7 OCTOBER, 2020
Today has been a hard day.
The news that the Oceanic Pro League, and with it the Riot Games offices in Sydney, is closing has stunned everyone here at Snowball Esports. We are truly and deeply sorry for all the OPL players, staff, managers, talent, coaches, social media gurus, and more that this affects.
When Snowball Esports started in 2017, it began life as an OPL coverage website. Original founders Andrew Wray and Reece Perry had a dream: to share the Oceanic Pro League with Australia, the League of Legends community, and the world.
As more and more voices, content creators, and excited esports fans joined the Snowball ranks, including people like Josh Swift, Andrew Amos, and myself, the direction remained the same. We were a group of people — writers, producers, editors, esports lovers — who looked forward to watching the OPL every Friday and Saturday night.
There were a few hiccups — Wray has been about as vocal as one can be about the old 4pm OPL start times — but for the most part, the Australia & New Zealand competition was at the core of what Snowball Esports strived to be Down Under. It was many of our first loves.
The OPL had unforgettable moments, players, and teams. Moments like Claire’s stunning performance at Rift Rivals. The Sin Gaming miracle run. The decade-long Chiefs vs Legacy rivalry that transcended leagues and competitions.
Off the Rift too, the OPL’s one-of-a-kind broadcast.
And most recently, Legacy Esports’ campaign in Shanghai, all the way to within a single series of the Worlds group stage. There were hundreds of OPL moments.
It was heartbreaking when we first heard the news.
The closure of the OPL has been a shock, but I do not believe, and I speak for the entire Snowball Esports staff when I say, not the end for League of Legends in Oceania.
There will be bumps and bruises as we find our way into the next chapter of the game we all love, here in Australia and New Zealand. It won’t be easy. My heart is already heavy for those that won’t make it through the transition with us, or will choose to let go.
League of Legends in Oceania will live on, however. There’s still plenty of our OPL heroes in the LCS, and I think there will be plenty more to come. We boast a small, determined talent pool of some of the greatest and most driven players I’ve had the pleasure to meet.
The Oceanic Pro League and it’s two-split format may be gone, but two things still hold true here at Snowball - we will continue to cover League in the region, whatever shape that may take, and we will continue to tell the story of the OPL’s past six years.
We will continue to tell the story of the OPL and Oceanic League of Legends.
Beyond that, we will also continue our expansion in other esports titles, and our growing reach in other regions. Snowball Esports will continue to grow, and will continue to be the titanic content house of Oceania you have come to know and love.
I very much hope that you come along on this ride with us. Like everyone else in the scene, we’ll be taking time to figure out what our next steps look like, but I know just like everyone else we will be back, bigger, better, and looking to the future.
Thank you to everyone who made the OPL, the OPL. What a ride it was.
Editor-in-Chief, Snowball Esports