ESL and Guinevere Capital announced a partnership yesterday to start and run a new eight team league in the new year. Riot Games have provided the partners with a three-year operating licence.
The Oceanic Pro League
This will come as a great relief for teams based in the Oceanic region. After the closure of the Oceanic Pro League, they may have thought that they would not be getting much play in the coming year. In an update posted by LoL Esports in October, they wrote:
“At Riot Games, we want to build competitive and sustainable leagues that drive commercial growth and fan engagement and that support professional play as a full-time career. Unfortunately, despite the best efforts of our teams and players, 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.
“So 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. However, this is not the end of League esports in OCE. We remain committed to supporting our pro players in the region with a path to continue their careers moving forward.”
The new league
According to their press release, the new league is being “designed in collaboration” with the eight teams that took part in the final year of the Oceanic Pro League. The teams that will be taking part are:
- Avant Gaming
- Chiefs Esports
- Club, Dire Wolves
- Legacy Esports
As mentioned earlier, ESL and Guinevere Capital have received a three-year operating licence for the new league, and they have an option to extend the licence for an additional three years. No other details have been provided about the league, but ESL and Guinevere Capital say that they will share more information in early 2021.
ESL SVP Asia-Pacific Japan, Nick Vanzetti:
“From running the first official tournaments on the Oceanic servers to helping produce the OPL Finals at the Melbourne Esports Open, the ESL team have always had competitive League of Legends in our DNA, so when the opportunity to build a new league, and create new opportunities for League of Legends players in Oceania presented itself, we jumped on it. We’re excited for what’s in store for the competitive Oceanic LoL ecosystem in 2021 and look forward to working with the team at Guinevere and Riot to create something that fans and competitors alike can be proud of.”
Dave Harris, Guinevere Capital’s Managing Director:
“OPL was our first step into esports back in 2016 through a team investment and despite having moved on to be involved in other regions, titles and projects since, we have always been parochial supporters of the OCE scene and LoL in particular. Our philosophy has been based around developing young talent and there are many examples of players, coaches and casters from this region becoming globally relevant. We genuinely believe this new league can be a case study for elsewhere in the world with the freedom to innovate and build a sustainable esports model in what is still an emerging region.”
The future of esports in the region
Once the OPL was shuttered, there was a vacuum that needed to be filled for the eight major League of Legends teams in the region. Now that ESL and Guinevere Capital have stepped up and created a new league, we can see some of the best names in LoL play back at it in their home region.
As always, if you are looking for some good esports betting odds, the winner of the 2020 OPL Split 2 was Legacy Esports, so make sure to keep an eye on them.