Riot Games has revealed its expanded Valorant Challenger ecosystem
Set to debut in 2023, there will be 21 regional circuits that will feed into international leagues.
Riot Games has revealed its expansion plans for the Valorant Champions Tour Challenger ecosystem. Starting in 2023, the scene will grow to include 21 regional circuits across the globe, including four in the Americas, seven in Europe, and ten across the Asia-Pacific region.
From here, teams and players will have the chance to fight to qualify for international leagues, which themselves will feed directly into global events, such as Masters tournaments.
"Throughout the past few months, the overwhelming demand from teams to compete in the VALORANT esports ecosystem led us to expand our plans for VCT Challengers," said Whalen Rozelle, head of esports operations at Riot Games. "A strong Challenger ecosystem is a key part of VALORANT esports' long term success and we believe connecting every level of the pyramid is the best way to give aspiring stars the chance to shine and teams to participate in meaningful high stakes competitions."
The format for this expanded Challenger scene will include open qualifiers, which lead into two splits of multi-week regular season play. This will then see teams across each of the three wider regions (Americas, Europe, and Asia-Pacific) fighting in a Challenger Ascension event, which will offer teams a way to move into the international VCT leagues the following year.
It was also said that the Ascension promotion system will continue until 2027, meaning the VCT international leagues will continue to expand and grow by one team a year until 14 total teams occupy each league. To keep things fresh, every two years, promoted teams will have to return to Challengers to run the Ascension gauntlet all over again.
As for which teams will serve as partners in the VCT international leagues, Riot Games is currently still in the selection process for this.