The Valorant Champions Tour is set to define the outlook of Riot’s flagship FPS from 2021 onwards. The esport scene has been divided into three stages, giving players from grassroots to top-tier a chance to shine. Here’s how it works.
The Valorant Champions Tour is here to revolutionize professional play for Riot’s hit FPS. After a year of domestic tournaments and regional leagues, there’s now hope of getting a dose of international play in 2021.
However, the Valorant Champions Tour announcement is a lot to digest. If you’re left confused by the announcement, we’ve broken down each tier of play here, and how the entire system works, as simply as possible.
Valorant Champions Tour regions
Before we can dive into what each tier of the new Valorant Champions Tour means, we need to break down who’s participating. There are seven regions looped into the Valorant Champions Tour ecosystem.
- North America (includes Oceania)
- Europe, Middle East, and Africa (includes CIS, Turkey, and MENA)
- Latin America
- South-East Asia
It’s a similar spread compared to Riot’s handling of League of Legends. Bigger regions, like North America and Europe, will have more slots at the bigger international events.
Smaller regions, like Oceania and CIS, don’t have a direct path to qualification through their domestic events. They will instead have to make it through specified events in North America (OCE) and Europe (CIS), on top of making it through their home region.
What is Valorant Challengers?
Valorant Challengers is the domestic level of Valorant competition. Each region — regardless of size — will have a Challengers event.
Each Challenger event takes place over six weeks with three open qualifiers. It’s similar to the First Strike format: play through Opens, make it to Closed Qualifiers, and if you perform well enough, you make the Challengers Final.
Eight teams will qualify for the Challengers Final. This is the path towards the international Masters-level events. The top teams from each region will earn themselves a spot at the next Masters event:
- North America (and OCE): Top 3 teams
- Europe (and CIS, Turkey, and MENAI): Top 4 teams
- Brazil: Top 2 teams
- Korea: Top 2 teams
- Japan: Top 2 teams
- South-East Asia: Top 2 teams
- Latin America: Winner of Valorant Challengers
There will be three Valorant Challengers events throughout the year (February, May and August), each running into their respective Valorant Masters event.
What is Valorant Masters?
Valorant Masters is the first stage of international play in Valorant. The best teams from each region will qualify for one of three Masters events, spaced out across the year. The teams will be decided by their placements in Valorant Challengers.
Teams will earn points based on their performance at Masters-level events. These points will be put towards qualifying for the end-of-year Valorant Champions event — the World Championship.
Due to the current global situation, Masters events may remain at a domestic level for now, and emulate the format from Valorant Challengers. However, making it to Masters and performing well will still be the key to making the big Valorant Champions event.
What is Valorant Champions?
Valorant Champions is the biggest event on the calendar. It’s essentially the Valorant World Championship. After a year of competition, the top 16 teams around the world will duke it out for the biggest prize in the circuit. It’s set to be a “massive” two-week long event.
There will be 12 direct invites into the Valorant Champions event, based on Masters performances. However, this isn’t the end of the line.
Four more slots will be up for grabs in regional last chance qualifiers. These last chance qualifiers will be split across: North America, Europe, South America, and Asia-Pacific. Here’s the regional breakdown.
- North America (and OCE): 4 slots
- Europe (and CIS, Turkey, and MENAI): 4 slots
- Brazil: At least 2 slots
- Latin America: At least 1 slot
- Japan: At least 1 slot
- South-East Asia: At least 2 slots
- Korea: At least 1 slot
- Masters 3 Winner: Direct invite
Putting it simply, the Valorant Champions Tour gives teams of all levels a chance to go from grassroots to glory. From small local Challengers events, all the way through to the Champions Final, there’s a clear path to the top no matter if you are a big organization or a small pub-stomping team. Of course, you still have to meet that Immortal 1 minimum threshold!
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The Valorant Champions Tour is set to kick-off in February 2021 with the start of Valorant Challengers Season 1 across the world.