What’s to Come in League of Legends’ New Competitive Series, the Pacific Championship Series?

What’s to Come in League of Legends’ New Competitive Series, the Pacific Championship Series?
Credit: League of Legends via YouTube

There’s plenty of changes coming for League of Legends in 2020. Earlier this week, Riot announced that they would be creating a new competitive series in Asia. This series, the Pacific Championship Series (PCS) is a merging of two others – the League of Legends Master Series (LMS) and the League of Legends Southeast Asia Tour (LST).

The intention behind the creation of this new competition, Riot details in their announcement, is to help “increase the level of competition in Southeast Asia, Taiwan, and Hong Kong while creating a more engaging experience for fans.”

Riot mentioned this league back in September, but official announcements came only five days ago. The inaugural season will begin in the first quarter of 2020 on February 8th.

There’s more coming to shake things up. In the official announcement, Riot state the following:

“As part of our approach to shaping the new league, we are adjusting the competitive format. We will be increasing the number of games, and moving to a best-of-one format, with a double-elimination Playoffs – a format where fans can rest assured that the top team will represent them on the global stage.”

It’s interesting to know that they intend to move to a best-of-one for a variety of reasons. For starters, and most simply, playing a single match means less air time for the teams and the competition itself, as well as fewer games for the fans to watch.

During the official announcement, they mention little of what fans can expect in terms of the length of the competition. There also seems to be no mention of the prize pool or anything of the sort. There will be ten teams competing from several different nations – Taiwan, Hong Kong, Singapore, Thailand, and the Philippines to be specific.

Because of the geographical difference of the nations playing, Riot seems to be switching to a more online approach. The announcement states that “our initial focus will be on online tournaments. That said, it’s important for us to create opportunities for fans to experience competition in person, and are currently exploring what those opportunities might entail.”

With that knowledge, one can safely assume that the inaugural season beginning in February will exist solely online (though there’s plenty of time for Riot to surprise us). Perhaps as soon as the 2021 PCS, fans will be able to travel to see the games in person. Until then, we’ll be watching the broadcasts and rooting for our favorite teams to ring in the new competition.