Riot Games has announced a new 10-team league for southeast Asia. The league will combine the League Master Series and the League of Legends Southeast Asia Tour.
An announcement by Riot Games and Garena confirmed the league will launch in 2020 and aims to increase competition within the region. Garena is a gaming and esports platform from Southeast Asia which licenses a number of games, including League of Legends, FIFA Online, and PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds. The new league will be called the Pacific League Championship Series.
“During the past several months, Garena and Riot Games have been evaluating the professional competitive ecosystem for League of Legends across Southeast Asia and the LMS region,” Riot stated. “Our goal is to continue to increase the level of competition and create a more engaging experience for fans.”
The new league will feature teams from Hong Kong, Taiwan, Macau, Thailand, the Philippines, Indonesia, Malaysia, and Singapore. Vietnam will not be included as it has its own league.
Riot and Garena are certain that the new league will both improve the level of competitiveness within the region and also bring other benefits. This includes a larger overall audience for the competing teams as well as greater “business opportunities.”
The merger will have ramifications for future League of Legends World Championships as the LMS benefitted from three seeds for the competition, while the LST only had one. This will expose more teams to international competition and allow fans to see new players and different organizations.
Currently both the LMS and LST have eight teams but Riot has not announced how the 10 inaugural PCS teams will qualify or be selected. Cutting 16 teams down to 10 will inevitably leave a number of organizations and players in a precarious position.
Riot confirmed that more details will come in the 2020 preseason. The 2019 League of Legends World Championship will conclude on November 10.