Riot Games has just announced in a press release changes for the 2023 competitive season of Valorant. Indeed, the VRL (Valorant Regional Leagues) will be given a new name as well asa slightly different format from that of this year. We explain everything we know in this article.
A new name and new regions
To start, VRLs change name. From 2023, it will no longer be the Valorant Regional Leagues but the Challengers. However, be careful not to confuse them with the Challengers that already exist in the VCT circuit. These are not the same competitions, although the regional Challengers will offer the opportunity for certain teams to access the international Challengers.
Of new regions will also be entitled to their Challengers. Indeed, when the Valorant Regional Leagues were created, Riot Games had announced that, if the format met with some success, other regions could obtain their own leagues. This will indeed be the case since in 2023, 21 regional circuits will be rolled out around the world.
For’Europenothing changes, the regions concerned are always the same, namely: Northern Europe, Southern Europe (Spain, Italy and Portugal), France and Benelux, DACH (Germany, Austria, Switzerland and Turkey), Eastern Europe and MENA.
From 2023, two other major regions will also have regional leagues. This is theAmerica a you Peaceful. In America, the areas concerned are: North America, LATAM North, LATAM South and Brazil.
In the Pacific region, the following regions will have a new regional league: South Asia (including India), Thailand, Vietnam, Malaysia and Singapore, Korea, Japan, Taipei and Hong Kong, Philippines, Indonesia and Oceania.
The format of the Challengers
How to qualify?
To access the Challengers, the teams will first have to go through open qualifications. However, it is not yet known whether certain teams will qualify by invitation, as was the case this year. The teams that manage to pass the open qualifications will therefore participate in the Challenger of their region, which will be divided into two segments. Each segment will itself consist of a regular season as well as playoffs. The team that wins a segment will be named Challenger Champion.
Rise of the Challengers
As was already the case this year with VCT Promotion, the Challengers will offer teams the possibility of entering international leagues. Each major region (namely EMEA, Pacific and Americas) will see the best teams of its Challengers compete in a tournament called Challenger Ascension. So there will be three such tournaments, one for each region. At the end of these competitions, the teams that emerge victorious will be able to join the international leagues the following year. These tournaments will take place at the end of the year and three teams will enter the VCT circuit, one per region.
Be careful though because this promotion is not final. Indeed, the teams qualified for the international leagues will only be able to stay there for two years. During this period, they will have the same chances as the other VCT teams to qualify for the Masters and Champions. Nevertheless, at the end of these two years, they will return to Challenger and will have to fight again to try to return to VCT.
With this promotion system, each international league will have one more place to offer a team each year, in order to reach a maximum of 14 teams by 2027.
If we don’t know more currently, Riot Games has assured that new elements will be published this fall, namely information relating to open qualifications, the Challengers calendar or even information on the various Ascension tournaments.