The VALORANT esports team at Riot Games has finally provided a definitive answer to questions about new agent Neon’s availability during VCT qualifiers. The speedster duelist will be disabled in qualifiers taking place before Jan. 25, Riot announced today.
This means that the first set of qualifiers in EMEA, Latin America, Brazil, and Southeast Asia won’t have Neon enabled. Neon will be enabled, however, for the North American, Korean, and Japanese qualifiers that start after Jan. 25.
The open qualifiers for EMEA Challengers One are ongoing at the time of the announcement, with 256 teams competing for just four slots in the first closed qualifier double-elimination bracket. The two sets of closed qualifiers will determine the four teams that will join Acend, Gambit, Liquid, and Fnatic in the first EMEA Challengers stage. Neon will be active when that round-robin stage begins on Feb. 11.
The open qualifier for North America begins just after this Riot-imposed cutoff date, on Jan. 27. That open qualifier will see 12 teams qualify directly for NA Challengers stage one and is now officially the first VCT competition to potentially feature Neon. She’ll be active for all Challengers main events across all regions, most of which are using a round-robin format this year.
Qualifier dates for both Korea and Japan have not been officially announced yet. All we know now is that they’ll start sometime after Jan. 25.