League Of Legends Dissolves Oceanic Pro League

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Looks like this one's gone.
Looks like this one's gone. Riot Games

Looks like there’s bad news for League of Legends fans. The Oceanic Pro League has been officially dissolved. The move ends its five-year run in the region. As part of this decision, Riot Games has also closed its Sydney office, which was mainly focused on operating the league.

In a joint statement by NA & OCE Managing Director Malte Wagener and Global Esports Director of Operations Tom Martell, they revealed that when the OPL was started five year ago, the goal was to “develop the first professional esports league in the region.” There was no doubt that the OPL allowed many top players to become pros while giving fans a place to cheer for their favorite players and teams.

Riot has always been about developing leagues that were not only competitive, but also sustainable. There was also the hope that these same leagues would be able to drive commercial growth and fan engagement as well as being able to support professional play as a full-time career. In the same statement, Wagener and Martell shared that “despite the best efforts of our teams and players, the OPL has not met out goals for the league, and we do not believe that the market is currently able to support the league in its current form.”

While indeed the OPL is no more, Riot Games said that this doesn’t mean that this is the end of LoL in the region. Stating with the 2021 season, the OCE region is now going to be added to “the competitive territory for the LCS.” This means that OCE players are no longer going to take an import slot on LCS rosters. Hopefully this should offer new opportunities for top OPL players in NA. Riot is also going to have qualifying tournaments in OCE not only for MSI, but also Worlds in 2021.

While this is indeed sad news, it’s not a surprise for those who were closely following the scene. In November 2019, Kotaku reported that Riot was downsizing OPL ahead of the 2020 season. In particular, teams in the region no longer received any team subsidy. There’s no question that the decision was mainly based on protecting the bottom line.

What are your thoughts on this? Do you think there’s going to be more bad news for LoL esports? Let us know in the comments section below.

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