VCT 2023 Kickoff tournament explained

Declan Mclaughlin
The crowd at Valorant Champions 2022

VCT will have a new system and format come 2023 with partnered teams and to ring in the change, Riot Games has announced a 30-team international Kickoff tournament in February in São Paulo, Brazil.

The one-time tournament will showcase the new partnered teams and rosters ahead of the new format. The three-week event will be the biggest international tournament Valorant has ever seen and have competitive stakes for the year.

The winner of the event will give their international league, there are three under the new format, an extra slot for Valorant Champions 2023 according to the Riot press release.

The new free agency period will conclude before the event, according to a source at Riot, so teams will showcase what they have been able to put together for the first year of the new league system.

While the VCT 2023 Kickoff tournament is an event to start off a new era of Valorant, it also gives organizations time to set up infrastructure for the new leagues in their respective cities.

VCT 2023 Kickoff tournament marks new beginnings for Valorant

The new leagues are set to take place in a LAN environment in Los Angeles, California, Berlin, Germany, and Seoul, South Korea. The leagues will consist of two splits, both with eight weeks of regular-season competition in a normal year.

In this first year, the Kickoff tournament will replace the first split of competition, crowning a winning in early March. The second split of the year will start in late March or early April according to the Riot press release.

“The Valorant community’s passion inspired us to dream big and evolve the Valorant Champions Tour to meet the overwhelming demand we’re seeing in every corner of the world,” said Whalen Rozelle, COO, Esports at Riot Games in a press release.