In 2023, we are going to witness huge changes in the competitive ecosystem in VALORANT. Now teams are not going to perform from several regions throughout the world — there will be only three leagues; the teams that represent one of the leagues will be competing with each other to define the strongest and proceed to international tournaments.
To put it differently, we have already become witnesses of the turning point as Riot Games decided to follow in the footsteps of League of Legends and implement a franchise analogue. Nevertheless, the developers gave way to other participants in the stage and introduced a fully-fledged program of development of regional championships.
If we want to be brief, any team is able to make it to the partnership league but only for two years and then they will drop back to the regional level. That is why we want to offer you to analyze the new competitive ecosystem in VALORANT and introduce all levels of the stage to you.
The list of partner organizations for the European league (the venue is Berlin):
Team Vitality, Karmine Corp, FUT Esports, BBL Esports, Natus Vincere, Fnatic, Team Liquid, KOI, Team Heretics and Giants Gaming
The list of partner organizations for the American league (the venue is Los Angeles):
Sentinels, 100 Thieves, Cloud9, NRG Esports, Evil Geniuses, FURIA, LOUD, MIBR, Leviatán Esports and KRÜ Esports
The list of partner organizations for the Asian league (the venue is Seoul):
ZETA DIVISION, T1, Gen.G Esports, DRX, DetonatioN Gaming, Team Secret, Rex Regum Qeon, Paper Rex, Talon Esports and Global Esports
Even though each league is represented by ten fixed partner teams, the list of representatives will be increasing year after year. According to the rules, each regional team will be present in the partner list for two years and any team can get into the ecosystem through transitional championships between seasons.
The final aim of Riot Games in the coming several months will be an increase of the maximum number of the teams in each league to 14 and inclusion of 42 teams in the partner list.
How regional leagues work
The Challengers series also will be divided into three regions, however, each of them will be presented by a different number of championships and countries. Nevertheless, at the Challengers stage teams will be fighting with each other for a chance to get to the regional Ascension.
The winners of the regional leagues will be competing with each other in order to proceed to the VCT from their region. Therefore, every year the winners of Ascension will move to partner leagues for two seasons and then they return to where they started.
The Challengers series will consist of several championships around the world; each region of the league will have a few small leagues. North America and South America will become venues for four of them, Europe will host seven, and Asia — 10 leagues.
- North America
- North of Latin America
- South of Latin America
- Northern Europe
- Southern Europe (Spain, Italy and Portugal)
- France and Benelux
- Germany, Austria and Switzerland
- Eastern Europe
- Middle East
- South Asia
- Malaysia and Singapore
- South Korea
- Taiwan and Hong Kong
- the Philippines
The biggest leagues of the Challengers series will get allocated broadcast time that will not interfere with any of the bigger major VCT leagues. They will start with open qualifiers and will consist of two splits having allocated game minutes for each week.
At the end of the season the best teams of the regional leagues will participate in the Ascension championship where they will be fighting for a level-up.
Besides, every year after Champions is over the teams of the whole esports ecosystem in VALORANT will be able to participate in side tournaments throughout the world. Meanwhile, the teams will get a chance to do something on the transfer market and modify their roster to become stronger in the future.
Influence of the updated format on the ecosystem
Emergence of leagues is to change the situation on the competitive stage drastically. At first, the introduction of three different leagues will let the teams participate in the international arena and reconsider their result in the long-term.
Secondly, the more significant event will be divided into minor leagues and the tournament of the Challengers series will build up a closer interaction with the community as Riot Games can create more individual events with partners that are oriented to the mass level.
Thirdly, Riot Games simplifies the access of the team to participation in the tournaments with the help of in-game tournaments and gives a chance to anyone to create a team for participation in the Challengers series. It will enable small teams to participate in bigger tournaments and eventually will contribute their success on the international arena.