The 2019 League of Legends Pacific Championship Series

Veteran LoL esports teams join several newcomers to create a cross-regional, multi-city esports experience. Today Riot Games, FunPlus Esports, and Garena announced the inaugural season of the Pacific Championship Series (PCS), which will kick off on February 8th, 2020. As announced in September, the PCS is a merged evolution of the League of Legends Master Series (LMS) and League of Legends Southeast Asia Tour (LST). 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.

"Teams form the heart of any league, and we're proud to be partnering with top teams from the former LMS, as well as top esports organizations from throughout Southeast Asia as we launch the PCS" said Chris Tran, Riot Games Southeast Asia's Head of Esports "We are focused on working hand-in-hand with teams to grow their fan bases and improve their competitive ability while unlocking additional financial opportunities." To ensure the strength and sustainability of the league and its associated teams, an extensive, multi-month team vetting process was conducted 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" said Kevin Pai, CEO FunPlus Esports.

Although several of these teams and their associated organizations are new to League of Legends, they have proven their dedication through success in the broader esports space. This diverse roster of teams will be spread across multiple cities, allowing for cross-regional rivalry rooted in local passion - an experience that fans can be proud to call their own. The PCS will pit veteran esports teams against an array of new organizations with everything to prove.

The PCS teams for 2020 are as follows:
  • ahq eSports Club (Taipei) - Established in September 2012, ahq is one of the region's most celebrated esports organizations, having achieved competitive success across a variety of esports titles, while representing the LMS region in multiple World Championships.
  • Alpha Esports (Taipei) - Alpha made its debut during Season 9 of the LMS. With a brand new team roster, Alpha is looking to make a name for itself in the PCS.
  • G-Rex Gaming (Hong Kong) - Owned by Emperor Entertainment Group, G-Rex Gaming is one of Hong Kong's most respected entertainment enterprises. Despite being a young esports organization, G-Rex represented the LMS at Worlds in 2018.
  • Hong Kong Attitude (Hong Kong) - Founded in 2013, Hong Kong Attitude is considered amongst the top esports organizations in the region and has competed at multiple World Championships, including this year's event.
  • J Team (Taipei) - J Team debuted during the 2016 LMS Summer Split and has consistently ranked as one of the top teams in the region. They performed incredibly well in 2019, winning the LMS Summer Split and cementing a spot at the World Championship in Europe. J Team is owned by acclaimed musician Jay Chou.
  • Liyab Esports (Manila) - In just a short span of time, Liyab has become synonymous with Filipino esports. Having recently undergone a rebrand and name change (they were formerly known as Mineski), the heart and spirit of the team remain distinctly Filipino and they are hungry for recognition on the regional stage.
  • Nova Esports (Bangkok) - In mobile esports, Nova has won multiple world championships over the years, and is committed to bringing their champion DNA to PCS. With their unique culture and play style, they are set to take on the old guard of professional LoL esports.
  • Resurgence (Singapore) - Established in 2017 with a vision to elevate the Southeast Asian esports scene, Resurgence (RSG) is the largest esports organisation in Singapore.
  • Talon (Hong Kong) - Talon is an esports organisation that has clinched championships across multiple esports titles in Hong Kong, Taiwan, South Korea and Thailand. They are setting their sights on the PCS and are committed to delivering an exhilarating and competitive fan experience.
More information about the 10th and final team competing in the PCS will be announced in the new year.

The organizations behind the PCS include Riot Games and FunPlus Esports as co-organizers and operators, and Garena as the publisher of League of Legends in Southeast Asia, Taiwan, and Hong Kong. (Note: FunPlus Esports is an organization that operates esports leagues, operating independently from FunPlus Phoenix: the 2019 LoL World Championship champions).

As part of the approach to shaping the new league, the organizers are adjusting the competitive format. There will be an increase in the number of games (as compared to previous LST seasons), and the league will move to a best-of-one format, with a double elimination season finals - a finals format where fans can rest assured that the top team will represent them on the global stage. "Watching the growth and success of other LoL esports leagues that have embraced Bo1s, we hope that fans will enjoy the high stakes games while knowing their favorite team(s) will play every broadcast day" said Chris Tran, Riot Games Southeast Asia's Head of Esports. Given the geographical diversity of teams, the initial focus will be on online tournaments. "It is important for us to create opportunities for fans to experience competition in person, and we are currently exploring what those opportunities might entail." said Kevin Pai, CEO FunPlus Esports.

PCS broadcasts will be available in English, Mandarin, and Thai. Additional information on teams, broadcast platforms, schedule and more via the PCS website launching shortly before season start. For now fans can follow along with the PCS on Facebook. "We hope that in the PCS, fans will rally behind teams as they compete to achieve pride, honor, and competitive success. Join us for the season kickoff on February 8th!" said Chris Tran, Riot Games Southeast Asia's Head of Esports.

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Riot Games was founded in 2006 to develop, publish, and support the most player-focused games in the world. In 2009, Riot released its debut title, League of Legends, to worldwide acclaim. League has gone on to be the most-played PC game in the world and a key driver of the explosive growth of esports.

As League enters its second decade, Riot continues to evolve the game while delivering new experiences to players with Legends of Runeterra, League of Legends: Wild Rift, Teamfight Tactics, and multiple work-in-progress titles, while exploring the world of Runeterra through multimedia projects across music, comic books, and more.

Founded by Brandon Beck and Marc Merrill, Riot is headquartered in Los Angeles, California, and has 2,500+ Rioters in 20+ offices worldwide. Riot has been featured on numerous lists including Fortune's "100 Best Companies to Work For," "25 Best Companies to Work in Technology," "100 Best Workplaces for Millennials," and "50 Best Workplaces for Flexibility."

Singapore, December 19, 2019

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