VCT 2023: Challengers leagues and Challengers Ascension explained

by Brian Bencomo

On Tuesday, Riot Games unveiled the new Tier 2 system that will operate in the VALORANT Champions Tour beginning in 2023. Riot revealed that there will be 21 Challengers leagues around the world just below the three Tier 1 international leagues: Americas; Europe the Middle East and Africa; and Asia Pacific.

Read more: All teams qualified for VCT Champions 2022

These Challengers leagues will feed into the three international leagues offering a pathway to promotion for teams not selected to be part of the inaugural slate of international league teams. Riot confirmed that there will be 10 teams in each international league. Teams from these international leagues will get a chance to qualify for global events involving teams from around the world.

Beginning in 2023, there will be a Challengers Ascension tournament in each of the three regions, and the winner will be promoted to the international league. The winner of Challengers Ascension will get promoted for two years into the international league.

This will happen every year, with two teams getting promoted to each league each year beginning in 2026, expanding each international league until it reaches a cap of 14 teams in 2027. With promoted teams being in the international league and then falling back down every two years on a rolling basis, there does not appear to be any relegation for the 10 partnered teams.

The Challengers leagues will operate in the following regions:

Americas

  • North America
  • Latin America North
  • Brazil
  • Latin America South

EMEA

  • Northern Europe
  • Southern Europe (Spain, Italy, Portugal, Benelux and France)
  • Dach (Germany, Austria and Switzerland)
  • Turkey
  • Eastern Europe
  • Middle East and North Africa

Asia Pacific

  • South Asia
  • Thailand
  • Vietnam
  • Malaysia and Singapore
  • Korea
  • Japan
  • Taiwan and Hong Kong
  • Philippines
  • Indonesia
  • Oceania

Riot has yet to announce the 10 teams in each international league for 2023, but that announcement is expected soon.

Lead photo credit: Riot Games

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