Riot Games announces changes for VRLs
Riot Games has just announced in a press release of the changes for the 2023 competitive season of Valorant. Indeed, the VRLs (Valorant Regional Leagues) will be provided with a new name as well asa slightly different format of this year's event. We explain everything we know in this article.
A new name and new regions
To begin with, VRLs change their name. From 2023 onwards, it will no longer be Valorant Regional Leagues but Challengers. 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 some teams to enter the international Challengers.
Some new regions will also have their Challengers. Indeed, at the time of the creation of the Valorant Regional Leagues, Riot Games had announced that, if the format was successful, other regions could get their own leagues. This will be the case in 2023, 21 regional tours will be deployed around the world.
For theEurope, nothing changes. The regions concerned are still 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 onwards, two other major regions will also have regional leagues. These areAmerica and theAPAC. In the Americas, the following areas are involved: North America, LATAM North, LATAM South and Brazil.
In the APAC 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 Challengers format
How to qualify?
To enter the Challengers, teams will first have to pass through open qualifications. However, it is not yet known whether some teams will qualify by invitation, as was the case this year. The teams that manage to get through the open qualification will participate in the Challenger of their region, which will be divided into two segments. Each segment will itself be composed of a regular season as well as play-offs. The team that wins a segment will be named Challenger Champion.
The Ascension Challengers
As was already the case this year with the VCT Promotion, the Challengers will offer the possibility to teams ofaccess to international leagues. Each major region (i.e. EMEA, APAC and America) will see the best teams from its Challengers compete in a tournament called Challenger Ascension. There will be three such tournaments, one for each region. At the end of these competitions, the winning teams will be able to enter 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, however, as this promotion is not final. Indeed, teams qualified for the international leagues will only be able to stay there two years. During this period they will have the same chances as other VCT teams to qualify for the Masters and Champions. However, at the end of the two years, they will return to the Challenger and will have to fight again to try to return to the VCT.
With this promotion system, each international league will have one more place to offer to a team each year, in order to reach a maximum of 14 teams by 2027.
Although we don't know much more at the moment, Riot Games has assured us that new elements will be published this autumn, namely information on the open qualifiers, the Challengers calendar and information on the various Ascension tournaments.