Riot Games revives CIS Valorant league after long hiatus
Riot Games has announced that the Valorant league, Valorant Challengers CIS: Milestone, will return in 2023 after the season was canceled in March 2022 due to the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
The Commonwealth of Independent States could see a resurgence in Valorant after Riot Games discontinued tournaments in the region following the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
On March 25, about one month after Russia started its assault, Riot announced that it will cancel the rest of the Valorant Challengers CIS: Milestone and League of Legends Continental League season until further notice.
The two leagues ceased operations and teams competing could not earn a slot in the EMEA promotion tournament in Valorant, or the Mid-Season Invitational in League of Legends.
Riot announces return of CIS Valorant league
Now, with a statement put out on October 27, Riot has revealed that the Valorant league will return in 2023.
The fallout from the Russian invasion also saw Gambit Gaming, a Russian organization, let its players compete independently under the name M3 Champions after the EMEA Challengers league was postponed and rescheduled in March 2022 due to the conflict.
Valorant is in a transitional period as the Regional Leagues transform into Challengers League, which changes how teams can be promoted into the tier-one league with the partnered teams through Challengers Ascension.
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EMEA had a similar system in 2022 in which Valorant Regional League teams could play in a promotional tournament to enter the EMEA Challengers league and compete for a spot at international events.
Riot announced on October 25 that Italy and Portugal will both have a Challengers league in 2023 after both region’s players previously had to compete in the Spanish VRL.
The Valorant offseason is still ongoing as EMEA league and Challenger-level organizations put together rosters for the 2023 season.