After months of uncertainty, Oceanic League of Legends will live on through a joint project by ESL Australia and Guinevere Capital, who today announce the League of Legends Circuit Oceania (LCO).
The eight team competition will feature a double round robin format taking place over 19 match days, with the eight organisations - Legacy Esports, ORDER, Avant Gaming, Chiefs Esports Club, Dire Wolves, Pentanet, Mammoth and Gravitas - fighting out the eight week tournament for a spot in the top five.
From there, just one squad will survive the double elimination playoffs and grand final to claim the title of LCO Champions and a sole spot at Riot Games’ Mid-Season Invitational (MSI), with MSI’s location or date yet to be announced at this stage.
Peter Du, LCO League Manager and Senior Project Manager at ESL Australia, said this on OCE’s revitalisation of League of Legends: “This is a new opportunity for Oceanic League of Legends talent to step up and begin their pathway to the world stage, while playing in the sort of competition that every LoL esports fan wants to watch. We’re excited to build up the LCO and create the strongest and most entertaining League of Legends competition that the region has ever seen.”
“Raise your koalas, because competitive Oceanic League of Legends is back.” - Peter Du, LCO League Manager, Senior Product Manager at ESL Australia
ESL Australia will utilise their brand new three-studio setup in western Sydney to broadcast matches, featuring both on-site and remote talent for commentary and analysis - the exact lineup of talent to be announced in the coming weeks, with ESL Australia stating fans can ‘expect a mix of familiar faces and newcomers to the desk.’
“While it’s been great to see Australia and New Zealand talent competing in other regions over the past few weeks, we are looking forward to having this region's homegrown competition back on February 23rd,” said Guinevere Capital Managing Director Dave Harris.
“It’s taken a huge amount of work to get to this stage and we really want to thank all the players, teams, brands and fans who are ensuring 2021 is Oceania’s biggest year yet for competitive LoL.”
LoL’s future as a healthy competitive esport in the Oceanic region appeared all but over in October, following the closure of Riot Games Australia offices and dissolution of the Oceanic Pro League after 12 months of downsizing the league’s operations.
Over ten full-time employees were affected directly, while the scene saw an exodus of players, talent and managing staff mostly to North America after Riot announced Oceania would be added to the LCS competitive territory.
But now, with a pathway from home back in place, the next generation of Australasia’s best and brightest can once again make a career out of the long-running esport.
ESL’s LCO begins February 23rd - all information can be found on the official LCO Twitter account and on the LCO official site. Matches will be broadcast live from the Sydney studios on Twitch, among multiple platforms.