UPDATE: Freshman Class of 2018 is now under Oddity Esports, and GOSU's new-look roster has dissolved. Track the changes in our transfer thread.
With Season 9 of the Pro League finally back today with the North American region, it has been confirmed that Asia-Pacific (APAC) will be getting underway next week as well. All the action returns across all four sub-regions on the 16th of January.
When Are The Games?
Each day will start at 7 PM local time -- UTC+8 for Southeast Asia (SEA), UTC+9 for Japan (JP) and Korea (KR), and UTC+11 for Australia-New Zealand (ANZ).
While the games have traditionally only been on Wednesdays and Thursdays, the first two weeks will see additional games on Friday too. There will be no games in February, though, as part of the mid-season break and to give the three teams representing APAC at the 2019 Six Invitational time to prepare and travel. The final week of the APAC Pro League will see both days’ games combined into one, presumably running simultaneously.
This makes the confirmed dates of the competition as follows:
- Week 1: 16, 17, and 18 January (Wednesday to Friday)
- Week 2: 23, 24, and 25 January (Wednesday to Friday)
- Week 3: 30 and 31 January (Wednesday and Thursday)
- Week 4: 13 and 14 March (Wednesday and Thursday)
- Week 5: 20 and 21 March (Wednesday and Thursday)
- Week 6: 27 March (Wednesday)
What is the Format?
Each team will play a quasi-Bo2 (Best-of-Two) series once every week, allowing each team’s fans to see their favourite players in action weekly. However, these matches will not be traditional Best-of-Two games in the sense that five maps will be banned out of the seven in total.
Just like Season 8, each team will play both Bo1 (Best-of-One) games against each opposition team back-to-back on the same day. With two play days each week, this allows APAC to complete its Pro League in a shorter duration than the other regions. With visa applications and the like taking time, the compressed APAC season gives players time to get ready for the seasonal APAC LAN and, if successful there, prepare for the Pro League Finals.
Unlike the previous season, however, there will not be any playoffs. Previously the top four teams at the end of each sub-region’s regular Pro League season played each other to decide the top two going to the seasonal APAC LAN. Now, however, the top two teams will be decided as per their final, regular Pro League standings and will proceed to the APAC Finals seeded accordingly.
At the APAC Finals, the top two teams from each sub-region will battle it out in an eight-team, single-elmination, Best-of-Three bracket. The top two teams from the event (i.e. the winners of the semi-finals of each half of the bracket) will proceed to the Season 9 Finals in Milan, with their seeding decided in the Grand Final game.
Who is Participating?
The teams for each sub-region are as follows:
- ANZ: Fnatic, 0RGL3SS (ex-Athletico Esports), Dark Sided, Oddity Esports, Avant Gaming, Taboo, Mindfreak, and Lowkey Cardinal
- JP: NORA-Rengo, Sengoku Gaming Extasy, FAV Gaming, AFFLICT ReV, CYCLOPS Athlete Gaming, Rsk Ninjas Gaming, Father’s Back, and SCARZ
- SEA: Aerowolf, Xavier Esports, Scrypt E-Sports, Ferox E-Sports, INTelligent YesTag, Generic Esports, MBT Impetus, and Team DAD1
- KR: Mantis FPS, AsB, Team uR, Legacy, Ageless Blue, 3 x TBD
Where can I see them?
Each region’s Pro League action is broadcast on the following Twitch channels:
Catch all the action starting from 16th January, 7 PM local time and support your favourite teams on the channels above!