2019 champions Bombers, and parent organisation Essendon Football Club, are set to depart the Oceanic Pro League after selling their slot to Perth-based esports start-up Pentanet.GG ahead of the 2020 season.
The Bombers’ withdrawal comes after the removal of an “operating subsidy” payment to teams from Riot within Australia and New Zealand’s premier League of Legends competition next year, as reported by Kotaku earlier this month.
The Melbourne-based squad won the first split of the 2019 season, defeating Order 3-0 at the Riot Oceania studio in Sydney. Their championship success comes after middling results early in their OPL narrative, before a star-studded squad was built, which included NA imports Victor “FBI” Huang and Tommy “Ryoma” Le. The organisation represented Oceania at the Mid-Season Invitational, where they exited after the international event’s Play-In group stage.
According to sources, Pentanet.GG will replace Essendon’s Bombers esports team in the OPL for 2020.
Pentanet.GG is a new esports brand, backed by Perth internet provider Pentanet and led by radio host and prominent games media personality Pete Curulli as their general manager.
They’ve already made waves in esports, hosting a Rocket League LAN during the Vic Park Festival in Perth just last weekend.
So bloody proud of this team! We built a fully functional remote LAN in the middle of a street and exposed 60,000 people to the awesome message that #esports is here in Perth in a big way!#gaming #perth #perthisokay #perthpoweredesports pic.twitter.com/iB4kgqe3DQ— peteyperth (@PeteCurulli) November 24, 2019
The Essendon Football Club was approached for comment by Snowball, but organisation representatives did not officially respond ahead of publication deadline. Riot Games Oceania chose not to comment when approached.
Pentanet.GG were also approached but declined to comment at this time.
More information on this move and the OPL offseason to come from Snowball. Be sure to follow us on Twitter for the latest updates.
Additional reporting by Isaac McIntyre.