Riot Games Oceania Ups the Stakes With OPL 2017

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Riot Games Oceania has kicked off the 2017 Oceanic Pro League (OPL) schedule with a new world-class broadcast studio.

In their ongoing drive to increase the footprint of League of Legends eSports in the Oceanic region, Riot Games Oceania are increasing the number of ‘in-studio’ matches for the season.

Changing from midweek broadcasts, teams will now compete in-studio in a prime time spot on Saturday and Sunday from 3pm (AEDT), streamed live on Riot Games Oceania’s Twitch and YouTube.

OPL 2017 Season Launch 1

At PAX Australia last year we spoke with Jake ‘Spawn’ Tiberi one of the Shoutcasters for Riot Games who will be commentating these matches,

“It’s great you know. Getting all the eight teams up there in close proximity to each other. We’re hoping it will improve scrim environment, we’re hoping that it removes a lot of the nerves that we get when we send these teams overseas.”

“We’re really hoping that this is one of the things to OCE (Oceanic) to the next level.”

Starting on Saturday 21 January at 3pm (AEDT), reigning Champions, the Chiefs, will open the 2017 OPL Season in a Semi Final rematch against the Dire Wolves. Other round one matchups include, Exile 5 vs Tainted Minds, Abyss vs Sin Gaming, and Legacy vs Avant Garde in another Semi Final rematch.

Daniel Ringland, Head of esports and Competitive at Riot Games is confident the changes for this season will increase the skill and competitiveness in the OPL.

“For the first time in Oceania esports history, all teams will be living in gaming houses and play the whole season in the studio. We believe that these changes will fuel a more competitive league and an unparalleled esports viewing experience for fans,”

The fancy new studio features a broadcast quality set design that includes LED feature walls in the two team rooms and shoutcasting studio.

As the OPL is backed by Riot Games Oceania, they’ve got the money to throw some big tech behind this operation: Tech additions include, enhanced graphic and replay potential, 10 full-HD player cameras, 1080p 60FPS streaming capability, and a wireless communication network for teams, referees, broadcast and live operations.

In addition to playing in a high-quality studio weekly, players will also now receive $500 per game and under a co-payment model, each team can unlock up to $60,000 in Riot funding, plus revenue share on in-game merchandise.

“The co-payment model that we have brought into effect this year has allowed all the teams to make decisions on where to invest their resources in order to best place them to achieve success. We see this as a massive win for Oceania teams as it will allow them to train more efficiently, improve their skills and ultimately grow their supporter base,” added Chris Schubert, Fan Engagement and Team Development Strategist at Riot Games.

The 2017 casting line up has also had some changes. Jake ‘Spawn’ Tiberi and Matt ‘Fish’ Stewart will be settling back into the casting desk, with Indiana ‘Froskurinn’ Black and Zack ‘Rusty’ Pye due to make guest appearances. Michael ‘Hingers’ Hing will be returning as host and Nathan ‘Mendrix’ Mendez will be on the analyst desk.

The Oceanic Pro League Casting Team

To top off the start of the season, Fox Sports has produced the esports documentary on the Chiefs’ journey from the 2016 OPL Grand Final to the start of this season. Catch it on Fox Sports 2 at 8:30pm (AEDT) on Wednesday 1 February.

What are your thoughts on the new updates to the Oceanic Pro League? Let us know in the comments or on social.

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