A last-minute change to the structure of the Garena Pro League has led 11 Southeast Asian League of Legends teams to petition the GPL and Riot Games, according to a report from ESPN.
According to the report, which cites an email including the petition, the GPL elected to give Vietnam an extra spot in the coming GPL summer split to accommodate the Gigabyte Marines, who enjoyed an upset run to the Mid-Season Invitational. To this point, the GPL has consisted of six teams, one qualifying from each region of Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam. The GPL is reportedly offering a second spot to Vietnam because of the Marines’ performance at MSI.
Headhunters (Indonesia), Fire Dragoons, Orange Esports and Eternity Esports (Malaysia), Imperium Pro Team and Manila Eagles (Philippines), Brand New Life, Rigel and Sovereign (Singapore), and Sea Serpents and White Rose (Thailand) all joined the petition, according to the report.
The dispute isn’t in the interest of competitive fairness, but more due to the timing of the announcement. The teams are objecting to the sudden and arbitrary change that is taking place in the middle of the season, according to the petition quoted by ESPN.
The Gigabyte Marines’ success at MSI was met with surprise and support, as it quickly became one of the most popular teams in the tournament because of its underdog status. As per Riot Games’ new rules regarding the League of Legends World Championship, Gigabyte Marines’ MSI run also earned the SEA region another spot to the worlds play-in stage.
Photo courtesy of Riot Games