Riot Games Brings in Major Changes to PCS and the Oceanic League
The different regions of League of Legends Esports (LoL Esports) have been undergoing changes in the off-season which will be reflected in the 2023 season. After the League of Legends Champions Korea (LCK) and Europe, Middle East, and Africa (EMEA), Riot Games that the Oceania (OCE) region will no longer directly seed in international tournaments. It stated that the region will have to play through the League of Legends Pacific Championship Series (PCS) from the next season. Explaining the PCS and OCE changes further, Riot Games said, “As we approach our 13th season, we are humbled by LoL Esports’ rise to unprecedented heights as the most-watched esport in the world.”
What are the changes in PCS and OCE?
Riot Games clearly stated that it is committed to building on the foundation that was laid over the first 12 years in its esports ecosystem and that it is taking a multi-year approach to further grow and evolve the environment alongside teams, pro players, and partners. The first step in this endeavor was the formation of the EMEA region, it noted.
Riot Games revealed that starting in 2023, the PCS ecosystem will expand to include the League of Legends Circuit Oceania (LCO), the Oceanic circuit. The LCO will continue to play its domestic season in Oceania but instead of qualifying directly to the Mid-Season Invitational (MSI) and Worlds, the top two teams from each LCO split will seed into the PCS playoffs and compete with other PCS teams for a chance to represent the larger region at international events.
The publisher said, “We believe that participation in the PCS will offer a more competitive landscape for LCO teams, provide richer opportunities for player development, and spark broader interest and fandom in LCO teams and players.” Riot Games also added that this change is a significant step towards building out a more competitive, multi-tiered ecosystem across the world.
Additionally, the residency status of OCE players will also be impacted by these changes. At the moment, OCE players are considered as both North American (NA) and OCE players for import rule purposes. However, at the end of the 2022 calendar year, OCE players, who have signed with a League Championship Series (LCS) or LCS Academy team at any point (including those signed between this announcement and the end of 2022), will have the option to declare themselves as a resident of either the PCS or the LCS.
Riot also noted that going forward, OCE players will be considered exclusively as PCS residents which means that they can join PCS teams without being considered import players. Likewise, LCO teams can sign players from other PCS teams without those players being considered imports. “Future OCE players and players who have the option but do not elect LCS residency will be considered import players on LCS rosters,” clarified Riot Games.