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Published: November 21, 2022

Written by: Isabella Aslam

  • Riot is bringing more changes to the eastern hemisphere
  • LCO teams will now play against PCS organizations for a spot at Worlds
  • This might pose a bigger challenge for them

Riot is continuing its sweeping changes to the formats of its competitions following the conclusion of Worlds 2022.

LCO Will Play With PCS

As League of Legends World Championship 2022 has ended, Riot Games is already making preparations for next year’s competitive season. This includes many format changes that some fans consider controversial, as well as changing up how different regions operate.

One region that is going to be impacted by these changes is LCO. Until now, Oceania teams were able to qualify directly for the World Championship, but from next year, organizations will have to compete in the PCS playoffs for the right to represent Oceania on the global stage. The same applies to the Mid-Season Invitational qualification too.

The Oceanic Pro League was created in 2015 and so far, the Australian competition has sent its championship squads overseas twice a season for the Mid-Season Invitational and World Championship. This system stayed more or less the same until the creation of the LCO in 2021. 

What Happens Now?

As part of the upcoming changes, it is expected that several Australian teams will join the Pacific Championship for its postseason at the end of Splits One and Two. It’s rumored that the region will send out two teams. The region will also still host its domestic season, with the two representatives to join the Pacific Championship bracket decided via Split One and Split Two results. There are also rumors circulating that Japan’s LJL may also be connected to the PCS along with the LCO.

Teams from these regions might have it more difficult in the PCS because they will have more competition. The region already has more teams which could pose a challenge to the newcomers. Not only that but the PCS’s organizations are very high quality, with Taiwan often reigning supreme. However, Hong Kong, Macao, and many other Southeast Asian countries all have top-tier challengers. 

Up until now, the league sent one representative to MSI and two to Worlds every season. However, this may change with the addition of the LCO teams to the region, so it’s possible Riot may give more slots to compensate for the larger number of competitors.These changes seem to be a part of Riot’s overall strategy for the eastern hemisphere. Just recently, Riot ended a 12-year contract with Garena and will now self-publish League and Teamfight Tactics in the neighboring SEA region.

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