The League of Legends Pacific Championship Series (PCS) 2023 season is set to begin on Friday, February 3, with PCS Spring 2023. And this season promises to be bigger than ever, as Riot Games merged PCS and LoL Circuit Oceania playoffs after taking away LCO’s international event spot.
With an extended field and two new teams joining the battle for the crown, which League of Legends team will prevail, and who are the main favourites?
PCS 2023 Spring Format & Schedule
PCS 2023 Spring is slated to kick off on Friday, February 3, and it will be one of the latest League of Legends leagues to begin its 2023 season. The league will again welcome ten LoL teams from Taiwan, Hong Kong, Macao, and Southeast Asia who will battle for a spot in the playoffs. There the top six PCS squads will join the top two teams from Oceania’s domestic league for the PCS 2023 Spring title and a spot at the 2023 Mid-Season Invitational.
- Date: February 3 – TBD
- How to Watch: Lolesports, Twitch
2023 will mark the year of significant format changes for the PCS, which already underwent a major overhaul in 2020, when Riot Games merged League of Legends Master Series (LMS) and League of Legends SEA Tour (LST). This year, the Pacific league will undergo another merger, albeit in a lesser degree.
The PCS 2023 Spring season will play out using the same competition format as PCS 2022 Spring. Ten League of Legends teams will compete in a double round robin format, with all matches played as best-of-one (Bo1).
The regular season will run for roughly five weeks, culminating with the final round on March 11. However, unlike in 2022, only the top-six teams from the regular season will advance into the PCS 2022 Spring playoffs to accommodate for two new teams entering the title race.
The PCS 2023 Spring Playoffs will welcome the six best-performing teams from the LCS 2023 Spring regular season and the top two teams from Oceanic’s LoL League (LCO). The top two teams from PCS will receive a bye to the winner’s bracket round 2, third and fourth-placed teams will advance to the winner’s bracket, while the fifth and sixth teams will get to play in the loser’s bracket. The remaining winner’s bracket spots will be filled by top-performing teams from LCO, who’ll face off against PCS’s no.3 and no.4.
All playoff games will be best-of-five (Bo5), with the winner receiving a spot at the 2023 Mid-Season invitational, set to take place in the United Kingdom on May 2-21.
As of now, there are no dates for when PCS 2023 Spring Playoffs will begin; however, we can safely assume that the competition will start after March 15, when LCO Split 1 Stage 2 final is set to take place.
The decision to merge the two leagues came after Riot Games took away LCO’s spot at international events, which comes three years after the game developer shut down Oceanic professional League of Legends (OPL)
New Teams Join The Title Race
With the introduction of two LCO teams to PCS 2023 Spring title race, we might see an Oceanic team win a league they’re not even a part of, granted that sounds more like wishful thinking. Historically, PCS has produced very competitive teams internationally, which doesn’t hold true for LCO, apart from Pentanet.gg’ historic run to the Rumble Stage at the 2021 Mid-Season Invitational.
But at this point, it’s hard to make any conclusions, nor do we have betting markets available for the PCS 2023 Spring Playoffs. Conversely, esports bookmakers have drawn fairly clear lines of which PCS teams should be considered the favourites for this regular season.
CTBC Flying Oysters enter the 2023 season as the main favourites to win PCS 2023 Spring regular season (3.25 at bet365), closely followed by PSG Talon (3.50 at bet365) and Deep Cross Gaming (4.00 at bet365).
The PCS 2022 Summer runners-up, Beyond Gaming, have found themselves priced at 9.00 (at bet365) and are the only remaining team within single digits. The rest of the field, according to the outright LoL betting odds, has little to no chance to impress, including J Team (11.00 at bet365), Impunity (12.00 at bet365), Frank Esports (21.00 at bet365), HELL PIGS (31.00 at bet365), SEM9 WPE (41.00 at bet365), and Dewish Team (51.00 at bet365).
PCS fans will also spot two new faces in the PCS, HELL PIGS, who took over the spot of Meta Falcon Team, and SEM9 WPE, who disbanded the SEM9 LoL division and partnered with West Point Esports from The SuperLiga (SL).
League of Legends Pacific Championship Series (PCS) 2023 Spring Betting Odds Comparison
|Team / Bookmaker
|CTBC Flying Oysters
|Deep Cross Gaming
A New-Look Season Ahead
With the merge of PCS and LCO for the playoffs, it’s tough not to feel excited about what the 2023 season will bring. Even though the changed format will see only six PCS teams advance to the playoffs and fight for a spot in international events, the change makes a lot of sense.
PCS and LCO have historically been very top-heavy teams, featuring a handful of strong title contenders and teams that might cause an upset here and there but aren’t fit to compete on the international stage.
Now, by allowing the top squads from both regions to compete in the same tournament, we will see a far more competitive league, which should help introduce a more competitive field at the MSI and LoL Worlds.