Rumours about LMS not existing after League of Legends Season 9 turned out to be true but the result may surprise some as the league will merge with LST to form a new one with more participants.
League of Legends Southeast Asia Tour (LST) and League of Legends Master Series (LMS) will be combined into one new league at the end of Season 9. The league will feature 10 teams and will launch in 2020 in order to increase competitiveness in the region, according to League of Legends Philipines Facebook page.
This is apparently a result of a months-long evaluation of the regions from both Riot Games and their partner, Garena. Broadening the regions will allow the participating teams to have a bigger talent pool and potentially better financial backing as, let's face it, advertisements will now have a bigger reach. The structure, schedule, format and teams will be announced during pre-season of 2020.
The new league will now encompass Hong Kong, Taiwan, Macau, Thailand, Philipines, Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore. It remains to be seen how the league will rank when compared to other regions. It will geographically be one of the biggest regions now but players and fans have voiced their displeasure at Riot Games' league ranking system following World Championship 2019 draw.
Namely, groups A and C turned out to be groups of death as they feature some of the highest quality teams in the game. Group C, in particular, already has three top tier teams - SKT T1, Fnatic and Royal Never Give Up (RNG). Meanwhile, group B has one top tier team, FunPlus Phoenix and two teams that fans don't see as potential crown contenders - J Team and GAM Esports.
Such grouping was mostly made possible thanks to Worlds 2019 draw having only three pools of teams but also due to LMS having three seeds this time around, which obviously left many people dissatisfied. On the other hand, the competition hasn't started yet and who knows? Maybe LMS teams will turn the whole thing on its head and boot some of the bigger names in LoL esports.