The Challengers of Valorant evolve in 2024

Recently Riot Games has commented on the current state of the Challengers and revealed the three big changes that will be made to this secondary stage. According to Léo FariaValorant esport manager, the objective is clear: to provide greater visibility to the various VCLs (Valorant Challengers Leagues) and offer new opportunities for players who want to reach professional level on the FPS.

Challengers have a future...

Between the appearance of the International Leagues, globalisation of the HHT system - become VCL - and the appearance Ascension tournamentsThe 2023 season is full of changes. In this article, we will focus on the Challengers Leagues.

The recent publication from Riot Games indicates that the regional league system is expanding. Proof of this is the fact that major structures such as G2 Esports and Acend, as well as many new teams such as Gentle Mates, have chosen to join this sporting adventure.

Léo Faria also emphasises the data confirming the good health of VCLs in various regions of the world and that interest in matches in this category is growing. We reached a peak of 164,000 spectators in France and the Japanese leagues reached a maximum of 160,000 during the first Split.

Rioter also explains that VCLs are a good way of discovering excellent playersIn the end, Riot Games doesn't see the Challengers as 'the best' or 'the worst'. Finally, Riot Games does not see the Challengers " as a destination, but as a stepping stone to the top-level professional game. It's a stepping stone, a place where players can hone their skills for the next level, but not a place where you 'stay'.".

... but changes are needed

For 2024, Riot Games has set a clear objective for the Challengers: to make them even more attractive for spectators and players alike. This will require some changes, however, as the current format has been the subject of various criticisms.

Changes to the annual calendar

While it's true that the popularity of VCLs in many parts of the world is undeniable, it's also true that there's a growing demand for them, Riot Games has found that some leagues are not getting the attention they need. This could lead to funding difficulties. One of the main reasons for the loss of viewers was that the Challengers run in parallel with the top-tier circuit. But when they have a choice, spectators tend to prefer matches at the highest level.

In order to correct the situation, the American company has decided to review the annual schedule by spreading it out over the whole year, rather than over a six-month periodincorporating major events during the VCT season-off. For example, the Ascension tournaments will no longer take place in June but in September, after the Valorant Champions. The idea is to ensure that fans no longer have to choose between one competition or another.

This change has a second interest, and not the least. Since Ascension will take place at a time when there are no other tournaments to steal the show, all eyes will be on the participating teamswho, in finewill gain in exposure. Not only does this give more importance to the Challengers as a whole, but it should also enable these teams to develop more easily.

The Premier system will potentially allow the best players to join the Challengers

Offering new opportunities to players

With increased exposure comes the possibility of being spotted by structures operating in the VCT. The aim is to offer new opportunities to VCL players, Riot Games has decided to allow a rental system between the two competition levels. Teams in the various leagues will be able to call on the services of a Challengers player, thanks to a partnership with his structure, and use him when necessary.

These tournaments will eventually qualify teams for the Challengers, creating a clear path to pro status, a path that starts in the game.

Léo Faria

With the aim of making the high-level sports scene accessible to even more people, the studio has made it official the incorporation of Premier mode into the official circuit. Valorant's internal competition system will enable the best amateur teams to qualify for the Challengers rather than having to go through the ancillary tournaments. Since it covers all the regions that have access to Valorant, this mode should make it easier to discover new talentwhich have not been highlighted until now.