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Published: August 31, 2021

Written by: Stefan Velikov


  • Arena of Valor’s 2022 World Cup will feature a sizable $8 million prize pool payout to deserving players
  • Tencent Games is determined to expand Arena of Valor’s clout in the world beyond the Southeast Asia region
  • The competition between mobile games is intensifying quickly around the world, with many viable choices now available 

Arena of Valor chose to be quiet in 2021, but this will change with Tencent planning a huge esports season for 2022. 

AoV Has Big Esports Plans for 2022

Tencent is overhauling Arena of Valor in a bid to boost the game’s esports presence in 2022. The company will seek to take its game internationally and start competing with other established mobile MOBA titles, including Wild Rift and Mobile Legends. 

Even though Tencent’s statement only focuses on its own plans for the game, cutting on the same market as Wild Rift and MLBB are presumed. Tencent Games developed Arena of Valor as the international version of Honor of Kings, a highly successful MOBA game for Chinese players with tremendous success in the country.

However, player bases outside of China have been somewhat skeptical of Arena of Valor, which was released in 2016 and has been a qualified success in the western hemisphere. Regardless, Tencent has been continually investing in the game.

The Arena of Valor World Cup (AWC) 2022 is coming back as strong as ever, and Tencent is willing to invest as much as $8 million in a bid to excite global audiences for the game. That makes up for the gap year this year. Tencent set the prize purse for the AWC 2021 edition at $500,000, one of the lowest on record.

Tencent is already planning out how the competition will look like. There will be 16 group stage slots available. The game is currently extremely popular in Southeast Asia, but Tencent wants to push it at a time when Riot Games is pushing more aggressively in the region with Wild Rift.

Competing Against Everyone Else 

As a result, Tencent is going to become a more global phenomenon, hoping to attract Western talent and pit it against the homespun Chinese powerhouses. Tencent said: ” With a global spirit in mind, the AWC will see the best teams from Asia, North America, South America, Middle East, and Europe go head-to-head.”

There will be additional changes to the existing tournament schedules and overall structures. AWC will invite teams from all over the place, including squads from the Middle East and Europe, North America, South America, and Asia. More details will be forthcoming as well.

Tencent Games head of global esports Bernd Gottsmann had this to add: “We are combining Arena of Valor and Honor of Kings for the first time, and we look forward to sharing more details on how teams can qualify very soon.”

Gottsmann didn’t miss out on commending the strong grassroots support for Arena of Valor even in the West. Admittedly, it has been through this passion that Tencent has come to the decision to boost its own involvement with the competitive scene in AoV. 

The big question is whether Tencent’s AoV can quite rival Honor of Kings. In China alone, HoK has achieved tremendous success, averaging some 100 million daily players. AoV’s player base is much smaller in comparison, with some 8.3 million people playing the westernized iteration of Honor of Kings. 

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