As the VALORANT Champions Tour enters 2023, we’re excited to share how the regional Challengers circuit will grow alongside the expansion of our sport. Challengers will play an important role – surfacing up-and-coming talent critical for the long-term success of VALORANT, testing teams aspiring to play in the International leagues, and bridging the sport and the game.
Next year, we will be expanding Challengers to cover more players in more regions. Additionally, teams that start in Challengers will have a pathway into the international leagues, and eventually even global events. This system will surface the up and coming stars through a fully connected ecosystem with larger events, new tournaments, and high stakes!
The New and Expanded Challenger Ecosystem
In 2023, Challengers will encompass more than 20 leagues around the world, ensuring every VALORANT player has a path to realize their competitive dreams. These Challenger Leagues will provide highly organized competitions that begin with open qualifiers and ladder the best teams into two splits of multi-week regular season play.
Each Challenger split will culminate in a playoff tournament where a single team will be crowned as that league’s champion! To ensure that these players and teams receive the attention their skills deserve, the biggest Challenger leagues will receive dedicated broadcast windows that will be scheduled to avoid conflicts with international league matches.
Introducing Challengers Ascension!
Providing aspirational goals is imperative to ensuring the most talented teams and pros in esports select VALORANT as the game where they dedicate their time and effort. Next year, Challenger leagues within each of the three territories will culminate in a new event series that will crown the best team in their territory. Teams who secure victory at the three Challengers Ascension tournaments will earn a spot in the following year’s international league.
Promotion into International Leagues
Each year, international leagues will expand by one team, until hitting a cap of 14 teams in 2027. Teams who win Challengers Ascension will earn a two-year promotion into their territory’s international league. Promoted teams will have the opportunity to prove themselves against the international league teams during the VCT season, receive similar league benefits, and an equal chance to qualify into Masters and Champions. After two years, teams will return to their league to battle their way back through Challengers and Ascension tournaments.
The Journey Begins
We believe that the path to Champions should begin directly within VALORANT. Earlier this year, we shared the initial details for an in-game competitive system for you and your teammates that goes beyond Ranked. The VALORANT dev team is focused on ensuring the core experience meets the expectations of players at scale. We have huge ambitions for integrating this system directly into the VCT.
Looking ahead to 2024, the top teams emerging from this system will get a chance to qualify directly from the game into Challengers. We want to create a seamless connection between VALORANT and the VCT at a global scale through a bridge of make-or-break moments where the lowest ranked Challenger teams have to defend their place against the newest batch of online superstars. We’ll have more to share on this system before the end of the year.
We are humbled by the incredible interest from teams to participate in the VCT, and we hope you’re as excited as we are about our plans to expand and grow VCT Challengers. We believe that this strengthened Challenger ecosystem will be a key part of VCT’s long-term success.
Later this fall, we’ll be releasing specific information about each region’s open qualifiers, Challenger schedule, and the Ascension tournaments. This will provide aspiring teams with a clear roadmap on the next step of their VALORANT journey. As we wrap up the VCT 2022 season, we’re looking forward to sharing more on international leagues, global events, and our partnered teams in the coming weeks.