On Thursday, August 11th Riot Games and SoLa Impact’s I CAN Foundation, which aims to improve the lives of South LA residents and break the cycle of intergenerational poverty by providing opportunities for education and economic mobility, hosted a grand opening event to celebrate the partnership and completion of the SoLa’s Technology and Entrepreneurship Center Powered by Riot Games.
The over $2M contribution from Riot, the Los Angeles-based developer and publisher known for genre-defining games including League of Legends and VALORANT, has enabled the completion of the first of its kind technology and esports center at SoLa’s Beehive campus. The center aims to inspire and develop the next generation of Black and Brown game developers, esports athletes, technology professionals, leaders, and entrepreneurs—all free of charge to South LA residents.
The grand opening event kicked off with a ribbon cutting ceremony where representatives from Riot Games, SoLa Impact and dignitaries representing South LA spoke about the partnership and the importance of this work. Those in attendance were given a first look at the center and had the opportunity to speak with Riot and SoLa executives as well as students and parents who have benefited from the program. The highlight of the space and a favorite of the students is the newly-completed 3,000 sq. ft. esports & gaming arena which features 40 high-end gaming PCs, a streaming studio, and a 5v5 competitive setup stage. During the event, students from SoLa’s Summer Tech Camp went head-to-head in a game of VALORANT and even got some tips from Marc Merrill, Riot’s co-founder and current President of Games.
Riot and SoLa will work to secure new pathways to explore economic and educational opportunities by providing students the same access to the powerful benefits of technology as their counterparts in more affluent areas. The center looks to impact more than 1,000 students annually, with a long-term goal to narrow the digital divide and inspire future generations to pursue meaningful and fun careers in STEM and illuminate potential career opportunities they may have never dreamed of before. Together, Riot and SoLa hope to positively impact the life trajectories of youth across South Los Angeles for years to come.
Riot Games was founded in 2006 to develop, publish, and support the most player-focused games in the world. In 2009, Riot released its debut title, League of Legends, to worldwide acclaim. League has gone on to be the most-played PC game in the world and a key driver of the explosive growth of esports.
With League in its second decade, Riot is continuing to evolve the game while delivering new experiences to players with Teamfight Tactics, Legends of Runeterra, VALORANT, League of Legends: Wild Rift, and multiple work-in-progress titles. In addition, Riot Forge gives developers access to Riot’s IP to create games like Ruined King and plenty of other adventures across Runeterra. Riot is also expanding the world of Runeterra through multimedia projects across music, comic books, board games, and Arcane, its popular animated series.
The annual League of Legends World Championship features qualified esports teams from 12 international leagues. Worlds is the most widely viewed and followed esport tournament, and it is among the largest and most popular gaming and sporting events in the world.
Founded by Brandon Beck and Marc Merrill, and led by CEO Nicolo Laurent, Riot is headquartered in Los Angeles, California, and has 3,000+ Rioters in 20+ offices worldwide.