Team Bliss has announced a shock acquisition of Australian esports stalwart The Chiefs Esports Club. The two brands will continue to exist in esports, with the new mega-club set to run teams in various titles under both Chiefs and Bliss branding. The two teams will see their resources come together under one roof as they look to become the leading force in Oceanic esports.
Both Team Bliss and the Chiefs see this as a logical next step in the future of Oceanic esports. In a press release co-released by Team Bliss and The Chiefs on September 15, Team Bliss COO Brendan “Brendy” Harms expressed much excitement about the move. “We couldn’t be more excited about what this means for the future of Oceanic esports,” he said.
“By pooling the resources of two top-tier organisations, we are able to focus on having a bigger impact on the international stage and give Oceanic esports fans a powerhouse to really get behind.”
Head of The Chiefs brand Aiden Hiko expressed similar excitement about the merger. “We have always had the utmost respect for Bliss and their passion and drive, to now work alongside them to grow this little thing we all love so much is an incredible opportunity,” said Hiko, who has worked alongside the helm of The Chiefs project for almost a decade.
“[This merge] can only mean further success for our region. We still have work to do [so] consider this under construction. We have a huge task ahead to get this rolling smoothly but with this team, I believe we can lead ANZ esports into an incredibly bright future.”
As part of the merger, the duo will be farewelling ICON CEO Nick Bobir, who is moving onto a currently unannounced venture focusing on assisting the growth of Australian esports. Bobir has been at the forefront of The Chiefs and OCE esports for over a decade and was sentimental following yesterday’s official announcement.
“My time as CEO has come to an end,” Bobir said on Twitter. “[It’s] important for the next group of leaders to do their thing. I’ll put something together officially soon enough.”
Undoubtedly, the biggest question mark over the merger will be the worry of a conflict of interest between Bliss and Chiefs partaking in the LCO together come 2024. As part of the merger, there will likely have to be a sale of either the Chiefs or Bliss LCO spot.
Riot Games has previously disallowed sister teams and organisations owning multiple teams that can qualify for the Mid-Season Invitational and Worlds since the end of 2013. As a result, we’ll likely be seeing one of the labels move on from one of their spots to keep compliance coming into season 2024.
Whilst it is still unclear how this merger will involve in both the short and long term, as it is in its infancy, a move like this will bring changes to the Oceanic esports scene in its entirety.
Hiko hinted at what the future might look like but emphasised the exact details were still to be ironed out. “Chiefs will still be a team, both Bliss and Chiefs will operate in tandem. It just hasn’t been decided in what way yet.”
Should Chiefs make way, it will be the end of an era of Oceanic League consistency. CHF stood above all on seven occasions in the OPL and LCO combined, including the previous three split wins. Alongside these wins, the org made five other grand final appearances and attended Worlds in 2022.
If Bliss were to go, it would be a short-lived spark in the LCO for the boys in pink. Debuting in 2023, Bliss finished runners-up in both splits, hot on the heels of The Chiefs. Neither were able to claim a series in the PCS playoffs.
We’ll know for sure what 2024 holds for The Chiefs and Bliss in LoL later in November as player contracts go up for renewal.