South Korea's KeSPA discontinues StarCraft ProLeague after 14 years

The Jin Air Green Wings won the 2016 season of South Korea's StarCraft ProLeague. Now the ProLeague is shutting down after 14 years. Provided by Kenzi/Fomos.

South Korean esports officiating body Korean e-Sports Association (KeSPA) announced today that it will close down the StarCraft ProLeague after 14 seasons of competition. Five of the seven teams that participated in ProLeague 2016 will also cease operations.

According to a tweet by esports personality Christopher "MonteCristo" Mykles, Afreeca and Jin Air will be the only organizations to maintain rosters. SK Telecom T1, KT Rolster, Samsung Galaxy, CJ Entus and MVP will be disbanding their StarCraft 2 squads.

In a statement, KeSPA chairman Jun Byung-hun cites a drop in the number of ProLeague teams and players, difficulty securing sponsorships and match-fixing issues as elements that led to the closing of ProLeague. It has been the longest-running esports league in the world.

Byung-hun went on to say that KeSPA will continue to support StarCraft and professional players in the scene.

"With its partners, KeSPA will look for ways to support pro-gamers who will be competing in the World Championship Series Global Finals this November," Jun said, "as well as continue to seek competition opportunities for local pro-gamers through measures such as expanding the StarCraft KeSPA Cup."

The ProLeague featured many milestones for esports throughout the years, including overseas broadcasts of ProLeague StarCraft matches and the debut of Western team EG-Liquid in 2012.