It was only a week ago that everyone was getting on the OPL hype train, celebrating Legacy making it out of the group stage of the play-ins. It had been the greatest showing of an Oceanic squad on the Worlds stage and yet it seems all for naught.
Earlier this morning Riot Games announced that they will be dissolving the OPL for 2021. Malte Wagener, Managing Director, NA & OCE and Tom Martell, Director of Operations, Global Esports wrote in a statement this morning:
“[...] 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.”
The OPL has been my livelihood for 6 years. I first started fulltime for Riot in 2015 and went full focus on what my dream was.— Jake Tiberi (@Spawnlol) October 7, 2020
I have been apart of 5 Worlds Broadcasts and 4 MSI Broadcasts.
Today I feel nothing but sadness for everyone involved in League of Legends in OCE.
Multiple Casters have chimed in, expressing their sadness and disappointment with this announcement. Even casters from other esports, such as Dota, have expressed their feelings regarding the news.
The OPL was founded five years ago in an attempt to build the first professional esports league in the region. With this new announcement, Riot also declared OCE as part of the LCS region, meaning that players from Oceania won’t be taking up import slots on any LCS rosters.
This was done to give prominent players from the region a chance to play on professional teams even without the local OPL. As a consolation prize it was also announced that for international events such as Worlds and MSI, Riot will still hold qualifying events in OCE to ensure that a team from the region will be able to compete on the global stage.
All this comes after a great showing on the World Championship stage. Legacy was the first OCE team to play in a Bo5 and truly made the region proud. Unfortunately, the team was not able to beat LGD and didn’t make it to the main event. The team, and region, garnered much attention after their fantastic play-in showing though and having the league dissolve is truly disheartening to hear.
Who knows what is in store for upcoming young talent from the region? Will they move to North America or stay in OCE, hoping to win one of the qualifying tournaments for the international event. All that will have to be something we keep an eye out for in 2021.
What do you think of the OPL dissolving? What do you think will happen to the players? Let us know on Twitter and Facebook. For more information regarding the upcoming 10.21 Patch keep reading on EarlyGame.