League of Legends Circuit Oceania (LCO) will see some format changes for their Worlds attendance.
With Worlds 2022 behind us with an exciting finish, there are a lot of changes in the LoL Esports ecosystem. Riot had already talked about their plans to change the Worlds format itself, but we are also seeing some changes when it comes to regional leagues. The first change came this Friday when the creation of EMEA as a new region was announced with LEC changing its name to League of Legends EMEA Championship. In this announcement, fans also learned that Turkey’s TCL will be incorporated into the ERLs, losing its World spot in the process. The next region that will lose that direct qualification will be Oceania. But unlike Turkey, there still remains an avenue for the LCO teams.
According to the press release on lolesports.com, starting in 2023, the League of Legends Pacific Championship Series (PCS) ecosystem will expand to include the League of Legends Circuit Oceania (LCO). The LCO will continue to play its domestic season in Oceania (OCE). However, rather than qualifying directly to 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. Although it is not clear yet whether LCO will hold an internal playoff or not, to crown their regional champions.
We’re shaking things up ahead of the 2023 season!
This change preserves our opportunity to qualify into MSI and Worlds. We’re excited to give local teams more opportunities to compete overseas, as we build a more competitive ecosystem in OCE!
— LCO – Delivered By Menulog (@LCO) November 18, 2022
Oceanic players will lose their resident status in North America
After disbanding the previous Oceanic league, OPL, Riot granted the region’s players residency in the LCS. With this move, multiple OPL players found themselves moving to NA. But going forward, OCE players will be considered PCS residents exclusively. This will they can join any team within the PCS ecosystem without being considered an import player, and LCO teams can sign players from other PCS teams without those players being considered import players in OCE.
Any player who is currently signed with an LCS or LCS Academy team (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 till the end of the calendar year 2022. Future OCE players and players who have the option but do not elect LCS residency will be considered import players on LCS and LCS Academy rosters.