Valorant is going the way of partnered leagues in 2023 with Riot Games choosing a select number of organizations to join their top-level international leagues. Little has been said or specified about the new system in 2023, not only for the top-level but for the second tier and the women and marginalized genders tournament series, Game Changers.
In Riot’s announcement about Valorant Champions Tour in 2022 the company said that it would be investing in more tournaments around the world and continuing the Game Changers Championship, which was introduced in 2022, but provided little details on what that would look like or how it would integrate into Tier 2.
Dexerto asked multiple teams competing in the North American VCT Game Changers Series 2 how they would want the tournament series to run next year and what changes they would like to see.
Most players said that they would like to keep the system as open as possible, giving free-agent teams the ability to compete at the highest level, but many had suggestions for potential changes that they think could improve the circuit.
.@rayseFPS with a HUGE 3K to turnaround the game! 😤 #VCTGameChangers pic.twitter.com/erJFVIsg7L
— Immortals (@Immortals) July 6, 2022
Potential changes to VCT Game Changers
One change that was addressed by two teams was Riot divorcing its partnership/ sponsorship with the community Galorants in North America. The community came under fire in June for how it moderates its own Discord server and its verification systems for tournaments and entry into its server.
Galorants is a women and marginalized genders-only server.
“I would like one change for Game Changers next year to be the verification process and Galorants,” Shopify Rebellion player Benita “bENITA” Novshadian said in a press conference. “I don’t know if it’s just because I’m a little bit older in the scene, but I feel very strongly about this and that’s basically the biggest change I want to see.”
— SR KP 🐧 (@KP_fps) June 29, 2022
“Retweet,” Shopify player Erika “KP” Lytle agreed.
Immortals player Kaylen “kay” Ruddell echoed that sentiment, saying that she would also like the verification process with Galorants changed.
“Nerd Street Gamers, VCT NA’s third party tournament operator, produces the VCT Game Changers event with support from Galorants… VCT NA partners directly with Galorants to produce once a month VCT Game Changers Academy events,” Riot Games said to Dexerto about Galorants’ involvement in the tournament series.
Outside of the tournament series’ partners and sponsorships, players wondered how Game Changers would fit into the second tier or top tier space with partnered leagues. The VCT circuit in 2021 and 2022 was an open tournament system that allowed any teams to sign up for a chance at VCT Challengers.
“I liked the format that it is now because I feel like gives opportunities, like we said before, for new teams like to show themselves, prove themselves and actually get into competing to begin with because I’m sure this is a lot of people’s first times competing,” Dignitas player Amanda “rain” Smith said.
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How the new circuit will operate is unknown, but players hope that teams that compete in Game Changers will still be able to play in the main circuit.
“I hope there’s a way for us to get into any of the leagues that they have, if at all, because it would really suck for women and marginal genders to only compete Game Changers,” Cloud9 White player Melanie “meL” Capone said. “I think that would completely detract from the point of it.”
Cloud9 White coach Jornen “MoonChopper” Nishiyama said that the team’s focus has always been on making VCT Challengers through the open qualifiers. The all-women team has competed in most of the open qualifier events across VCT Challengers in North America over 2021 and 2022.
“I think we have at least a few players who would rather leave the Game Changer scene altogether than be restricted to it,” C9 White player Katja “katsumi” Pfahnl said.
A Game Changers league?
TSM X players put out the potential for a system overhaul from the current tournament circuit by suggesting Game Changers move to a league format. North America and other regions moved to a weekly league system for VCT Challengers for the 2022 season.
“I would like more of a league system or more like how Masters and Champions work,” TSM X player April “bungee” Haight said. “Where it’s like a qualification system that leads into an event that can lead into a bigger event, at the end of the year, or just a league system that can lead into a big event instead of just scattered tournaments throughout the year.”
Her teammate Mirna “athxna” Noureldin likened the suggested system to how the League of Legends Championship Series operates.
“I think that’d be sick, just to be able to play a team a week and have enough time to research your opponents and it makes the game just a lot more interesting, in my opinion,” the TSM X in-game leader said.
Riot has yet to announce how Game Changers will be impacted by their new systems in 2023, but one thing is certain: There will be changes.
The current North American Game Changers Series 2 tournament is ongoing and will conclude on July 10 with the Grand Final.