May is Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) Heritage Month in the US, a celebration of these communities and the contributions they have made to American history and culture. May is designated as AAPI Heritage Month because of two key historic events that happened in May for the AAPI Community. On May 7, 1843, the first Japanese immigrants arrived in the US and on May 10, 1869, the first transcontinental railroad in the US was completed with significant contributions from Chinese workers.
During May, Riot took the opportunity to celebrate and learn about the traditions and history of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders.
How we celebrated
Formation of a new Asian & Pacific Islander Rioter Inclusion Group
At Riot, we celebrated by launching a new Rioter Inclusion Group (RIG) for Asians and Pacific Islanders (API). The API RIG is a place for Rioters of all Asian & Pacific Islander identities to come together, learn from each other’s shared commonalities and multicultural differences, and advocate for Asians & Pacific Islanders at the Riot level. API at Riot will build bridges with all of Riot’s offices and adopt a global strategy in its efforts.
Through increasing awareness and amplifying Asian & Pacific Islander stories, the API RIG will enhance the resonance of Riot’s IP for these communities. The API RIG is focused on increasing the representation, engagement, retention, inclusion, and awareness of API Rioters across the globe.
Our Inaugural API RIG event was held on May 26. In honor of the AAPI Heritage Month 2022 theme of Advancing Leaders through Collaboration, we hosted a Fireside Chat with Riot’s Head of Production, Mags Ng. Mags shared her moving story about her identity as a Hong Kong immigrant. She explored the evolving relationship she has had with her identity intertwined with her 20+ years of experience in gaming. By sharing inspirational stories she encourages us all to be unapologetically ourselves and celebrate all that our identities have to offer.
After the session, we all headed outside to socialize with delicious custom treats and drinks provided by NOMs, our on-campus cafeteria staff, including Shrimp Toast and Matcha Mochi cake. It was a fun and lively event where we were able to meet our fellow Asian & Pacific Islander colleagues and allies, connect over good food and good conversation, and celebrate a slice of what this vast community has to offer.
Asian & Pacific Islander food is delicious and diverse. We couldn’t celebrate AAPI Heritage Month without experiencing the vast array of food Asian cuisine has to offer. Hosted by NOMs, we indulged in foods ranging from BBQ Pork Belly Pineapple Buns to Aloo Gobi to Tapsilog Skirt Steak.
Beyond AAPI Month
Resilience: This Moment and Beyond
In partnership with Right To Be, we will be hosting a training on Resilience: This Moment and Beyond that will empower Rioters to be authors of their own resilience. In light of the rise of anti-AAPI hate, we’ll explore how to make sense of this moment and how it shapes our experience. This will be an interactive learning experience to understand resilience, sit with it, create your own story, hold our pain, and still find joy.
Earlier this year Riot released a new VALORANT agent, Neon, who is an agent from the Philippines. One of the lead designers for Neon is Filipino, and in consultation with many partners including our Filipinos at Riot (FAR) RIG, we were able to develop a truly resonant and authentic Filipino character. Neon has been a rewarding way to celebrate and recognize the incredible VALORANT players from Filipino communities.