LEADING into Groups Day 4 Pentanet.GG (PGG) carried the hopes of oceanic (OCE) League of legends fans on their shoulders. PGG pushed through a gauntlet of four matches against Group A teams Royal Never Give Up (RNG) and Unicorns of Love (UOL). Their final game of the day was a tiebreaker against UOL. The tiebreaker winner would advance to the Rumble Stage of the Mid Season Invitational (MSI) 2021. In the early hours of the morning, on the 10th of May, Twitter erupted with celebration as PGG were victorious in the tiebreaker. The win marks a historic moment for the OCE region, as PGG becomes the first OCE team to advance out of the Groups Stage at MSI or Worlds (international League of Legends) events.
PGG General Manager Pete Curulli shared his excitement during the match-winning moments. Like many viewers across Australia and New Zealand, he needed to keep noise to a minimum while watching the tiebreaker unfold. The other moments that were shared across social media were incredible and heart-warming. LOLesports shared a video PGG Coach Toby “Udysof” Horne and PGG substitute player Diana “DSN” Nguyen as they ran to the stage to celebrate with the team after their victory.
Who the heck started chopping onions in here?
For fans of League of Legends in OCE this history-making victory is emotional. Nine months ago, Riot Games pulled financial support for the Oceanic Pro League (OPL), leaving the region in shock. Many of OCE’s best players and coaches moved internationally to seek paid positions and development opportunities. The future of League of Legends in OCE looked dire. In December 2020, ESL and Guinevere Capital launched the League of Legends Circuit Oceania (LCO), sparking a new professional league. Despite the turmoil, PGG pulled together a team that dominated the new LCO, earning their place at MSI 2021.
While this isn’t a perfect analogy – Imagine the Socceroo’s making it to the top 6 in the World Cup if the year before their team funding was cut and many of Australia’s best players moved to play overseas. This achievement is a historic and momentous occasion for Oceanic esports. Oceanic esports talent is legitimate and needs our support to grow.
PGG will be competing again from the 14th of May, 2021. The team have a few days to reinvigorate themselves, ready for the Rumble Stage. Six of the best teams in the world will face each other in a best-of-one double round-robin. The top four teams will then advance to the Knock-out stage featuring best-of-five matches. You can support PGG on Twitter with the hashtags #MSI2021, #OCELAND, and #PGGSMASH.