Massive VCT format changes save Valorant Ascension teams from relegation

Daniel Appleford
Valorant challengers

VCT is making massive changes to the Challengers ecosystem in 2025, changes that’ll allow the best Valorant Ascension teams to stay in the big leagues longer if they earn their spots.

Riot Games revealed its plans for the Valorant Champions Tour Challengers division on June 21, with the plan detailing how top Challengers teams can make it to the international leagues.

The goal of Challengers has always been to promote to one of the coveted 12 spots, but Riot isn’t making it easy.

The first major change set to take effect in 2025 is the elimination of automatic relegation. Previously, teams that ascended from Challengers to the international leagues would be immediately demoted back to Challengers regardless of their performance. 

Now, an Ascension team that finishes in the top 4 at Champions extends their term for another year. If both Ascension teams make top 4, the better-performing team gets that guaranteed spot.

Valorant challengers format
How Ascension teams can keep their spots in VCT

An Ascension team that finishes in the top 8 of the international league gets a chance to defend its spot by competing in Ascension against Challengers teams.

Meanwhile, teams failing to reach the Valorant Stage 2 Playoffs are relegated to their Challenger League. Two new teams will be promoted to compete if both Ascension teams are relegated.

In addition to these changes made to Ascension teams, an update that will be implemented at the end of this year also adjusted the path to pro from Premier to Challengers

To bridge the gap between Ascension and the next year’s Challengers season, the Challenger Leagues will now run year-round.

Starting in July, the top-performing teams from Preimier for each Act of Episode 9 will be invited to participate in the third stint of Challengers in October.

However, they will not be present at the Ascension window in September despite being able to compete at Challengers.

This set of changes leaves the first teams to ascend to the international leagues, such as G2 Esports, in limbo. Valorant has not yet commented on how these changes will affect them.