Riot Games has announced that it has partnered with Knights Arena, the event operational arm of esports organization Pittsburgh Knights, to run the North American Valorant Challengers League and Game Changers tournaments.
Knights have been a staple in Valorant almost since the game launched. The esports organization has run many tournaments over the course of the past two years and has fielded a main and academy Valorant team in North America.
The organization will now move solely to organizing the North American Valorant Challengers League and Game Changers with its recent partnership with Riot Games, and not field a team, according to an announcement from the developer.
The Challengers League is the second-tier competition in Valorant that will give teams a chance to be promoted to the top league with teams that have partnered with Riot Games in the Americas. The new Valorant league, organized by Knights, will start sometime soon with the Challengers League Qualifiers.
Riot has partnered with other tournament organizers in different regions to run the new second tier of competition.
Knights will help usher in a new era of Valorant
“The Knights have proven their ability to run successful tournaments that embody the goals of VALORANT, and they bring years of experience and passion to this new partnership,” Bear Jemison, Head of Valorant Champions Tour Americas for Riot Games, said.
“We’re excited to work closely with The Knights team on NA Challengers and Game Changers, and I’m confident that together, we’ll build something that fans will enjoy.”
Knights not only held weekly and monthly tournaments in the esport, but also ran the Sakura Cup, a bi-monthly tournament for women and non-binary players, and also special events like Valorampage which was one of the first tournaments to feature Agent bans.
The announcement did not reveal any other details about qualification, the format of the league or how Game Changers will work in 2023.