesia and Malaysia, we eat Ketupat during the Hari Raya (the Indonesian name for Eid al-Fitr) so that was one of the first dishes we suggested they put on the table to represent how people celebrate Ramadan in Indonesia and Malaysia.” 

“In Turkiye, Eid is celebrated with lots of sweets and desserts,” Caner said. “During this time everyone is visiting their loved ones, neighbors, and friends who are serving them Turkish delights and baklavas. It’s always funny to spend a month fasting and then suddenly find yourself eating a half kilogram of baklava.” 

With food such a central theme of Ramadan, the artist behind the picture tried to fit as many dishes as possible into the poro’s feast. Between the tea, dates, qatayef, dolma, shish kebabs, gullac, Ramazan pidesi, lentil soup, and everything else on the table, everyone who celebrates Ramadan can agree this is a proper Iftar. 

Looking Towards the Future

In Wild Rift’s fourth year since launch, the team is continuously working to level up the experience and bring events closer to players around the world. 

“Wild Rift is a global game and we want to make sure we respect and honor players' culture with product experiences,” Homer said. “We’ve worked to show other regional celebrations in the past like the web experience for Brazil’s Carnaval this year. Besides the Lunar New Year event, Ramadan will be our first in-game event that celebrates players' culture with a full event of unique content. It’s a really important event to us and we hope that players enjoy it. Our goal is to do more and more events like this so players can see their culture reflected in the game.” 

After a lot of work from the Wild Rift team, and tons of input from Rioters around the world who observe Ramadan, Together Under the Crescent is ready to play. 

“When I shared some of the visuals with our team here in Dubai, everyone was so excited,” Zeinab said. “I hope players love it too, and see that we hear them. Just like their peers who get to celebrate in game with Lunar New Year, Halloween, or Christmas, it’s their time to see their culture represented. We all tried to contribute our experience to this event and the Wild Rift team took all of our feedback into consideration to try to make it as impactful as possible for players.” 

The world is filled with deep and complex cultures. Representing all cultures in the game is certainly a challenge, but it’s one that the Wild Rift team wants to tackle. 

“We are scaling up our global publishing capability,” Homer said. “We want everyone to have a cultural celebration moment to enjoy in the game. It’s very important to us to have more and more of these kinds of events. And while we do that, it’s important to do them right to show players that not only is the event here but that we did our research to show that respect to their culture as we bring it into the game.” 

Just as Ramadan represents new beginnings, the Wild Rift team knows Together Under the Crescent is just the beginning of all the ways they can celebrate players' culture in game.

Check out Wild Rift to light your lantern, wake up some poros, and play together under the crescent.