This is a system similar to what Riot has put in place for League of Legends, where a fixed selection of teams in each league compete to make it to the world championship at the end of the year.
The new leagues also mean that there will be more opportunities to go up against international competition in the regular season, compared to the current format where many teams only face rivals outside their region at events like Masters and Champions.
As 2023 approaches, Riot Games has revealed more details on the competitive calendar for the upcoming season, including Masters, Champions, and the Last Chance Qualifiers and Challenger Circuits.
VCT 2023 will be hosted in Berlin, Seoul, and Los Angeles
The first competitive split of the year will begin with weekly LAN competitions in EMEA, the Pacific, and the Americas. These league matches are set to take place in three cities – Berlin, Seoul, and Los Angeles.
To expand the reach of each league, Riot says that each location will feature on-site talent providing coverage in multiple languages for fans around the world.
The first split will take place from March until May, comprising eight weeks of regular season competition. Each international league will crown its champion at the end of this period, and the best teams from the split will advance to the first Masters event of the 2023 season.
While future seasons will feature two international league splits, 2023 will see just one. However, that single split is being supplemented by the international tournament in February to provide teams with adequate time to set up in their respective hub locations.
Teams are expected to relocate to the host cities of their respective leagues, and the logistics of those moves will take time.
“The Valorant community’s passion inspired us to dream big and evolve the Valorant Champions Tour to meet the overwhelming demand we’re seeing in every corner of the world,” said Whalen Rozelle, COO, Esports at Riot Games. “In 2023, we’re taking everything we’ve learned, adding in new ideas, and forming partnerships that will help us realize our dreams for the next edition of the VCT.”
There will still be Masters and Champions events in 2023
The second international tournament of the year, Masters, will return in June and feature the best teams from each international league.
It will also reward the top teams from each territory with a direct invitation to Champions, the premier event of the year.
There will be three Last Chance Qualifiers
The top performing teams that have not yet qualified for Champions will get one last shot in the Last Chance Qualifiers in July.
The winning teams from each of the three LCQs will then advance to Champions in August.
The Challengers Circuit will give teams a path to advance to the international stage
For teams that have not been selected for the international leagues, the Challengers Circuit will also take place alongside the regular VCT season. The circuit will provide aspiring teams with a path to qualify for international competition for the VCT 2024 season.
There will be two Challengers splits. The first will begin in January followed by the second in March. They will conclude with three Ascension tournaments in July — one for each international league. These tournaments will feature the best teams from more than twenty different Challengers leagues competing on LAN for promotion into the international leagues.
“After an inaugural season full of new changes and new events – the mission becomes critically simple,” said Riot. “Secure the Champions cup and write your name into the history books.”