Riot Games has today announced the dissolution of the Oceanic Pro League and officially closes their Sydney office here in Australia. News of this follows a tough year for the company following the outbreak of COVID-19, which greatly affected the state of the Oceanic Pro League.
Although this news comes as a shock to many, it’s unfortunately no surprise for most here in Australasia, as it’s been clear that Riot Oceania has been struggling for many years - some of which is due to Oceania being a wildcard region and other reasons due to the company not delivering on expectations.
Given that those connected to the competition (players, talent and organisation staff) began expressing themselves on social media only moments before the announcement, this can only suggest that this bombshell comes as news to them only today.
News broke out today at 5:30PM AEST as Riot Games issued a statement that reads “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."
"We remain committed to supporting our pro players in the region with a path to continue their careers moving forward. Beginning with the 2021 season, we are adding OCE to the competitive territory for the LCS, so OCE players will no longer take an import slot on LCS rosters."
"We will also hold qualifying tournaments in OCE for both MSI and Worlds in 2021, ensuring teams from the region will continue to be represented at our two major global events next season."
In their statement there is very little information as to what will replace the absence of the Oceanic Pro League. Although given that they have stated that Oceania will maintain a spot at MSI and Worlds, one can only assume that doors have been opened for third party tournament organisers.
Today is a sad day for those involved with the Oceanic Pro League and the staff of Riot Oceania who have likely lost their jobs due to the Sydney office officially closing their doors. Yes the news of Oceania being added to the 'competitive territory' in the LCS is promising signs for this years Oceanic Pro League talent looking to be scouted, but the future still remains uncertain for future rising talent.
It's important to note that with the Riot Oceania office closing here in Australia, this will likely not only affect League of Legends here in Australia, but also VALORANT.
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*NOTE: THIS IS A RUNNING STORY AND WE WILL UPDATE AS MORE INFORMATION IS AVAILABLE.*