KeSPA has announced that, starting today, the StarCraft ProLeague has been discontinued. The ProLeague was the world's first team-based esports league and despite having its 14th season this year, KeSPA Chairman Jun ByungHun announced it was time to call it a day.
ByungHun issued a statement regarding the closure of the league, celebrating its good run since 2003 and its status as the longest running esports league in the world as well as how it helped the top StarCraft players get to where they are now. He also, however, revealed the issues that organisers had to face, such as the drop in esports sponsorships in the 2008 financial crisis as well as match-fixing and a decline in the number of teams.
Although KeSPA made efforts to keep the ProLeague alive, such as commissioning management of eight professional teams to meet the team requirement and building partnerships with foreign esports competitions, the continuing decline in players and teams for the ProLeague made it harder to maintain it each year, and that's why they decided to close it. Also discontinued are the operations of five of the seven StarCraft teams that played in ProLeague 2016.
ByungHun was saddened by the decision but insists KeSPA will keep strengthening itself and its partnership with members and game developers as well as partners in order to keep esports growing, and thanks all the fans for their support over the years. Are you saddened by the loss of the ProLeague?