Riot to introduce year-long Valorant Challengers season and affiliate system
Aug 14, 2023
The developer and tournament organizers of Valorant is introducing a few changes to the Challengers system, Riot announced today.
In a blog post published today, the head of Valorant esports Leo Faria said that Riot is planning to extend the duration of the Challengers season. Riot will also introduce a new affiliate system which will allow for the fluid transition of Challengers players to the international leagues.
Why is Riot extending Valorant Challengers season?
The length of Challengers was harshly criticized by the community since it ended in June. This short season failed to bring in consistent viewership to the leagues which harmed the economic viability of fielding Challengers teams from esports organizations.
But Riot is set to extend the season to Challengers leagues to run them all year round, which includes the latter half of the year when the international league teams take a break for the off-season.
“We hope that will give Challengers space during those months and significantly help viewership,” Faria said.
The move will include changes to the broadcast and may have to rely on watch parties for the early stages of the tournaments. “This change will require trade-offs, like not broadcasting the entire early phase of competitions in every stage, but each league will likely take a different approach,” Faria said.
Challengers Ascension is also moving to September which means it will take place after Champions. Riot is set to introduce an affiliate system where partnered teams in the international leagues can be directly associated with challengers teams. This relationship would allow for the exchange of Challengers players to the league or vice versa via an affiliated team.
The affiliate system, which was previously reported by WIN.gg, remains somewhat unpopular with Challengers teams.
More details on the regional leagues are set to be revealed in the next few months, Faria said.
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