Changes in the 2022 VCT
The VCT Phase 1 qualifiers have started and it's time to talk about the changes that will take place for the 2022 season.
What changes between 2021 and 2022?
The 2022 VCT calendar is changing and has been streamlined compared to 2021. Last year, the format offered nine Challengers and three Masters. This year, there will only be two Challengers phases, and therefore only two Masters.
These Challengers will be preceded by open qualifications, giving all teams, both professional and amateur, the opportunity to take part in the international competitive circuit. Thereafter, the teams qualified in the Open Qualifier will take part in a Closed Qualifier.
For all regions, qualification for Phase 1 will take place in January, with themain event taking place from February to April.
This main event will be much longer than the VCT 2021 events, but will also host more teams. The 12 qualified teams will have to compete in a long group phase where the best teams will be in a double elimination bracket.
It should be noted that, for this phase, the European teams having participated in the Champions 2021 are automatically invited back to the main event, without going through the qualifiers. In March, new qualifiers will take place, still on the same format as the previous ones, and phase 2 will be held from May to June.
The teams that win the Challengers and have enough points will qualify for the Masters which will take place after Phase 1 and Phase 2 respectively, in April and July
Less busy schedules also mean that some stages are brought forward! The Last Chance Qualifier, the final tournament for teams to qualify for the Champions, will be held in August. Finally, the season will end in September with the Champions, almost three months earlier than in 2021.
Professionals' views on these changes
While these changes were supposed to benefit professional players in the first place, it clearly did not go down well with them. The main problem is that if teams lose in the open qualifiers, they cannot participate in international events for several weeks or even months. This is an issue that was raised by the American player Jaccob ' yay ' Whitaker.
Isn't it kinda messed up that for the upcoming VCT if you lose one open qualifier you're out for the next 5-6 months in terms of riot events? 😅 especially since there's about to be a ton of changes (balances + chamber/yoru rework/new agent).@yayFPS - Twitter
Jake ' POACH ' Brumleve seemed to agree with him, pointing out that although last year's format was a bit confusing and complex, it was almost perfect. In his view, the changes made for this year tend to regress the development of the competition.
Last year's VCT was a bit confusing and overwhelming to understand but it was a near-perfect format. Seems like we just went backwards in progression for competition development. One qualifier to prove yourself for the entire year of VCT is unreasonable.@Poach - Twitter
Ghost Gaming coach Kaplan also addressed this issue, emphasising that the format would put some organisations, players and managers in precarious positions if teams failed to make it through the qualifying stages.
Failing to make top 12 in open 1 means you’re out til early May, and failing open 2 means you’re hard out of Riot events for the rest of 2022. 7 weeks of round robin/playoffs for 12 teams per challengers is overly exclusionary in a region with plenty of teams and orgs invested. I’d understand if franchising had that 12-team format but this isn’t franchising. Like you said, it puts way too much in the hands of a single open qualifier, especially when the meta will be brand new. Potentially puts orgs, players, and coaches in a very insecure spot for ‘22.@itskaplan - Twitter
Last year, Riot Games made regular changes to the format of its VCT. Perhaps this will also be the case this year, as this new format is generating a lot of misunderstanding and concern. In any case, it's hoped that it will not have too much of a negative impact on those organisations that do not manage to qualify for the main stages.
Until we know more, see you in February for the launch of the main event of the first phase! !