The Valorant Champions Tour EMEA league kick off is finally upon us. Soon, the ten teams from across the region who were able to secure their spot in the new International League will make their domestic debut, following their first showing in the recent Lock In event.
Featuring a mixture of legacy organisations such as Fnatic and NAVI, alongside fresh faces in KCorp and KOI, developer Riot Games was, as Valorant EMEA esports head Daniel Ringland tells The Loadout as part of an upcoming interview, thinking about much more than the three main criteria listed in September’s team announcement when picking its representatives – particularly when it comes to developing narratives built around rivalries.
“When you look at the geographical distribution of the teams”, Ringland says, “you can see that we’ve intentionally gone for two teams from Turkey [BBL and Esports and FUT Esports]. And that’s not just because Turkey is a really important region with a very, very passionate community. But by having two, you’ve got yourself a local derby” – something Riot’s particularly keen to incorporate from “traditional sports like football”.
As Ringland points out, French representatives KCorp and Team Vitality, alongside the Spanish contingent of Giants, KOI, and Team Heretics are also part of Riot’s plans to “build out some good rivalries that we think we can turn into really great history over time”.
Of course, there’s always the risk of narratives becoming stale, which is where Ascension comes in. With each passing year, teams from EMEA’s Challenger Leagues will be promoted into the region’s International League with the scope to, hopefully, keep things fresh for the time they’re there.
To find out more about VCT EMEA’s shiny new Berlin studio, and the overall project which itself has been over two years in the making, be sure to check out the full interview when it drops this weekend.