First Strike: Europe, VALORANT’s first Riot-produced tournament, begins open qualifiers in November

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Image via Riot Games

The first Riot-produced VALORANT tournament is just around the corner.

First Strike will begin open qualifiers online for Europe between Nov. 9 and 22, according to today’s blog post. The main stage will then be held at the beginning of December, where the top eight teams will go head-to-head in the finals.

The open qualifiers will be divided into four separate tournaments, with the top 16 teams from each event advancing to the play-in stage. The top eight teams from two play-in events (16 total) will then head to the playoffs. From there, eight teams will move on to the main event.

Image via Riot Games

Teams that fail to advance to the play-ins can compete in the next qualifier stage, giving squads up to four opportunities to move on. The First Strike: Europe quarterfinals will run from Dec. 3 to 4, followed by the semifinals on Dec. 5, and the best-of-five finals on Dec. 6.

To be eligible to compete, players need to be 16 years old or older and at least Immortal One at the time of registration or during the preceding act.

First Strike is an important step for the VALORANT competitive scene, which mostly features third-party organizations holding events. Riot’s investment into the tac shooter potentially hints at a more structured ecosystem to come in the future.