15 April 2024 - Written By

When it comes to the League Of Fire World Rankings and keeping the system fair and correct, there are many challenges we face (excuse the pun)! One such problem arises when our LOF Heroes make commitments and show their continuous support for this new sport but realise certain aspects may be disproportionate and do not reflect fairly in the long term.

Over the years, the LOF has organically partitioned into two modes of competition that interweave. The World Chilli Eating Championship (WCEC) indeed focuses on the age-old traditional chilli-eating contests. These are the types of competitions you may have seen online or live at festivals, in which a group of brave contestants sits down to eat fresh peppers that increase in heat until the contest concludes. As the contest advances, the heat levels rise, often leaving you with a winner or joint winners! We have managed to grow this element of spicy sport to the extent that we have local and regional Champions as well as the esteemed World Champion, currently Canada’s Mike ‘Molten Moose’ Jack.

Mike ‘Molten Moose’ Jack

An important aspect of the above strand of LOF competitive chilli-eating (the WCEC segment) is that points are still allocated to our overall World Ranking System, which we call the World Community Chilli Championship (WCCC). Consequently, what is important in this discourse is that the points gained for a World Title Match win are disproportionate, but the esteem of being a LOF Belt-holding Champion engenders huge respect that brings equal, or perhaps more, gratification than being on top of the overall WCCC rankings. For example, downing 5 or 6 Chug Challenges could gain more points than winning a brutal World Title match! This has always been the case since the LOF’s inception.

The WCCC ranking system pays a huge amount of homage to the brave Chilli Heads who take part in the global online activities, accrediting them with recognition for eating a range of chilli challenge products, which are very often made by small family businesses. This aspect of the League Of Fire community is a vital lifeline to the sport as a whole, serving as a way to monetize and sustain the efforts and work the team puts in to ensure the LOF and the sport can survive, continue, and thrive! It is true that becoming the WCCC Champion is evidently tough, often resulting in gaining multiple World Records for eating extreme challenges! The current WCCC Champion, Kris ‘The Scoville Unit’ Fragale of the USA, is well known for his multiple World Records. In fact, he has so many that he now refers to them as his ‘wallpaper’!

Kris ‘The Scoville Unit’ Fragale

The important thing with the WCCC aspect of the League Of Fire is that it often means the LOF Heroes invest financially in their sport. Much like a golfer will have to buy equipment and pay fees to the golf club she or he frequents, a WCCC Champion will support chilli companies by buying their products. This leads us to make a change in how some League Of Fire World Ranking points are distributed from now on.

Another element of competitive chilli eating has become more prominent recently. The volume of fresh pod consumption challenges has become more popular, and bragging rights have become more desirable in recent years. We have a huge amount of respect for this aspect of chilli eating. Currently, we have a Carolina Reaper and a 7 Pot Primo League Table which issue WCCC ranking points for the brave people who can sit down, normally on their own although they can sit side-by-side, following the LOF rules, to eat as much of the same fresh chilli pepper type as possible in one sitting. Although this challenge only involves the same pepper and has no speed or taste/texture difference aspects, it is a very highly regarded challenge, with many people believing that whoever is at the top of this League Table should be considered among the toughest Chilli Heads in the world, without question!

Up until now, the LOF ranking points have reflected this. When a chilli-eating behemoth, such as Mike Jack, sits down and breaks the ‘volume’ world record, he can achieve enough world ranking points to catapult him to the top of the world rankings, overtaking other competitors who have invested in lots of chilli companies and purchased lots of challenges. The fresh pods available for the ‘pepper volume’ League Tables are very often donated for free at events, just like the pods in the WCEC Belt Matches are donated.

7 Pot Primo Peppers

Consequently, a problem arises. Some of the WCCC competitors who do support the producers by purchasing challenges could complain that it is possible to win the WCCC (the World Chilli Community Championship) without showing as much commitment to the chilli challenge producers. Considering many of these producers are startups or small, family businesses, it is vital we acknowledge this aspect. The term ‘community’ is all-important to us! Hence, just like the current Belt Matches, we have decided that from this date (15th April 2024) onwards, the fresh pod volume League Tables shall have reduced World Record points and fall more in line with the points awarded for WCEC events. We feel that gaining LOF World Records for eating the most of the world’s hottest pepper brings so much worldwide admiration to that particular record holder as it is, that there is, in fact, enough celebratory status in that World Record Certificate alone. It is kinda similar to holding a LOF Belt.

In summary, we do feel that community should mean community, and the Chilli Heads buying challenges and supporting the business must be recognized first and foremost in the World Chilli Community Championship aspect of the LOF. Points for fresh pods challenges will still be awarded but will always be significantly fewer points than those gained for those purchased challenges. Keep an eye on our new website experience, powered by Firehub, to see the new point structures for the pod volume challenges from now on. The points awarded for regular, extreme and World Belt matches will remain the same!

Finally, regarding fresh pod volume eating League Tables: We always had a Carolina Reaper League Table as it was declared by Guinness World Records as the world’s hottest pepper since 2013. We introduced a 7 Pot Primo League Table last year and now the 7 Pot Primo has officially tested at 1,790,150 SHU in the docuseries SUPERHOT: The Spicy World Of The Pepper People, which aired on January 22nd, 2024, on Hulu and Disney Plus. This test result is higher than the old world record holder Carolina Reaper. The 7 Pot Primo pepper is officially the hottest pepper in the world that you can actually obtain in fresh pod form, as the current Guinness world record-holding pepper is not available to the public. Considering this, we are closing the Carolina Reaper League Table as of the date of this blog and will only have the new 7 Pot Primo League Table open at this time.