MIBR on stage at VCT LOCK//IN after their first round loss
Photo by Colin Young-Wolff/Riot Games

VCT 2024’s worst teams may only play 12 matches this year, and fans aren’t pleased

Burnout for the best, almost nothing for the rest.

For the 2024 VALORANT Champions Tour, Riot Games is splitting each international league’s regular season into two stages. But the ramifications of this decision along with the comments from pro VALORANT‘s leading public face aren’t going over well with the community.

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During the upcoming season, the teams in each international league will be split into two groups, and will play against their group teams in stage one before playing the teams in the other group for stage two. But fans, pro players, and coaches take great issue with this format for two main reasons: the potential for struggling teams to play very few matches this year, and the small number of matches that determine who goes to Masters events.

Detonation FocuMe VALORANT players on stage at VCT LOCK//IN 2023.
Detonation FocusMe played less than half the amount of matches as teams like EG or Fnatic. Photo by Colin Young-Wolff/Riot Games

The format has the potential to enhance the biggest issues faced by good teams and bad teams. Good teams that make playoffs and attend several international events will rack up a massive amount of travel time and matches played, while struggling teams will hardly have any time in official servers. In 2023, Evil Geniuses played 16 matches at international events in addition to their regional league games, while Fnatic played in 15 at international tournaments. On the other hand, teams like MIBR and Detonation FocusMe only played 11 VCT matches total in 2023.

In stage one, the top three teams from playoffs in each region will qualify for Masters Shanghai, and in stage two the stakes are even higher, as the top three teams from each region’s playoffs will qualify directly for Champions 2024. But in each stage, the playoff field is going to be determined by just five matches. Depending on how groups are seeded, a team’s path to playoffs and potentially Champions can be very different than another’s due to circumstances outside of their control.

In response to these changes, Global Head of VALORANT Esports Leo Faria said there’s no current plans to increase the baseline number of matches next year when the schedule gets more spaced out. Faria also claimed “fans want to see the best teams play more,” which seems to imply that league officials aren’t too concerned with the lack of playtime or screentime for the ecosystem’s struggling squads.

Faria’s statements have not sat well with the pro community, with many saying that the long-term health of the league and VALORANT will be affected if a huge portion of players are only playing around a dozen official matches during an entire calendar year.


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Author
Scott Robertson
VALORANT lead staff writer, also covering CS:GO, FPS games, other titles, and the wider esports industry. Watching and writing esports since 2014. Previously wrote for Dexerto, Upcomer, Splyce, and somehow MySpace. Jack of all games, master of none.