In 2023, the VCT will appear radically different from the ones that have admired and loved it for the past two years, and the Challengers league will also appear significantly different from in years past.
In 2023 and beyond, challengers will be structured a little differently, mainly due to the addition of a new league and an in-game tournament feature that Riot intends to add to VALORANT. Players who wish to advance to the top of the VALORANT competitive scene will still be able to do so, although there are still more obstacles to climb through than before with the format change.
On August 16, VALORANT released a new route-to-pro package that includes several steps for non-partnered teams to reach 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 three bigger regions can compete for the top spot, which
Next year, there will be 21 Challengers leagues across the globe, which will fall under the umbrella of three smaller regions, the Americas, the EMEA, and the Pacific.
Breaking down the VCT Challengers leagues
Small leagues will compete in Challengers tournaments in the three smaller regions. The Americas will have 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 have a dedicated broadcast time that will not interfere with any of the larger VCT leagues. They will begin with open qualifiers and finish with two splits with multi-week regular season play. After that, the top teams will go to Challengers Ascension.
Riot hasn't revealed the structure for how many teams they will move on or the dates for any of these leagues until later in the year, possibly around the time Champions 2022 will be played. The international league is supposed to begin in mid-February 2023, according to sources, but no official start time has been announced by Riot yet.