Zhang "Smoggy" Zhao of EDward Gaming competes at VALORANT Masters Tokyo Brackets Stage at Tipstar Dome Chiba on June 20, 2023 in Tokyo, Japan.

Riot announces China as a new international league for VCT 2024

By George Geddes


Aug 23, 2023

Reading time: 2 min

A fourth international league in China is set to be added to the professional Valorant Champions Tour circuit next year, Riot Games announced today.

Following Valorant’s successful release in the country, China is set to host its international league next year alongside EMEA, the Pacific, and the Americas. 

Riot touted the move as a reflection of the company’s goal to include other countries in the VCT. “Recognizing the potential and contributions of the Chinese community, this momentous inclusion reflects VALORANT’s goal to be the world’s most global esport,” the developer said in a release. 

Alongside the international league in China next year, the major city of Shanghai is set to host the second Masters event in the calendar, which is set to take place around May 2024. 

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The slew of changes to VCT 2024 includes an updated schedule with two Masters tournaments and the introduction of Championship points.

Riot looks to tap into the illustrious Chinese market 

Riot, owned by Chinese technology conglomerate Tencent, is looking to push for more Valorant players from China. In 2022, it was reported that China’s games market reached $45.5 billion, and there are set to be an estimated 730 million gamers in the country by 2027, according to a report by GamesIndustry

The game was approved by the country’s National Press and Publication Administration in December last year, which has allowed Riot to expand into China to reach a large number of players. 

Even prior to the game’s official approval, several professional teams were forced to play on different servers.

The rise of teams such as EDward Gaming has shone a light on Chinese Valorant and its impressive ability to perform against the other major regions across the world. EDward Gaming finished in the top six at Valorant Champions following an impressive run that ended in defeat to LOUD in the second round of the lower bracket playoff stage. 

Before the defeat, EDward Gaming took down fellow Chinese team Bilibili Gaming, the latter of which had eliminated North American team NRG from the tournament in the group stage.