24th November 2020 – 6:58pm
Riot Games has just announced the Valorant Champions Tour, its official competitive circuit for the year 2021. As we are about to experience the regional championship with Valorant First Strike at the beginning of December, the Riot teams are offering us a preview of what to expect for the future of esports on Valorant.
The Valorant Champions Tour is the international global circuit on which the official Valorant competitions will take place throughout 2021. The year will be divided into 4 quarters, culminating with a World Championship in December 2021.
During the first three quarters, there will be three Valorant Challengers. These regional tournaments will be very similar to the current format of the Valorant First Strike EU. The competition will be open to all teams meeting the entry criteria. The Valorant Challengers will each run for one week and the top teams from each week will qualify for the Challenger Final.
The winners of the Challenger Finals will qualify for the Valorant Masters. This is a higher level tournament, which takes place at the end of each quarter. This is where the real fun begins, as the Valorant Masters will be international tournamentsprovided that the health situation relating to COVID-19 is under control. If international tournaments are not possible, the Masters will be limited to large regional tournaments.
Finally, the fourth and final quarter of the year will be different. It will host the tournaments of the Valorant Last Chance Qualifier, but above all the Valorant Champions, the World Championship of Valorant. The teams that win the Masters in their regions will qualify for this ultimate competition. The others will have to compete for their places in the Last Chance Qualifier.
In many ways, the Valorant Champions Tour seems to be the fusion of the various Valorant esports events that we saw in 2020. The various Challenger tournaments will be co-managed between Riot and their partners, much like the Ignition Series. But the pace and overall format of the circuit is very reminiscent of the Valorant First Strike.
There are several points on which we can only rejoice:
First, it's the guarantee of having regular regular Valorant competitions throughout 2021. Where we were in the dark regarding the stakes of the Ignition Series and, since the Valorant First Strike tournaments look like short-term tournaments, the teams now have something to look forward to and good goals to set.
Having a competition open to all makes esports on Valorant much healthier than limiting it to a few large structures. It's the most talented teams that will win and no doubt that we will see a lot of outsiders shake up the institutions, like the Purple Cobras this weekend. Great stories ahead!
Finally, the fact that Valorant has international competitions regularly also marks a real difference from the League of Legends' model which is limited to two relatively small annual events. Both the public and the players want to know the global balance of power and the rivalries between regions make the most interesting and engaging competitions, in terms of show.