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A legendary esports event, the Intel Extreme Masters (IEM) Katowice is a CS:GO tournament held in Poland. In this guide, we'll go over all the participating teams, details about the schedule, as well as everything you need to know about IEM CS:GO betting!
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The LEC (League of Legends European Championship) is entering a new decade starting with the inaugural Winter split. From team rosters to an all-new tournament format, the league will be seeing much more competition.
The Pacific Championship Series (PCS) is a professional League of Legends esports league with a reputation that is unbefitting of its history. From the Taipei Assassins in Season 2 to the historic Flash Wolves of old, the PCS longs to return to the days when it was the region to beat. In our detailed PCS betting guide below, we cover all the best bookmakers, tips, odds and predictions for this event.
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The PCS has always just been on the verge of success. After being stuck in the quarter-finals for the past half-decade, it's just a question of time until the region finally gets its breakthrough. As such, there's no time like the present to place your bets.
Here’s how you can start betting on the talented teams in the PCS:
The Pacific Championship Series is the Asia-Pacific’s premier League of Legends regional league with teams coming from Taiwan, Hong Kong, Macau, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, the Philippines, and Oceania. It was born from the ashes of the League of Legends Master Series (LMS) and the League of Legends SEA Tour (LST), which ran their own separate leagues before the PCS’ formation in 2020.
The PCS was created to represent the best that the Asia Pacific has to offer with a permanent franchise league system in place for these worthy teams. But while the PCS has always been a step ahead of minor regions, it has struggled to consistently take down the top dogs in Korea, Europe, and China. Thus, it has yet to be recognised as a major region despite winning a World championship in 2012.
As mentioned, the PCS was born out of separate leagues coming from the Asia-Pacific – one of which was the LMS, which had teams from Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Macao. There was also the LST, which had teams competing from Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, and Thailand. With Riot wanting to take a more active step towards managing League of Legends esports within the Asia-Pacific, they then created the PCS.
But before 2015, these teams were formerly a part of the Garena Premier League (GPL), which was managed by an independent Southeast Asian operator Garena. Here, you would have historic Asia-Pacific titans like Taipei Assassins, ahq eSports Club, and the famed GIGABYTE Marines represent the region in Worlds. While it has been a while since the region has won a championship, the Asia Pacific has had commendable performances internationally.
The most notable of these performances is Taipei Assassin’s Season 2 Worlds championship run in 2012. Then, you also have the formidable streak of the Flash Wolves who consistently challenged teams from the LCK and LPL. The team, who had players like Karsa and SwordArt, even went on to win the IEM Season 11 World Championship in 2017. However, since then, the region has been overshadowed by the major regions in Worlds and MSI.
For 2023, the PCS will be joined by Oceania’s League of Legends Circuit Oceania (LCO) in the efforts of creating a unified region in the Asia Pacific. Along with this, the PCS is also doing away with relegation, keeping the same teams for the 2023 season. Riot hopes that, with these changes, the region will see a rise in competitiveness enough to match the world’s top teams, which in turn should increase its viewership.
Although the PCS 2023 regular season is still set in best-of-ones, its playoffs follow a double-elimination best-of series format. As such, there’s going to be quite a selection of matches for you to bet on. From moneylines to more complex prop bets, get to know the basics below:
The Outright Winner market allows you to bet on the team who you think will win the PCS. You place your wager before the split starts and then wait to see if your team can come close to winning the championship. Just remember that in the PCS, teams from the LCO can also win in the playoffs.
In a league that is as volatile as the PCS, moneyline betting is the default for many punters. With moneyline bets, you simply choose which team you think will win in a particular match.
Given that there are players and teams coming and going every year, you could potentially benefit from bets placed on the right time, on the right day. Follow how the teams shape up from day to day and season to season to follow which teams are worth the risk.
With total betting (otherwise known as over/under betting) you predict whether the game will go over or under a defined metric. Common betting markets include game time, number of kills, or even more complex stats like Total Dragons or Baron Nashors slain.
For this market, you only have to remember that the longer a game goes, the more dragons, barons, towers, and kills are likely to occur. So, it’s crucial to do your research on how teams play so you can bet over or under accordingly based on their playstyle and stat line.
With propositional bets, or what many call ‘prop' bets for short, you try to predict the nature of certain outcomes during a match – from the minute a team steps out of the fountain to their Nexus being destroyed. Taken from Rivalry, these are a few examples of prop bets that you can bet on:
Nevertheless, from our own experience in solo queue, taking the Baron doesn’t necessarily mean that you win the game. So, as always, find the time to research how a team likes to play, because that will give you a good indication as to how likely they are to get first blood, dragon soul, and so on.
