The VCT in 2023 will look a lot different than the VCT fans have known and loved for the past two years, and the Challengers leagues will also look very different than in years past.
Challengers will be structured a little differently in 2023 and beyond, mainly due to the addition of a new league and the in-game tournament feature that Riot plans to add to VALORANT. Players looking to make their way to the top of the VALORANT competitive scene will still be able to do so, but there are far more hoops to jump through than before with the format change for the next five years.
VALORANT released its new path-to-pro formula on Aug. 16, which includes several steps for non-partnered teams to make it to the international league. First, players can qualify for Challengers straight from the in-game tournament that will tie into VCT, or they can qualify for Challengers through the open qualifier. Then, teams will need to compete and become one of the teams to advance to Challengers Ascension, which is a league where teams from the three bigger regions can fight for the top spot, which includes a promotion to the international league for two years.
Next year, there will be 21 Challengers leagues across the globe, which will be under the umbrella of three bigger regions: the Americas, EMEA, and the Pacific.
Breaking down the VCT Challengers leagues
In the three larger regions, there will be smaller leagues that will play in Challengers tournaments. The Americas will house four leagues, EMEA will have seven, and the Pacific region has the most at 10 leagues under its umbrella.
- LATAM North
- LATAM South
- Northern Europe
- Southern Europe (Spain, Italy, and Portugal)
- France and Benelux
- Dach (Germany, Austria, and Switzerland)
- Eastern Europe
- South Asia (includes India)
- Malaysia and Singapore
- Taiwan and Hong Kong
The biggest Challengers leagues will get a dedicated broadcast time that will not interfere with any of the larger VCT leagues. They will begin with open qualifiers and then consist of two splits with multi-week regular season play. After that, top teams will head to Challengers Ascension.
The format for how many teams move on or the dates for any of these leagues hasn’t been revealed yet. Fans will likely get more information later in the year, possibly around the time Champions 2022 occurs. The international league is supposed to start in mid-February 2023, according to sources, but no official start time has been announced by Riot yet.