A China's Qualifier for Valorant Champions 2023
With the approval of the Chinese government regarding the broadcast of Valorant on its territory, It was only a matter of time before Riot Games fully integrated China into its professional circuit. Eager to welcome the country and give it a prominent place on the international sports scene, the studio unveiled the CN Qualifier. The latter, reserved for Chinese teams, will allow the three best representatives from the region to access the Valorant Champions 2023.
If Valorant was available in France when it was released in June 2020, not all countries in the world wanted to authorise its deployment, at least not directly. The Chinese government, which is particularly careful about the content broadcast on its territory, especially when it comes to video games, has only authorised the arrival of the FPS by the end of 2022. It is under the name 无畏契约 or Fearless Contract that the game is now available there and not Valorant.
Shortly after this announcement, Riot Games unveiled the addition of two Chinese teams in the LOCK//IN Sao Paulo bracket, EDward Gaming and FunPlus Phoenix, a tournament that initially included only VCT franchises. This first step was only the beginning of a wider integration of the Chinese community into the Valorant professional circuit, as indicated by Leo Faria, in charge of VALORANT esport, during the press conference preceding the competition:
We are developing a plan for the competitions in China. We don't know yet exactly how it will take shape, but of course we want to welcome the country in the VCT. [...] We will make sure that China has a strong presence in the VCT.Leo Faria, in charge of VALORANT esport
In order to support the development of the Chinese scene, the social networks Valorant Esports China were created and widely relayed this first LAN of the season. As of 23rd February, they even stated that several Chinese teams would be present at the Tokyo Master. In doing so, Riot Games opened the doors of the Valorant Champions 2023 to China, as the winner of the tournament directly earns a spot in the World Championships. In short, it was another step towards associating the region with the professional circuit.
In order to allow more Chinese teams to enter this prestigious tournament, Riot Games is not stopping there. The official website recently unveiled the road map for the coming months in which we discover a Qualifier dedicated to China : the Champions CN Qualifiers.
It will be held from 3rd to 16th July. It will bring together a total of 12 teams, which will be selected through two acts of the FGC Valorant Invitational 2023, a regional tournament. The top three teams will be offered a slot for the Valorant Champions. More information about this stage is expected to be released soon. Will EDward Gaming be able to join the playoffs of the Valorant Champions this year? Only time will tell...
Considering the efforts made by Riot Games to allow Chinese players to shine on the international scene this year, it is only fair to say that the Chinese players will be able to compete on the world stage. not impossible that a new China League will emerge. The idea is already on the studio's radar: at the pre-LOCK//IN conference, Leo Faria said that the region would have enough players to host its own circuit:
We don't know yet, but we think China is probably big enough in terms of player base to have its own league. I think we'll see how the game performs in the market and how the initial competition goes. I think, again, from a historical perspective, looking at the market and the fact that their competitive scenes are very developed, there's a good chance that they will become the fourth International VCT League in the future.Leo Faria, in charge of VALORANT esport
We look forward to seeing how all this develops in the future and how a new Chinese league might influence the global Valorant scene!