In handicap betting, bookmakers set ‘handicaps’ on teams by requiring them to be within a set margin to get their payout. As Pinnacle explains it, handicap betting balances the playing field so that odds for the underdogs stay competitive. In the PCS, handicap bets come in the form of the number of kills a team should be ahead by at the end of a game. Come playoffs, this extends to the number of games won in a series.
For example, a +1.5 map handicap means that a team only needs to win one (1) game in a best-of-three series or two (2) games in a best-of-five series. On the other hand, a -1.5 map handicap means that your team needs to win two straight games in a best-of-three (2-0) or a 3-1 result or better (3-0) in a best-of-five to claim your winnings. Kill handicaps work in a similar manner.
When you set off into any journey, you should always be prepared with everything you could possibly need. This remains true for betting, so we've gone ahead and listed some useful advice for you before you start placing bets on the PCS.
While it is true that you can’t always win your bets, you can minimise the risk you take by doing your due diligence. This means carrying out detailed research of esports teams and players, including their champion pools, stats, past form, and head-to-head records. Look up important stats on platforms like Liquipedia, Games of Legends, and Oracle’s Elixir. With stats like First Baron Rate (FBN%), First Blood Rate (FB%), or First Tower Rate (FT%), you can immediately see how teams like to play and how they might stack up against each other.
When you have a good understanding of the strengths and weaknesses of teams in the PCS, you can then start looking at which bets are worth placing. On this note, we always encourage our readers to find value bets by comparing odds from different bookmakers. Since sportsbooks can have varying esports predictions depending on their respective algorithms, you will always see matches where a team is rated much lower than they are supposed to be. By finding these underdogs, you may stand a good chance of making some profit while betting. These are but a few of the betting strategies you can use to edge out wins against online bookies.
Most importantly, always bet responsibly. Enter each betting session with a bankroll limit and stick to it. Your money is finite, and you should always look to get your money’s worth by placing smart bets, and that includes managing your funds properly. If you’re not ready to handle the risks of betting, we suggest you try out LoL Fantasy leagues until you’re ready to get started.
In the regular season, the 10 participating teams of the league square off in a Double Round Robin played in best-of-ones to see who advances to the playoffs. But, unlike past years, only the top six teams from the PCS’ regular season will advance to the playoffs in 2023. These top six teams will then be joined by Oceania’s top two teams from LCO Split 1.
In the playoffs, the top two teams in the regular season will receive a bye to the semifinals. Then, the third- and fourth-placed teams will be seeded into the quarter-finals alongside the top two teams from the LCO. Lastly, the fifth- and sixth-placed teams will be seeded into the first round of the loser’s bracket. This tournament format allows only the undisputed best team from the Pacific to hoist the championship trophy.
The PCS Spring 2023 split begins on February 3, with game days starting at 08:00 CET on Fridays all the way to Sunday. Each day sees five games being played until the last match at 12:00 CET. The regular season ends on March 11, with playoffs set to start shortly after. The PCS has yet to announce when the playoffs will be held, but expect a champion to be crowned around mid-April right before the Mid-Season Invitational kicks off.
Unfortunately, the PCS is still currently being held fully online because of the difficulty in setting up a league with teams coming from countries all across the Asia-Pacific. However, with the increasing shift towards franchise-based leagues, we could soon see the PCS being held on LAN.
Meanwhile, the PCS Summer season begins around early July and ends with the playoffs in early August.
For those in the region, winning the PCS means more than just the money. It also means representing the Asian-Pacific region and fighting for the chance to put it back on the map. By winning the playoffs of the PCS Spring split, the champion gets to take home ~€27,500 from a total of ~€73,300 prize pool. The spread for each team per split is as follows:
Furthermore, the Spring champions get to represent the PCS in MSI. Meanwhile in summer, the top two teams in the playoffs qualify for Worlds.
Despite relegation being a relic of the past, the PCS will still be seeing new faces in 2023 with the acquisition of all-new teams in the offseason. HELL PIGS acquired the slot of Meta Falcon Team last December, while SEM9 WPE is a collaboration between the Malaysian team SEM9 and Philippine esports organisation West Point Esports.
As teams completely overhaul their rosters for the upcoming season, we hope to see a league brimming with rising talent. For the 2023 season, these will be the teams representing Taiwan, Hong Kong, Singapore, and the Philippines in the PCS:
The PCS has teams competing from all over the Asia-Pacific and with all the roster moves in the off-season, 2023 is sure to bring about a new sort of venture for the league. As such, keep your eye out for up-and-coming teams to put your money on in the PCS!
