Following the dissolution of the Oceanic Pro League (OPL) after Riot Games pulled out its support for the competitive scene in Oceania, ESL Australia decided to sponsor its own League of Legends Professional Tournament which is what is now known as the League of Legends Circuit Oceania (LCO). It’s time to look at some LCO updates to check out how the region has been fairing since the dissolution of the official tournament format and its eventual merge with North America.
About The LCO
The League of Legends Circuit Oceania is the successor for the OPL after its dissolution. Unlike the OPL, the LCO is not a Riot Games sponsored tournament which means they will not have staff such as casters, analysts, referees, or personalities that are part of the Riot Games lineup. However, the LCO is still required to abide by the Riot Games Rules & Regulations regarding the Esports Structure. As such, winning teams from the region are still invited to major Riot Games tournaments like MSI & Worlds.
While the LCO considers Oceania as its main region, Oceanic players have actually already been incorporated into the LCS. This means that professional players, especially the ones that have a higher demand, are urged more towards playing in North America. This has caused most of the region’s best players to have either retired completely from pro-play or transfer to other regions where the opportunities have better yield.
LCO Update: Split 1 Results
The LCO Update for Split 1 went exactly as most people would have expected after seeing the lineup after the roster announcements. With Pentanet.GG being the only team in the region that has retained most of its lineup and with the addition of a star mid laner from a rival team, PGG managed to secure a dominant first-place choke-hold with a 11-0 finish at Week 4. They are expected to even finish at 14-0 and eventually sweep the playoffs as well.
The region has definitely undergone a shift in the competitive focus with most of the organizations needing to restructure their rosters with untested players. Surprisingly, the region has managed to keep the competition a bit tight. This might just hint that the region, as a whole, has grown significantly weaker with a lot of their star players going to different regions to find better opportunities. This might prove to be devastating for Oceanic fans especially with their incredible performance at Worlds last year,
What Happened To Legacy Esports?
Legacy Esports was last year’s OPL Champions and even showed up massively at the World Play-in Stage. They surprised the entire world by challenging teams from the major regions and even putting up a decent fight against Team Liquid. Twitch chat was flooded with messages that said “Raes your Koalas” as a tribute to the Oceanic pride which featured their ADC player – Raes. They didn’t manage to proceed to the Group Stage but definitely showed the world that they were a region that went to compete.
Unfortunately for LGC fans, every member of the 2020 Legacy Esports roster proceeded to find teams in North America. The members ended up in LCS Academy Rosters with Raes being the only exception who managed to find a home in the starting lineup of Immortals. These players are now looking to prove their worth in the LCS in hopes that they might make it to the main rosters as many previous Oceanic players have already achieved before them.
The State of LCO in 2021
As part of our LCO update, we’ll look at the LCO as a whole in 2021 so far. Since the region is considered to be a “new” competitive region with a lot of its players just having been promoted from smaller tournaments/teams, the quality of play in the region seems to have gone down by a bit. It’s nothing surprising considering a lot of the organizations and players thought that the competitive scene in Oceania would be dead permanently.
The region will have a tough year and an even tougher time perhaps during the Mid-Season Invitationals. Although, there is a chance that the region might surprise us at the international stage and find their confidence when facing off against teams outside their country. The LCO has a lot of room to improve and since ESL Australia will be their new sponsors, you can expect changes that might turn out to be positive ones in the coming splits.
Pentanet.GG has always been a competitor in Oceanic League of Legends with talented players such as Pabu making up the roster. The highlight of PGG’s strength today is that they managed to keep their roster and all of the big names that came with it. As such, they are the only team in the LCO that has more than 1 split’s worth of team experience in competitive play which has given them a massive advantage, as shown in their results of Split 1.
Pabu isn’t the only superstar in the team. The rest of the roster, specifically Praedyth and Chazz have shown that they are exceptional League of Legends players and a definite asset to the team. Once playoffs comes, they should be able to maintain their consistency in order to keep the rising stars which are PEACE at bay. The next LCO update might turn out differently if they let PEACE find their ground and overturn which team is favorite to win in the region.
What will happen to LCO Pros?
The LCO is a region that has just been born into the spotlight. Since the LCS no longer considers OCE players imports, the chances of LCS teams incorporating OCE players have gotten higher. OCE Pros who have found domestic success will most likely be promoted into the LCS after the next split. The LCO will have a difficult time keeping homegrown talent in the region.
Can the LCO go to Worlds?
Like how it was in the OPL, the winning team of the LCO Split 2 tournament will be qualified to participate in the Worlds Play-in Stage. Split 1 Winners are also qualified to play at MSI.