Game publisher Riot Games has announced a few tweaks to the VALORANT Challengers EMEA structure going into the 2024 season.
Notably, Riot Games has changed its points distribution system, adding more points in Stage 1 to balance out the importance of both stages. What the exact point distribution is for 2024 has yet to be revealed.
According to Riot Games, each league will also take individual approaches in an attempt to ‘raise the stakes for Stage 1’.
To better support the ecosystem, Riot also confirmed that Challengers teams can now become affiliated with VCT teams. This will not impact participation in Ascension and allows teams to rise up the ranks to VCT EMEA. Having an affiliation relationship with VCT organisations will allow teams to have a two-way player system, meaning the latter can play in both competitions.
Aside from that, Riot also revealed the starting dates for the new season. Most leagues will be starting in mid-January, with Eastern Europe and MENA commencing the following month. The Northern Europe league, Polaris, is the only one that has yet to confirm a starting date. The league is undergoing major organizational changes, following the filing for bankruptcy from the tournament organizer Promod Esports. MistGames will be taking over operations in the new year.
While playoff dates haven’t been confirmed, Riot Games stated that for Stage 1 it will run start early March until mid-April. Meanwhile, Stage 2 will start in mid-May and go all the way until the end of July, with all leagues concluding by 27th July. The publisher also hinted at the fact that it is restructuring the Challengers format for 2025 and that the competition will kick off in the final quarter of 2024.
After receiving some criticism for not offering enough chances for players and teams to showcase their talent, Riot has tried to connect the game to its esports ecosystem. It announced the launch of VALORANT’s Premier game mode to better develop the grassroots scene, creating a better path to pro.