Below are the latest odds for the outright winner of the PCS 2023 Spring Split taken from bet365, January 30, 16:00 CET:
With all these teams from all these countries across Asia, the PCS is perhaps one of the most diverse leagues across the world, barring the LEC. However, if you’ve noticed, teams from Taiwan and Hong Kong have been leading the charge for LoL Esports in the PCS. Perhaps this could change in the future, but for now, we’ve ranked the top teams that have been dominating the PCS since its inception.
J Team hit the reset button in the offseason, completely rebuilding their roster for 2023. While J Team usually finds itself in the top four every split, the organisation is looking to the future with its rebuild. Among the rookies joining them are collegiate star RYue and rookie jungler Fung. Meanwhile, holding the team down would be star talents like BYG’s Minji and former PCS champion Bruce, who is returning to League after moving over to Wild Rift. Do note however that it has been a while since Bruce has played League competitively. So, while this team can definitely reach great heights, give them time to do so.
Since they joined the PCS in spring of last year, Frank Esports has been able to call itself a playoffs team, managing to finish fifth to sixth at the end of each split. This time around, though, they lost their superstar talent YSKM in the top lane during the offseason. Having said that, replacing him is the equally talented Solokill from the LDL. As his name implies, this top laner is able to play mechanically-intensive champs like Irelia to their full potential. And with Kaiwing, one of the most accomplished players in the region, Frank Esports could rise to the challenge in 2023.
HELL PIGS acquired Meta Falcon Team in the offseason after they barely managed to reach playoffs in seventh place last summer. This season, they are keeping their solo laners, but doing away with their bot lane in favour of collegiate talents, Tide and IC8. Meanwhile, Hong2 really only debuted in the playoffs last summer which leaves him much to prove in the coming season. However, one of the biggest questions that remains to be answered is how Tako will be integrating within the team given his poor performance in Impunity last spring. This team has a lot to figure out should they want to even qualify for playoffs this year.
Returning to the PCS after Liyab Esports gave up their slot in 2022, Philippine representatives West Point Esports are joining forces with SEM9 to form SEM9 WPE. Forming their core are Relhia, Calumnia, and yjy who have all played together in tournaments like the KeSPA Cup 2021 and the Sea Games 31. Thus, they do already have a long history of playing together as their region’s best representatives. Meanwhile, Keres was a part of the Frank Esports lineup that managed to reach fifth or sixth nearly ever split since 2020. The only problem now would be between the jungler and support with the rest of the team, given that they are the roles that tend to dictate most of the shots in-game.
After a disappointing run in their first season in the PCS, Dewish Team are, questionably, still deciding to keep their 2022 roster together. The only big change to their lineup was the addition of bot lane prospect Pocky from the LSC. Pocky has played for academy teams in the LMS and even was a sub for the Berjaya Dragons in 2020. Nevertheless, this change alone feels inadequate for DT to rise up in the standings for the upcoming season. However, because of their existing synergy together, maybe they can pull off a few upset wins earlier into the season.
Ever since, the PCS has always been held fully online because of how difficult it would be for all the teams from all over the Pacific to get together in one arena. So, for the spring and summer seasons, you can tune into what the region has up its sleeve on their official broadcasts on Twitch and YouTube. But because the region caters to so many countries and nationalities, there are an abundance of streams you can watch depending on your broadcast language.
Matches begin at 08:00 CET ending at around 13:00 CET from Fridays to Sundays. You can also follow the league’s day-to-day updates on Facebook, Twitter, and LoL Esports.
Nothing, and we mean nothing is permanent, as we have seen the dynasty of PSG come crashing down in 2022. Now, all bets are off the table as teams rebuild in the hopes of once again finding the success they used to have. In the upcoming PCS 2023 Spring split, we expect teams like Deep Cross Gaming, CTBC Flying Oyster, and Impunity to be on top. This is because sides like PSG Talon, Beyond Gaming, and J Team opted into recruiting rookies with lots more to prove. But, as always, be on the lookout for usurpers to the throne coming into the 2023 season.
The following bookmakers have the best odds for each of the following betting markets: Rivalry for moneyline bets, GG.BET for prop and total bets, and BetOnline.ag for handicap betting!
You can follow the PCS on Twitch and YouTube from Fridays to Sundays as early as 08:00 CET. The PCS also has broadcasts on Twitch for viewers from Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Thailand.
In the upcoming spring season, the champion will be bringing home €27,500 from a total prize pool of around €75,000 and a trip to the Mid-Season Invitational.
The Group Stage follows a double round-robin system where each team plays 18 matches. Each match is Bo1. Teams placed 1st to 6th will enter the playoffs, which follow a double elimination format where each match is Bo5.
Based on the information currently available to us, we can see anyone between Deep Cross Gaming, CTBC Flying Oyster, PSG Talon, and even Impunity taking the title in spring.
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