Riot Games has announced that it is combining the League Master Series (LMS) and the League of Legends Southeast Asia Tour (LST) to launch a new 10-team league in 2020: the Pacific League Championship Series (PCS).
According to a release, Garena and Riot Games have been evaluating the professional League of Legends competitive ecosystem across Southeast Asia, Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Macao. The change is being made “to increase the level of competition and create a more engaging experience for fans.”
The new league will consist of teams from the League Master Series (LMS) and the League of Legends Southeast Asia Tour (LST). The latter accommodates teams from Thailand, Philippines, Indonesia, Malaysia, and Singapore.
Riot Games discussed the decision in a release: “We believe that the formation of the new league, which brings the best of Hong Kong, Taiwan, Macau and Southeast Asia to a common stage, will allow participating teams to reach a broader audience and increase the competitiveness of the region while expanding the talent pool. Centralizing the competitive ecosystem will also increase business and media opportunities for teams.”
Full information on the structure of the new league, schedule, format, and teams will be confirmed during the pre-season in 2020.
This isn’t the first announcement we have seen from Riot Games regarding changes and improvements to its leagues in recent times. In July, the developer announced a long-term partnership with Freaks 4U Gaming and Lagardère Sports for the launch of a national league for the DACH region. Additionally, off-season changes are in the works for four of its European Regional Leagues, aiming to increase their professionalism.
Esports Insider says: With the exodus of a lot of big LMS names to other regions, the league has struggled over the last couple of years. With that in mind, it’s understandable that Riot Games has decided to merge leagues in order to try and increase the competition. With LMS receiving three spots at the World Championship, and LST receiving one too, it’ll be interesting to see how this is handled in the future.