LJL Joins The PCS Ecosystem

27 Nov 2023
Tit Krajnik 27 Nov 2023
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  • League of Legends Japan League was added to The Pacific Championship Series for the 2024 season
  • This marks Riot Games’ step to unifying the East Asia LoL esports scene
  • LJL joins the PCS just one year after LCO
LJL Joins The PCS Ecosystem
LJL Joins The PCS Ecosystem (credit: via Twitter (@Official_LJL))
As announced on Sunday, November 26, 2023, Riot Games decided to add the League of Legends Japan League (LJL) to the Pacific Championship Series (PCS). The change will come into effect with the start of the 2024 season.

LJL joining the PCS was already hinted last year, but it wasn’t until Sunday, November 26, that Riot Games decided to make the change. The PCS playoffs will now feature the top teams from the PCS league, Japan, and the League of Legends Circuit Oceania (OCL), who joined the PCS system ahead of the 2023 season.

In the announcement, Riot Games claimed that merging LJL with PCS will lead to a more unified Pacific league, which will contribute to its strength in the global LoL scene. Moreover, Riot Games believes that LJL’s addition to PCS would lead to a more sustainable esports ecosystem for the region as a whole.

This will mean that the PCS playoffs will have to undergo another format change, as it’ll now welcome an additional team from the Japanese LoL league. In addition, there are some major changes for the Asia-Pacific regions and the teams’ road to international events.

With the 2024 season, the Asia-Pacific qualifications for League of Legends international events will be split into two stages. The top three seeds will be directly invited to the PCS playoffs, while the remaining eight squads will fight through the group stage.

The top-performing teams from the PCS Spring Playoffs will be invited to the Mid-Season Invitational as PCS’s representatives. Meanwhile, the PCS Summer Playoffs will award invites to the LoL World Championship.

While Riot believes that this change will benefit the region and its sustainability, this hasn’t proven true for the Oceanic league. The LCO has recently lost three of its most prominent organisations – Vertex, Pentanet.GG, and Chiefs Esports Club, who decided to no longer compete in the league.

This might have to do with the fact that the merger makes it tougher for LCO to qualify for international events. LJL might have the same issue, considering no additional spots have been awarded to the PCS to compensate for LJL’s current LoL Worlds Play-in spot.