Riot Games is fusing two competitve League of Legends leagues to become one big region. The League of Legends Master Series (LMS), founded in 2014 and comprised of teams from Taiwan, Hong Kong and Macau, will merge with the in 2018 founded League of Legends SEA Tour (LST), host to teams from Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, the Philippines and Thailand. The newly formed league, the Pacific Championship Series (PCS), kicks off on February 8th with its Spring Split.
The announcement clarifies why Riot reached the decision of combining the two leagues: "The goal of the new league is to continue to increase the level of competition in Southeast Asia, Taiwan, and Hong Kong while creating a more engaging experience for fans. (...) To ensure the strength and sustainability of the league and its associated teams, we conducted an extensive, multi-month team vetting process in accordance with Riot’s global league operations policies. We have invited committed team organizations with responsible financials and a mutual understanding of fan focus."
Nine of the ten teams that will participate in the PCS's inaugural season were revealed in the announcement: J Team, Hong Kong Attitude, G-Rex Gaming, ahq eSports Club, Alpha Esports, Resurgeance, Nova Esports, Liyab Esports and Talon will take to the stage.
With the new league, the competitive format changes as well. Teams will play against each other in a Best of 1 format, but the competition will last more weeks than it did in either the LMS or the LST previously. The Playoff stage at the end of the Spring and Summer Splits boasts a Double Elimination bracket, giving teams a chance to redeem themselves after an initial defeat. All broadcasts will be made available in English, Mandarin, and Thai.
Storyteller by heart. If something is competitive, I am interested in it.