Riot Games has announced the next evolution of Valorant esports with the Valorant Champions Tour – a full competitive structure for 2021. The Champions Tour will comprise of three levels of competition and provides a path for Valorant teams around the world to stake a claim for the first ever world championships.
Since its release in June 2020, Valorant’s competitive scene has grown from grassroots, third-party competitions in the Ignition Series, to Riot’s first in-house tournament series First Strike, and will now take on a more structured form for 2021. The three divisions in the Champions Tour will be Challengers, Masters, and Champions.
The season will begin with a number of regional Challengers tournaments. The top performers in Challengers will then qualify to compete in three Masters events, during which teams will accumulate points. The 16 teams with the most points will then qualify for the climax of the season: a single Champions event, where one team will be crowned Valorant’s first ever world champion.
However, with Riot pulling out all the stops to host an offline League of Legends Worlds in the middle of the coronavirus pandemic, will it do the same for the international events in the Valorant Champions Tour?
A PR representative for Riot tells The Loadout: “There are currently no solid plans to play any of the Champions Tour offline, though there are hopes that the Champions event will be a LAN due to its late position in the year. That is subject to change pending worldwide COVID conditions.”
— Valorant Champions Tour (@ValorantEsports) November 24, 2020
Riot has also announced Red Bull and Secretlab as the Champions Tour’s first partners.
We also know the rough schedule for the Champions Tour. There will be three stages, each containing several regional Challenger events and one regional Masters event. Each stage lasts around two to three months, judging by Riot’s roadmap, with the first kicking off in January and the last ending in early October.
A Last Chance Qualifier in October will allow four teams to join the 12 that qualified for the world championship already.
The world championship is slated for the very end of the year and spans two weeks across November and December.
The Champions Tour will see Valorant esports hit top gear following its natural growth in the latter half of 2020. From the Masters competitions onwards, fans will also see teams from different regions compete against each other for the first time.