The League of Legends League for the Oceania region (Australia and its surroundings), namely the Oceanic Pro League, will disappear from circulation and will no longer be continued for the 2021 season. This was announced by Riot Games in a blog post on 7 October 2020 yesterday. Riot Games also announced that they would close their office in Sydney, which is primarily focused on managing the OPL league. Even so, Riot Games stated that as much as possible it would continue to support the survival of professional LoL players, as well as the competitive scene in Oceania.
“When we started this journey five years ago, we planned to create a professional esports league in the region.” Riot Games wrote in a blog post, citing statements from Malte Wagener, Managing Director, NA & OCE, and Tom Martell, Director of Operations, Global Esports. “From humble beginnings, we’ve managed to turn the best players into professionals, and give fans to support their favorite players.”
“We at Riot Games have a desire to be able to create a competitive and sustainable league that can promote commercial development, fan involvement, to support professional players in making esports a full-time career. Unfortunately, despite our best efforts, OPL did not achieve our goals, and we have no confidence that the market for the League of Legends ecosystem in Oceania is capable of holding the league today. ” continued the blog post.
The signs of the OPL league’s “death” have actually been visible since last November 2019. Alex Walker from Kotaku Australia reported this when the editor of Kotaku Australia saw information about Riot Games’ decision to decide on the subsidy fee for the OPL league. “We confirm that we have cut the cost of subsidies for the next season, according to the plans we and the team had made when they decided to enter our league.” Alex Walker quoted a reply from Riot Oceania at the time.
In an effort to maintain the League of Legends competitive scene in Oceania, Riot Games explained that they will maintain their commitment to continue supporting professional players in the region. There are two things that Riot has done, as a concrete form of this effort.
First, professional players from the OCE region are now counted as players in the United States LCS region. Therefore, players from the OCE region no longer take player import slots if they want to move to the LCS team. In addition, Riot Games will also continue to carry out the 2021 Mid-Season Invitational and World Championship qualifiers in the region, to ensure that players from the OCE region are represented in international competitions.
The last season’s OPL League was held on August 8, 2020 yesterday with Legacy Esports as the winner of the Playoff round. Legacy Esports advanced to the Play-In World Championship 2020, filling the only OPL slot in Worlds 2020. After struggling hard enough, Legacy Esports was finally eliminated by LGD Gaming in the Playoff phase of the Play-In round.