The announcement was made in light of Riot's unveiling of the Valorant Champions Tour, which notably groups Oceania with the North American region for purposes of qualifying for the international finals.
The grouping of the region with North America falls in line with Riot's recent policy changes in League of Legends. Last month, Riot notably shut down their Oceanic office and shuttered the Oceanic Pro League, extending the North American LCS to the Oceanic region, and encouraging OPL players to move to the LCS.
While Chris Greezley, commissioner of the LCS, confirmed on Twitter that Riot intend to provide a domestic scene in Oceania through third-party organizers, the lack of a direct separate path in the Valorant Champions Tour has been the primary target of criticism from Oceanic players.
Since defeating Team Launch twice in the Rise of Valour Ignition Series event, EXO Clan have been consistently rated #1 in Oceania, having since only taken losses to Legacy Esports Legacy Esports Oceania Rank #3 and ORDER ORDER Oceania Rank #2 . With ORDER also in the top rankings, Chris " pl1xx " Li stated in an August interview that he believes both EXO and Team Launch (now ORDER) are the only teams that could compete with the top teams in North America.
VLR.gg reached out to EXO Clan roster, who provided a comment on their mindset moving forward following the VCT announcement.
The recent announcement has made us more motivated than ever to prove to the rest of the world that our region is deserves the same opportunities as other regions.
We understand that personal branding is very important as professional players, which is why we try to stream as much as possible on the side of practice to be recognized as much as possible.
EXO Clan have qualified for the finals of First Strike: Oceania, after defeating Nebula and Mindfreak in the Group Stage, and are now in contention for a piece of the $20,000 AUD prize pool beginning December 3. With the announcement of the VCT, the global scene are currently anticipating further announcements of the future event calendar.