UPDATE (December 2020): Oceanic League of Legends is getting a new lease of life.
Riot Games has provided a three-year license to ESL Gaming and Excel Esports investors Guinevere Capital to operate Oceanic League of Legends in the future.
Original article (October 7th 2020): Riot Games today announced the closure of its Sydney office and the Oceanic Pro League (OPL).
This was Oceania’s pro League of Legends tournament and a breeding ground for Australia’s top talent in the game, including the likes of Chiefs Esports Club and Dire Wolves.
Riot said that from 2021 Oceania will be added to the competitive territory for the North American LCS, so Oceanic players will no longer take an import slot on LCS rosters, and that there will be qualifying tournaments in Oceania for MSI and Worlds in 2021.
Malte Wagener, MD of North America & Oceania, and Tom Martell, Global Esports Director of Operations at Riot Games, said in this announcement post: “At Riot Games, we want to build competitive and sustainable leagues that drive commercial growth and fan engagement and that support professional play as a full-time career.
“Unfortunately, despite the best efforts of our teams and players, the OPL has not met our goals for the league, and we do not believe that the market is currently able to support the league in its current form.
“So today we are announcing the dissolution of the OPL and the closure of Riot’s Sydney office, as it primarily focused on operating the league.”
UK LoL community reacts
Reaction to the news was largely negative. We’ve collated a mix of comments on the news from the UK League of Legends below.
If we’ve missed some or you have a comment for consideration within this article, please DM us.
Maintaining Worlds & MSI slots for the region is one positive from the announcement & something a talent pathway can stilm potentially be built around. Happy to chat with any OCE players/staff if I can help.— Dave Harris (@daveharrisAUS) October 7, 2020
The part that is kind of confusing to me is the dissolution into the LCS. With other “wildcard” regions much closer (JP, Garena etc) they’re potentially forced to play at a professional level at very early times (near 5AM) if they can’t move to NA due to the ongoing pandemic.— Callum Fernandes AKA Magkid (@cjfernandes91) October 7, 2020
Dom is an award-winning writer who graduated from Bournemouth University with a 2:1 degree in Multi-Media Journalism in 2007.
As a long-time gamer having first picked up the NES controller in the late ’80s, he has written for a range of publications including GamesTM, Nintendo Official Magazine, industry publication MCV as well as Riot Games and others. He worked as head of content for the British Esports Association up until February 2021, when he stepped back to work full-time on Esports News UK and as an esports consultant helping brands and businesses better understand the industry.