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Riot Outlines the Future of the VALORANT Challengers Scene

Riot Games has detailed big changes to the VALORANT Challengers ecosystem coming in 2024

The future of the Challengers esports scene is getting some major updates.

Recently, the VALORANT esports team shared its vision for the Challengers portion of the VALORANT Championship Tour. The goal is to make the VCT more accessible and to create a more clear path to pro. In addition to the Challengers League and Ascension Tournaments, the team introduced Premier to “allow every VALORANT player to participate in tournaments.”

While some parts of the competitive structure are working, the VALORANT crew feels Tier 2 has a lot of flaws at the moment as well. This includes a lack of viewership, most likely due to the Challenger Leagues running at the same time as other events.

“Content fatigue is real, and expecting people to watch everything that goes on air is unrealistic. When fans are put in a position to choose one competition over the other, Challenger Leagues inevitably get the short end of the stick,” the blog read.

The second issue with Tier 2 VALORANT is the calendar, with the Challenger teams not getting enough reps, leading to a lack of development. Teams that don’t qualify for Ascension tournaments are basically done, meaning they spend half a year not competing. The current break is “too long,” developers said.

“We don’t see Challengers as a destination, but as a way station to top-tier professional play. It’s a stepping stone, a place for players to hone their skills for the next level, but not a place to ‘stay,’” the blog continued. “That’s why from the beginning, we’ve been very clear about the role that Challengers play in our ecosystem — surfacing up-and-coming talent critical for the long-term success of VALORANT, testing teams aspiring to play in the International Leagues.”

Valorant esports pyramid

Changes Coming to Challengers In 2024

To address these issues, the VALORANT esports team is going to start running Challenger Leagues all year long. This will give Challengers teams more time to practice competing and also allow for more viewership during the off-season of the Tier 1 ecosystem.

Challengers Ascension will be moved to September, after Champions, so it can have its “own moment in the spotlight.” This is something that the team feels is deserved, since it’s the culmination of the path to pro journey.

To help the participating teams move up in VALORANT esports, Riot will now allow teams in the International Leagues to “build an affiliate relationship with Challenger League teams” and create a “player loan system.” This will help teams exchange players more freely and provide more development opportunities.

Riot’s VALORANT esports team said that exact plans will be announced in the near future. It’s predicted that some of the changes will be positive while others may “not hit the mark.” Either way, the team said they are hoping to adapt and evolve.