The VALORANT Champions Tour will be expanded for the next five years, and while it is fun and exciting, it can be a little difficult to discern what is going on.
Challengers Ascension is a new league within the VCT ecosystem that allows players from the Challengers tournaments to reclaim a spot in the international competition in the three regional leagues.
The results of the Challengers Ascension league will take a few years to develop into what VALORANT esports will be like in the future. This section of the VCT competition will begin in 2023 as a competition for those looking to grab the last spot in the international league in 2024.
What is VCT Challengers Ascension?
The Challengers league will have two divisions, each of which will have two divisions during regular season play. The top teams from the Challengers competition will advance to the Challengers Ascension tournament.
Challengers Ascension will feature three regions: the Americas, EMEA, and Pacific. At the conclusion of the Challengers Ascension tournament, one team from each of those regions will join the international league.
This means that in 2024, there will be 11 teams in each league in the international tournament, instead of 2023's 10. The team that wins the spot in the Challengers Ascension path will compete at that level for two years. After that two years, the team will be forced to return to the Challengers league.
Teams in their second year in the international league who qualified via Challengers Ascension will not be permitted to participate in those years' Challengers or Challengers Ascension leagues, thus they will have to start all over again after their two years in the international league.
The number of international league teams will start to increase in 2024. By 2027, there will be 42 teams total competing in the international league. In 2026, two teams will be promoted into international leagues instead of just one.
One team will be promoted to the international league from every year until 2026. After 2026, two teams will be promoted to the international league until the league reaches its cap of 14 teams in 2027. Once it reaches 14 teams, ten of them will be partnered, two will be in their second year of promotion, and two will begin their two-year promotion.
This means a lot of exciting esports for fans of competitive VALORANT, as Riot will include the in-game tournament feature, the open qualifier Challengers tournaments, Challengers Ascension, and the international league.
VCT path-to-pro explained
If you want to reach the top tier of VCT, there is still a solid path for you to go there. Riot is adding an in-game tournament that goes beyond ranked, and that in-game tournament will tie directly into VCT, likely allowing teams to qualify for Champions straight from the in-game competition.
If you are unable to participate in the in-game competition, the Challengers tournaments will continue to have open qualifiers, giving you an additional opportunity to compete in Challengers. There are 21 Challengers tournament regions spread across three smaller regions, which will determine which Challengers tournament they will compete in.
The team that wins the regions Ascension tournament will be eligible for the international league for two years. After two years, the team will have to return to their regions Challengers tournament to resurrect their standing.
Details about the start dates for each of the leagues and the format within each region will likely be revealed closer to the end of the year or the beginning of 2023. News about the next year's Game Changers tournament format hasn't been revealed yet, and fans will likely hear about it when the Champions tournament will take place.