Riot Announces VALORANT Champions Tour Esports Circuit
Riot Games has revealed its next step in turning VALORANT into the next big global esport. The VALORANT Champions Tour will be a season-long tournament circuit, with events taking place across the globe throughout 2021. The Tour will end with one team being crowned champion at the end of the year.
The Champions Tour is split into three levels of competition – Challengers, Masters, and Champions. The different tiers will provide competitive outlets for teams of different levels, giving amateur talent a chance to prove themselves regionally before moving up to international stages. “The expanded competition calendar will provide the framework for stars to rise and teams to make a name for themselves – on both the international and regional stages,” says Riot’s senior director of esports, Whalen “Magus” Rozelle.
Challengers level events will be held regionally, with tournaments hosted by Riot and other prominent tournament organizers. There will be three Challengers stages held in 2021, each of which will precede a corresponding Masters level tournament. Challengers events will take place over six weeks, split into three tournaments.
Open qualifiers will lead into each of the three Challengers weekends. The top four teams from the first Challengers weekend will be invited to the next, bypassing that event’s open qualifier stage. The three Challengers events will lead into the Challenger Final, the top teams from which will advance to the following Masters level event.
As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, Masters level events will be held regionally as well. Riot hopes to bring the tournaments to LAN soon, saying they are “eager” to find a safe time to do so. Masters tournaments will award circuit points to competing teams; the top point-earning teams will earn a spot in the final Champions tournament.
Sixteen total teams will compete in VALORANT Champions, eleven of which will earn their spots through the circuit points leaderboard. The winners of the third Masters event will also automatically qualify for the Champions tournament. The final four teams will be determined through the regional Last Chance Qualifiers that follow the third Masters event.
VALORANT Champions is the game’s version of the League of Legends World Championship. The event will take place over two weeks, culminating in one team being crowned as global champions.
The VALORANT Champions Tour will begin in early 2021.
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