In the Changing Seasons
Reforms in the Pro Gaming Series enter for the Spring Split
The Team and Manager Summit for the Spring Split of the 2016 Pro Gaming Series (PGS) was held last October 17 (Saturday) at the Garena PH office in Taguig. Players and managers represented each team, new or veteran, in the summit except for Acclaim EmpireX who are based in Iloilo.
Brian “GG.Neme” Victa steps in as the new head of the Pro Gaming Series. He, together with the previous head, Kate “GG.BananaKate” Cantos, drove the discourse in the summit.
“The changes are all for player-skill development and bettering communication,” the 25 year old eSports executive summarized in an interview regarding the reforms. Here are the changes you will see this following season:
1. More Competitive Slot Retention Scheme
For the past few splits, the PGS saw little to no change in the teams and players in the eight (8) coveted slots in the League of Legends PH professional scene.
Wanting to up the challenge in the veteran teams, and at the same time find the best new teams, PGS will now only retain the top four (4) teams for the next split from the original five (5). The eighth placer still gets the boot.
To add to that, there might be an increase of four (4) slots for a total of twelve (12), on 2016. The new blood comes from the increase in the slots for the PGS qualifiers because of a restructured circuit system that, and in a reserved slot for the LoL Collegiate League champions.
That’s right! Collegiate teams have a shot at becoming a pro team come next year summer.
2. Allowing Younger Players Into The Pro-scene
It’s been a long-standing issue that players below 17 years old cannot compete in the PGS.
As Mineski Team Manager, Roy Inciong, said in the summit, “If we want to be the best in the region, why restrict them?” GG.Neme had the same sentiments. With the addition of the collegiate team as stated above, these young players will slowly get their share of the spotlight.
The no below 17 rule was primary set to follow the Garena Premier League (GPL) and Riot’s League Champion Series possibly due to legal issues.
Worst case scenario for these gifted youngsters now allowed to compete is that if the team gets to fight the international bets abroad, they cannot.
3. Competitive Prize Pie
While in the past, there was only participation fee for these teams, this year, there’s both the fee and the rank-based prizes.
The fee now functions more as ‘sustenance’ for the teams in their individual matches rather than the only thing going around for them in competing. The pro teams are now more encouraged to opt to get better as big chunk of the money will largely depend on their performance.
The revised rank-based prizes are as follows:
1st place100,000 PHP
2nd place30,000 PHP
3rd place25,000 PHP
4th place20,000 PHP
5th-6th place15,000 PHP
7th-8th place10,000 PHP
This is on top of a 2,500 PHP and 1000 PHP participation fee of the winning and losing team per individual match. Originally set at 2,000 PHP and 1,500 PHP by the officials, the managers and players of the summit opted for the former to really scale the competition.
At the end of the season, MVPs for each role will also be rewarded individually. The officials will be basing their decision more on their plays and mechanics more than their end game statistics.
4. LoL PH-All Stars!
This one is still in the works, but the officials is opting for one during the off-seasons of the Pro Gaming Series.
The community will get to choose and assemble two (2) of their dream teams from the eight PGS teams to compete in a best of three match. A maximum of two (2) players per individual pro team may be slotted in the All Stars.
Perhaps, we’ll get to see Mineski’s Kaigu duo with IPT’s H4t3, and go against a tandem of IPT’s Poysanity and Mineski’s Exo in the bot lane.
Aside from these structural improvements for the pro players, the PGS officials also tightens their coordination with the team managers.
The intellectual property clause was reiterated during the summit. Although the rule has been there since, proper protocol in the approval and usage of League-related materials has not been followed especially when it comes to merchandise. The officials will be stricter this time around.
The officials also agreed that in the event that any clause of the contract is violated, they would call the managers to convene and have a discourse for the sanction. The final word is still on the hands of the PGS Officials.
Go For The Dream
Even with these reforms in place, GG.Neme still has a lot in his mind that he wants to lay down for the PGS. “The dream is really to have the pro players have a fixed salary,” he said, recalling how other teams abroad were able to improve with its implementation.
But the eSports scene here in the Philippines isn’t as revered as it is abroad where the game infiltrates product endorsements and even food service.
With a lot of socio-economic and political structures involved, the officials has to draw a fine line between them standing as a commission for League of Legends eSports in the country, and being a direct sponsor to all competing teams.
“The most we can do is to advise,” GG.Neme said “It’s up to the efforts of the teams to improve their own skill,” he added. “We can assist them in their efforts, but said improvements cannot come from us first.”
It’s all about involvement. PGS, only in its third year, has already attracted the attention of major telecommunication companies, hardware, and consumer products. But the key to the growth of the eSports industry lies in the collective effort of the player population--the pro teams, the managers, the dreamers, the fans and even, that solo queuer.
See you at the start of the Split!