Riot introduces new Challengers system after T2 teams quit

Fariha Bhatti • August 17, 2022 11:27 am

Riot Games’ partnership model drove numerous teams to pull out of the Valorant esports, but a new announcement may tempt them to reconsider.

In April, Riot Games announced a partnership program that shifted its open tournament Valorant esports to a closed league system. Due to limited slots in three regions, numerous organizations had shut down their Valorant divisions, including esports heavyweights like Luminosity, Complexity, and others. The highly exclusive model was a letdown for organizations large and small, putting the future of T2 esports under the spotlight. But it seems that Riot has plans for the future. 

The publisher has unveiled a new Vallenger Challengers structure for 2023 that accommodates these talents. Valorant Challenger Ascension paves the way for lesser teams to compete.  

How will Valorant Challengers 2023 structure work?

Riot has announced a new Valorant Challengers 2023 circuit with 21 regional leagues across the Americas, Europe, and EMEA to bring the tier two scene to center stage. This will be a new means to entering international leagues and even global events.

The regional leagues will start with open qualifiers that will ladder the best teams into two splits of multi-week regular season play. The games will culminate in a playoff tournament that plucks out one team as each region’s best. Riot has promised quality broadcasts on par with other official events to provide an appropriate spotlight to skilled players. While this is exciting, new teams are most looking forward to the Challengers Ascension. 

Valorant Challengers 2023 leagues within each of the three territories will wrap in a new event series that will crown the best team in each territory. This will be a ticket to compete in the following year’s international league. The plan has been slated for the next six years, as the international league will expand by one team each year. The winners of Challengers Ascension will earn a two-year promotion into the rotation, returning to the league after competing. By 2028, there could be 14 new teams in the circuit. 

Valorant Challengers 2023

The developer is yet to share more details for the competing organizations regarding the exact structure of the regional leagues. 

“The exact mechanism, quantity of teams per league, and formats may differ from territory to territory as each of the Americas, EMEA, and Pacific have a different quantity of leagues. We plan to provide additional information on this topic later on in the year or in early 2023,” global communications lead for Valorant esports Anton Ferraro said.

This is welcome news for teams whose partnership applications were rejected by Riot Games. The new circuit will provide an opportunity for fresh talent to step up and prove their skills. 

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