On October 15th, Riot Games live-streamed a lengthy and substantial series of announcements in celebration of the 10th anniversary of their flagship title, League of Legends. A portion of the stream discussing a mobile port of Teamfight Tactics, Riot's first official non-LoL property, included a not-so-subtle jab at Blizzard, as Riot's representative for TFT stated that, "it turns out, you guys actually do have phones."
Anyone who remembers last year's BlizzCon likely already knows the context, but for those who don't, one of Blizzard's "major" announcements during last year's event was a mobile Diablo game titled Diablo Immortal. Diablo fans were not thrilled. Fans of Blizzard games (and to an extent, PC games in general) tend to be somewhat serious about the games they play, and mobile games are usually intended for a more casual audience.
That's okay of course—there will be no shaming of casual gamers here—but the sin committed by Blizzard was more so failing to gauge the interest of its existing audience. Those who have funneled hundreds of hours into perfecting their Barbarian's build and equipment are simply not the type to flock to a simpler and less complex Diablo games, which is exactly what Diablo Immortal appears to be in its gameplay trailer. The backlash that this spawned led one Blizzard employee to ask, "do you guys not have phones?" after its mobile exclusivity was booed by a live audience.
The corporate calculation by Riot to take a dig at Blizzard in this moment holds more significance than simple cross-industry playfulness. Of course, most notably, Blizzard is in hot water at the moment for its treatment of Hearthstone player Blitzchung, and some have been flocking to Riot's games as an alternative, as fallacious as this decision ultimately might be.
Riot may not have any better a corporate track record than Blizzard, but given that they currently look better than Blizzard, there's virtually no better time for them to announce a card game (a Hearthstone competitor) and class-based shooter (an Overwatch alternative), as well as take a few jabs at their main source of competition, than now.