Riot explains why Valorant isn't getting franchised leagues on release - Dexerto
Valorant

Riot explains why Valorant isn’t getting franchised leagues on release

Published: 16/Apr/2020 2:17

by Andrew Amos

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Riot have big plans for Valorant esports, but they won’t be kicking it off with franchised leagues, instead focusing on grassroots third-party tournaments to grow the scene.

Valorant has barely been out for two weeks, yet the bright lights of a World Championship, ala League of Legends, have already been casted by fans. With organizations like Cloud9 and T1 signing star talent before the game even went live, the hype is real.

Riot are known for pushing esports products to the next level through League of Legends. With franchised leagues and competitions around the globe, the MOBA has one of the most well-developed esports scenes.

Riot Games
Riot’s flagship title, League of Legends, has one of the most well-developed esports scenes.

However, Valorant won’t be starting off on that trajectory ⁠— for now. Instead, Riot is looking at building up a healthy ecosystem, full of third-party events like the early days of League, and mirroring rival FPS title Counter-Strike: Global Offensive.

In an April 14 blog post, Senior Director of Global Esports for Valorant Whalen ‘Magus’ Rozelle outlined Riot’s plans for the game’s future. Riot will be supporting third-party organizers all the way, from local grassroots events to major players.

It will be divided up into Small, Medium, and Major tournaments licensed by Riot and run by tournament organizers globally. The bigger the prize pool, the more Riot will get involved in shaping the event.

“Our primary focus early on will be forming partnerships with players, content creators, tournament organizers and developers,” he said, “unlocking them to help us to build the Valorant ecosystem.”

This is a shift away from their franchised focus for League of Legends, although Rozelle said there was a good reason for that.

“We want to let Valorant grow naturally,” he said. “We’re not looking to force anything too quickly without knowing what’s best for esports fans.”

He also listed the three principles Riot are following to transform Valorant into a global esport ⁠— competitive integrity, accessibility, and authenticity ⁠— as a reason to stay away from franchising.

“We want Valorant esports to grow with this community as well as discover its own voice, talent, and stars,” he added.

Given a host of former CS:GO, Overwatch, and other FPS stars are making the jump to Valorant, only time will tell as to how the community will end up developing.

Riot are hoping that Valorant is here “ten, twenty, thirty years from now,” and the onus is seemingly on the community to build what they want to see.

Valorant

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

Published: 24/Nov/2020 16:07

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

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

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.