VCT Challengers 2024 RoadmapOctober 23, 2023
Welcome to the start of our 2024 VCT Season information rollout! Over the next few weeks we’ll be going through a deep dive on what you can expect from VALORANT Esports next year. In this feature, we’re honing in on Challengers and the pathway it lays out for aspiring professionals in the forthcoming season. Having previously shared some initial details in our Season 2024 Announcement and subsequent deep dive into Challengers, we want to provide a clear roadmap for this layer of the ecosystem.
The evolution of Challengers and Ascension Tournaments continues with the goal of fostering opportunities for players who aspire to reach the highest levels of the VCT. In tandem, Challengers serves as a regional showcase, offering competitions that identify the best players from the many VALORANT communities around the globe.
The ethos of our strategy—inspiration, aspiration, and participation— will further be reinforced with Premier, which will be deeply integrated with Challengers. We’ll be sharing details on Premier in early November.
Cross Tier Collaboration: Affiliate Teams, Two-Way Players, and Player Loans
Calendar: A Year-Round Competitive Odyssey
For 2024, Challengers competitions will run the entire year, ensuring a steady rate of competition within the Tier 2 framework. Next season will unfold across two distinct stages that will provide consistent opportunities for organized play starting in January and qualifying teams for the Ascension tournament in September.
- For the start of Challengers in January, most Leagues will operate Open Qualifiers while some will welcome back familiar teams from the 2023 season. Each stage will crescendo in a playoff, celebrating the best of the season’s teams. Specific information for each league will be rolling out via regional channels.
- Next year, we will introduce the first Promotion and Relegation event between CL and Premier teams at the end of Stage 1. In the event, Premier teams will fight through a bracket for the chance to compete against CL teams and win a spot in Stage 2 of the CL Season. Teams who aspire to qualify into Challengers should be on the lookout for our upcoming region specific information in early November.
Following the 2024 Ascension Tournaments in September, the Challengers 2025 season will kick off in October. This earlier start date will help us minimize gaps in the calendar, while giving Ascension winners enough time to prepare for the start of International
With the 2024 Challenger Season, we’re introducing new policies to build deeper connections and more opportunities across the layers of our ecosystems. Our main goal is to improve talent development by providing more flexibility for where teams can deploy players in competition.
- Affiliate Partnerships will allow teams from the International Leagues to build partnerships with Challenger and Game Changers teams. Teams who establish an affiliate partnership will be unlocked to collaborate more closely on content and other commercial partnerships. Affiliate partnerships with Challenger teams must occur within the same region, however affiliate partnerships with Game Changers teams have no regional restrictions. These partnerships will also unlock the ability to implement Two-Way players.
- Two-Way Players are an attempt to solve a problem we frequently saw within the International Leagues. Last year substitute players signed to IL rosters weren’t receiving play time and thus losing out on building relevant experience within competition. With the introduction of Two-Way Players, players that may not be seeing full time play on the starting roster of an International League team may play down on the Affiliate Partner Team’s roster in Challengers and Game Changers, giving those players valuable competitive experience instead of being relegated to the bench.
- Player Loans will also be introduced alongside Two-Way Players to help bolster player developmental opportunities. In 2024, International League Teams will be permitted to loan players on their roster to other teams outside of the International Leagues, such as Challengers or Game Changers teams. Unlike Two-Way Players, these loaned players will not be eligible to compete for their parent team until the loan expires. However, these player loans are not tied to the Affiliate Partnerships system, providing a wider range of destination teams for the loaned player.
These changes pave the way for new possibilities. Whether you’re a player eager to make a mark, or a fan keen to witness fresh talent in the game, the Affiliate Team Partnerships enrich the 2024 VALORANT season, making it more engaging and open.
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