Game publisher Riot Games has released a significant update regarding the VALORANT Champions Tour ecosystem for 2023 and beyond.
The announcements include a revamped ‘Challengers’ structure that allows winning teams to enter into VALORANT’s international leagues. Originally, Challengers was a term used for VCT events that provided qualification to ‘Masters’ events.
The Challenger ecosystem will be split into three distinct regions — Americas, EMEA and Pacific. Teams will compete in regional Challenger events to qualify for Challengers Ascension, with the three winners of Challengers Ascension earning a two-year promotion into their respective territories’ international league.
Promoted teams will be able to qualify for VCT’s global events as well as gain ‘similar’ benefits that are provided to the league’s partnered organisations. Riot Games has revealed previously that partner teams will receive financial support from VCT in the form of an annual stipend, and opportunities to collaborate on in-game activations and products.
As a result of this promotion system, Riot Games has also confirmed that its international leagues will expand by one team every year until 2027, totalling 14 organisations.
Interestingly, once an organisation’s two-year promotion has been completed the team will return to the Challenger ecosystem and will have to attempt to qualify again the following season.
VCT’s promotion plan has also seemingly confirmed that all three international leagues — Americas, EMEA and Pacific — will start with 10 partner teams.
It has yet to be confirmed by Riot Games which organisations have been chosen for VCT’s revamped competitive structure. However, multiple esports news outlets have speculated which teams may be involved in the competitions, both across EMEA and the Americas. Dot Esports has reported that the VCT 2023 season is set to commence in February.
According to Riot Games, the Challenger structure will feature a total of 21 regional circuits across the Americas, APAC, and EMEA regions. Challenger Leagues are expected to provide ‘organised competitions’ that will begin with open qualifiers, laddering the best teams into two splits of multi-week regular season play.
Details on the regional circuits, such as whether Riot Games will utilise third-party tournament organisers, have not been revealed. In July, Riot unveiled a major new remote broadcast facility that will allow it to produce up to six events simultaneously.
VALORANT Champions Tour is set to conclude its 2022 season with the upcoming VALORANT Champions 2022 event in Istanbul, Turkey in September.