Valorant

How does the Valorant Champions Tour work? Dates, format, regions, more

Published: 24/Nov/2020 16:07 Updated: 25/Nov/2020 9:38

by Andrew Amos

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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 format
Riot Games
The Valorant Champions Tour is divided into three tiers: Challengers, Masters, and Champions.

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)
  • Brazil
  • Latin America
  • Japan
  • South-East Asia
  • Korea

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.

Valorant-Champions-Tour-Timeline
Riot Games
Here’s how the Valorant Champions Tour circuit is shaping up for 2021.

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.

Valorant Challengers format in Valorant Champions Tour
Riot Games
A step-by-step guide to the VCT format.

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.

Valorant Champions and Masters format for Valorant Champions Tour
Riot Games
Qualifying for Valorant Champions isn’t easy, but it’ll be worth it.

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!

The Valorant Champions Tour is set to kick-off in February 2021 with the start of Valorant Challengers Season 1 across the world.

League of Legends

LIVE: LCS Lock In 2021 Day 1: Perkz’s debut for Cloud9 goes awry

Published: 15/Jan/2021 23:00 Updated: 16/Jan/2021 2:52

by Andrew Amos

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The LCS has kicked off 2021 not with the Spring Split, but with a new tournament called Lock In. Similar to the KeSPA Cup or Demacia Cup, NA’s top teams will duke it out in a pre-season event right before the main season. Here’s what you need to know.


  • 100 Thieves, Liquid, Evil Geniuses, Dignitas open up LCS Lock In with wins.
  • Perkz’s Cloud9 debut goes awry with 4/7/2 statline on Yone.
  • Golden Guardians vs CLG next at 7pm PT / 10pm ET.

LCS Lock In: Stream

The LCS Lock In tournament is the 2021 starter for League of Legends in North America. All 10 LCS teams will take part in the two-week competition that gives fans a taster of the year to come.

They’re not playing for pittance either. The winning team will take home $150,000 USD, and a lot of confidence heading into the start of Spring 2021 in February.

LCS Lock In 2021: Teams & groups

As we mentioned earlier, all 10 of the LCS teams will be taking part in the Lock In tournament. Some teams may choose to field their academy rosters instead of their main rosters, but with $150,000 on the line, there’ll definitely be some teams gunning for the flag.

Among them, Summer 2020 champions TSM would be favorites. Having made a number of moves in the off-season, only keeping jungler Mingyi ‘Spica’ Lu, the new squad will have a hard task in front of them. Team Liquid, CLG, and Cloud9 also made some big moves in the off-season to catch back up.

The 10 teams will be split into groups of two, with the top four from each group making it to the single-elimination playoffs.

Group A Group B
TSM FlyQuest
100 Thieves Cloud9
CLG Dignitas
Golden Guardians Evil Geniuses
Team Liquid Immortals

LCS Lock In 2021: Schedule

Groups Day 1: Friday, January 15

Group Match PT ET GMT
Group A 100 Thieves 1 – 0 TSM 3pm 6pm 11pm
CLG 0 – 1 Liquid 4pm 7pm 12am (Jan 16)
Group B Cloud9 0 – 1 Evil Geniuses 5pm 8pm 1am (Jan 16)
Dignitas 1 – 0 FlyQuest 6pm 9pm 2am (Jan 16)
Group A Golden Guardians vs CLG 7pm 10pm 3am (Jan 16)

Groups Day 2: Saturday, January 16

Group Match PT ET GMT
Group B Immortals vs Evil Geniuses 1pm 4pm 9pm
Group A Golden Guardians vs TSM 2pm 5pm 10pm
Group B Cloud9 vs FlyQuest 3pm 6pm 11pm
Immortals vs Dignitas 4pm 7pm 12am (Jan 17)
Group A CLG vs 100 Thieves 5pm 8pm 1am (Jan 17)

Groups Day 3: Sunday, January 17

Group Match PT ET GMT
Group B Immortals vs Cloud9 1pm 4pm 9pm
Group A Liquid vs 100 Thieves 2pm 5pm 10pm
Group B Dignitas vs Evil Geniuses 3pm 6pm 11pm
Group A CLG vs TSM 4pm 7pm 12am (Jan 18)
Golden Guardians vs Liquid 5pm 8pm 1am (Jan 18)

Groups Day 4: Friday, January 22

Group Match PT ET GMT
Group B Dignitas vs Cloud9 3pm 6pm 11pm
Group A Golden Guardians vs 100 Thieves 4pm 7pm 12am (Jan 23)
Group B Evil Geniuses vs FlyQuest 5pm 8pm 1am (Jan 23)
Group A Liquid vs TSM 6pm 9pm 2am (Jan 23)
Group B Immortals vs FlyQuest 7pm 10pm 3am (Jan 23)

Quarterfinals Day 1: Saturday, January 23

Match PT ET GMT
TBD vs TBD 1pm 4pm 9pm
TBD vs TBD 5pm 8pm 1am (Jan 24)

Quarterfinals Day 2: Sunday, January 24

Match PT ET GMT
TBD vs TBD 1pm 4pm 9pm
TBD vs TBD 5pm 8pm 1am (Jan 24)

Semifinals Day 1: Friday, January 29

Match PT ET GMT
TBD vs TBD 3pm 6pm 11pm

Semifinals Day 2: Saturday, January 30

Match PT ET GMT
TBD vs TBD 1pm 4pm 9pm

Grand Finals: Sunday, January 31

Match PT ET GMT
TBD vs TBD 1pm 4pm 9pm