Valorant has had a banner first year as an esport. A new competitive title from Riot Games was bound to find success but it looks like they have exceeded their expectations. Riot are moving to the next level with their Valorant competitions. They have announced the new competitive structure for the 2021 season with the introduction of the VALORANT Champions Tour.
The new VALORANT Champions Tour is a season-long global competition that will see a variety of different tournaments hosted in North America, South America, Europe, Asia, Africa, and Australia. The format is arranged in a pyramid structure and teams will compete in a number of regional events and tournaments before moving on to the international stage and eventually the global championship.
Comments from the company
Whalen Rozelle, Senior Director of Esports at Riot Games wrote:
“The Champions Tour is our next step to grow VALORANT into a global esport worthy of the passion of our fans. We’ve spent a couple of years now talking to players, teams, fans, prospective partners, and other stakeholders, and we’re extremely excited to launch our first official season. Our focus will be on elevating and showcasing the creative and talented players who are shaping this game across the globe. Fans and players both wanted high stakes competition, and that’s what the VALORANT Champions Tour is designed to do.”
Plans for 2021
There will be three stages to the Championship tour: Challengers, Masters, and Champions. The teams will compete in open qualifying tournaments to compete in the Masters, the teams that then cumulatively do the best in the Masters will proceed to the Champions. Before the final Champions tournament, there will be a ‘last chance qualifier” for an underdog team to earn the chance to compete. With the final qualified team, the total number that will compete at Champions will be 16.
Riot Games have also announced their founding partners. Red Bull and Secretlab have become founding partners of the Champions Tour, both returning to the company after successful runs partnering with them in League of Legends tournaments in the past. For a young game to garner such larger advertisers and partners, it really shows how remarkable the growth of Valorant has been in the past year.
Read also: Who are the best Valorant players of 2020?
Valorant’s rapid growth
The new Valorant Champions Tour is the second stage of Riot Games plan for expansion. This year they are holding the first official Valorant tournament, First Strike. Now, with hindsight, it looks like a dry run for the larger Champions tour. It began merit-based qualifiers across North America, Europe, CIS, Turkey, Asia, Oceania, Brazil, and the Middle East to identify the best teams in each respective region. The main First Strike event will be held from December 3rd to 6th and the winner will be the official first Valorant Champions.
This is a huge step forward for Valorant. It isn’t surprising considering the calibre and expertise that Riot Games have earned from their years of holding League of Legends events but for a relatively young competitive game it is still impressive. Riot Games will continue to partner with smaller organisers and teams to hold their Ignition Series throughout 2021 but the focus will certainly be on the new Valorant Champions Tour.
If you want to learn more about the rapidly expanding esport and the best odds on teams and events, make sure to check out the Valorant page on our website.
Featured Image Credits: Valorant Riot Games