OGN closes forever. The first to report the news was on November 25, 2020 Kim “Kenzi” Yong-Woo, reporter of Fomos, immediately arousing univocal feelings of sadness: the closure of Ogn, which became definitive yesterday with the total closure of the offices, represents a world that no longer exists, perhaps the last witness of the early years of modern esports. Why Ogn was the first television channel dedicated entirely to esports, an early 2000s giant who played a key role in turning esports into a mass phenomenon in South Korea, as Simone “Akira” Trimarchi also pointed out on Twitter: “On Game Net was one of three television networks that in the first decade of the movement lit up Korean televisions of Starcraft games by teleporting that country into the future. Today, it closes. There is pain. “
On Game Net was one of the three television networks that in the first decade of the movement illuminated the Korean televisions of #starcraft matches by teleporting that country into the future
Today – closes
There is pain # esports https://t.co/f6mlyqiYiI
– Simone AKirA Trimarchi (@SimoneAKirA) February 8, 2021
Each was the first broadcaster to bring esports to television, in particular with the Starcraft tournaments in the Broodwar era, a title that we can easily define as the first real esports in the world without falling into error. Large arenas full of public, sponsors who lined up to have a space on the team jerseys or to grab one of the best players as an advertising testimonial. All topped off with a splendid production that brought competitions such as the OngameNet Starleague to TV, long one of the most prestigious tournaments in which Starcraft legends such as Flash or Jaedong participated.
[단독] 세계 최초 and 스포츠 방송국 OGN, 역사 속 으로 https://t.co/AuOT7Nc42E pic.twitter.com/HIqZkl5Gmz
– FOMOS kenzi (@ kenzi131) November 25, 2020
The transition from Broodwar to Starcraft II caused no shake for OGN, capable of evolving and adapting and continuing to deliver the best competitive show. Also expanding its offering as it did with League of Legends and Overwatch. With the first he created the prototype of what would later become the modern Lck, the highest Korean league; on Overwatch instead he had created the Apex circuit, immediately considered the most competitive in the world. It is from there that some of the best players in the history of these two titles were born, particularly on League of Legends: legends like Faker took their first steps on Ogn.
The first difficulties for Ogn they came when publishers started managing the competitions of their titles, their products themselves. Riot Games in 2019 decided to independently produce the Lck, while Blizzard did the same, albeit indirectly, by announcing the Overwatch League in 2017.
To compensate for these problems once again Each has attempted to evolve and adapt to changing times. Betting on Pubg as the next great esports title, however, has not paid off: the Bluhole title has never managed to become a top title in the world chessboard. Indeed, the same publisher has now almost completely abandoned the development of the competitive scene preferring to push on the mobile one, which for the second season presented a prize pool of $ 14 million, the highest ever recorded for a mobile title.
To permanently shut down the cameras of Ogn, however, it appears to have been Covid-19. According to what Kim reported in November, in fact, the health emergency, especially in a country like Korea deeply affected in the first phase of the infection, has caused advertising revenues to plummet, which has always been the main source of livelihood for a television channel.
I went to the OGN Arena one more time before its final closure. Empty halls, monitors that showcased their long history, turned off and blank. Removed portraits of Starleague champions and the trophy case empty make me very sad this afternoon. I will miss this place. pic.twitter.com/71qFbZjFcv
– Wolf Schröder (@proxywolf) February 8, 2021
The world is evolving, true, but that doesn’t mean we can’t feel sorry for what’s gone today, aware of how important it was for the entire esports industry.