Riot Games ceases Oceanic Pro League. Riot Games has announced that the League of Legends pro-league, the Oceanic Big League (OPL), based in Australia and New Zealand, will immediately halt operations.
Riot’s Sydney office will also close and players in the OCE region will be integrated into the North American player pool. 2021 Mid-Season Invitational and World Championship qualifiers will still be held for the region.
In an official statement, Malte Wagener, Managing Director, NA & OCE and Tom Martell, Director of Operations, Global Esports explains that “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 decision comes after Riot Games generating $1.5B (~£1.16B) in revenue in 2019 and the cancellation of the OPL’s operating subsidy in December of the same year.
The employment situation is unclear for players, support staff and company staff across the eight teams competing in the league. Players will be merged into the NA zone, with LCS teams no longer needing OCE players to field an open import spot. However, they will compete in a competitive market for spots and it is possible that the future of players playing in the Oceanic Challenger Series (OCS) will be reassessed.
Although qualifiers will still be held for MSI and Worlds next year, the qualifiers structure is yet to be announced. Wagener and Martell commented that “Riot remains fully committed to supporting all players in OCE, and we are excited for what’s to come in 2021 and beyond.”