Riot Games are taking the next step to grow VALORANT into the next great, multi-generational esport with the reveal of the VALORANT Champions Tour. Next year, aspiring pro players from all over the world will have the opportunity to build their stardom through a brand new series that will feature both regional and international competitions.
The Champions Tour is their effort to grow VALORANT into a global esport worthy of the fandom. 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. Fans will get to see how their local talent stacks up against each other, and then how they measure up on the global stage.
As they were planning the VALORANT Champions tour, Riot has received a lot of great ideas on what the players wanted to see in 2021. A calendar of events that was easy to follow. Open, merit-based qualifiers where teams earn their place on stage. And breaks for the pros to help avoid burnout. These important ideas helped guide Riot’s thinking while they were designing the 2021 VALORANT Champions Tour. Alongside the founding partners, Red Bull and Secretlab, they’re thrilled to share the initial plans.
The VALORANT Champions Tour will feature three levels of competition: Challengers, Masters,
and Champions. Challengers will focus on regional competition and will be organized both by Riot and top-tier tournament partner operators, some of whom have already seen running Ignition Series events and First Strike qualifiers. Masters events will be larger, taking place only three times a year, and feature teams who represent the best talent from their region. Finally and ultimately, Champions will be the apex of the season, a two-week-long tournament with the top 16 teams from around the world in attendance, where one team will be crowned the first VALORANT global Champion. Let’s take a closer look.
Throughout the course of 2021, three stages consisting of Challengers and Masters events will provide teams with multiple chances to earn points and qualify into Champions. After each Masters event, there will be an event break, allowing our pros and teams the opportunity to recharge and prevent burnout.
The season will kick off in late January with regional Challenger events across the globe. Each Challenger stage will consist of three tournaments and a final taking place over six weeks. Each tournament will feature eight teams who will earn their spots through open qualifiers. Teams that do well in Challenger tournaments will then qualify into Challenger Finals. The Challenger Final tournament will feature the best eight teams, and will award prizing and qualification slots into the next Masters event. While COVID-19 continues to impact international travel, Masters will be limited to regional events, similar to First Strike. During the stages where Masters tournaments remain regional, they will use the eight-team format of Challenger Finals. Riot Games is eager to pivot Masters events into international LANS as soon as possible and will continue to monitor the situation closely for a safe time to do so.
International Masters events will feature global competition and will include teams from all over the world. A total of 16 teams will battle for prizes and points that will count towards qualification into Champions, the end of year world championship. Additionally, the team who wins the last Masters event of the year will automatically earn qualification into Champions and an additional team slot at the event for their region. Specific details regarding the point distribution and prizing for Masters events will be shared at a later date.
After the third Masters event, a series of Last Chance Qualifiers will provide teams with one final chance to qualify into Champions. Four LCQ tournaments will take place, creating a gauntlet from which one team per continent will qualify into Champions. The season will conclude with Champions, our version of Worlds. A massive two-week-long event which will feature the best 16 teams from around the globe.
Throughout the past year, the ideas fans shared have been critical in building a stronger Champions Tour. The contributions continue to be the best tool to ensure that as VALORANT grows, it reflects the ideas that are important to you. As everyone look ahead to the 2021 Champions Tour and the journey to build VALORANT into the next great esport, Riot is thrilled at the prospect of doing it together with the fans.