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Valorant Is Getting Proper Pro Leagues Starting In 2023

Valo
Valorant

Riot Games is making some big changes to the Valorant Pro esports scene. The shift is due to kick off in 2023 and will include the introduction of three regional leagues representing the Americas, Europe, and Asia; previously, professional Valorant operated on a tournament structure. The changes will bring Valorant more in line with Riot’s other popular competitive game, League of Legends.

It’s not clear yet which teams will participate in the new leagues, nor how they will be selected. But Riot says that “the new model will incorporate long-term partnerships with no entry fees to a select number of teams to ensure continued long-term stability for the world’s fastest-growing esport,” adding that “teams who meet the selection criteria will be provided with financial support from Riot Games in the form of an annual stipend and the exclusive opportunity to collaborate on unique in-game activations and products.”

The International Model

Valorant esports scene
Valorant Pro Scene 2023

The model will introduce a stipend system, contrary to the typical buy-in system seen in the franchised Overwatch. Riot will host three international leagues across Asia, Europe, and the Americas where teams will compete against each other. To earn a spot at global events such as Masters and Champions. The leagues will be held on LAN with live audiences if health and safety conditions are met.

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The first league will include teams from North America, Latin America, and Brazil. The second will feature squads from Europe, Russia, Turkey, and MENA. The final league will include teams from Southeast Asia, Korea, and Oceania. Select teams that partner with Riot for the international leagues will also be able to collaborate on esports-branded content exclusively in VALORANT.

Teams will be selected by Riot via an application process that will begin this year. Selection will be based on “a track record of building great esports experiences, developing players, and can meaningfully contribute to the long-term growth of VALORANT esports,” Riot said.  Riot did not say whether these leagues will have a relegation format.

League and League Championship Series, in which Riot will provide select teams with financial support to enter a partnership with the company. These teams will then compete in the new respective international LAN tournaments against teams from different regions.

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Domestic leagues and tournament mode

Valorant Tournament
Valorant In-Game Tournament Mode

While select teams will compete in the international leagues, Riot will continue to host domestic competitions. Similar to the VALORANT Regional Leagues that were introduced earlier this year across European regions. These leagues will be integrated alongside a new in-game tournament mode, where players can form teams to qualify for the domestic leagues.

Each VALORANT player will have access to the tournament mode from the client and it will act as a supplement to the existing leaderboard. Speculations are, that the scores will determine which top teams will move to the next league just like higher ranks. It will be a regular grind for teams to be at the top because each day new teams will get a match and the winner will be winning some points.

Third-party tournaments and Game Changers 

Since the main VALORANT circuit will run from the start of the year until Champions, which will likely conclude around the end of September, there will be several months for teams to rebuild their rosters in a dedicated offseason.

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This window will be open to third-party tournaments, similar to the smaller open tournaments seen predominantly in North America. Similar to this year, the dedicated female VALORANT Pro league Game Changers will also receive a Championship event next year.

The question is will this plan work for Valorant as they have taken eSports franchising into their own hands? Or will it be a failure and end the Valorant eSports scene with huge orgs pulling out? It is a very brave decision from the end of Valorant, which will bring in new, young talents into the pro scene and nourish the Valorant eSports.

So, it’s time for you to build your team and start grinding because the opportunity is knocking at your door. You might be the biggest player or be in the best team in your region or the world.

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Anish Prasad
Anish Prasad
I am an ex-eSports athlete who never left eSports by heart. I cover eSports and live in the world of eSports and Games. That's all for now. We can connect on: