Get ready for an expanded Valorant Esports 2022 ecosystem
Valorant is an iconic and thrilling Esports genre that stormed the gaming community last year. Prominent players from titles like CS:GO and Overwatch are still decided to venture into the Riot’s first-person megashooter. With commendable growth in their player base, Valorant has decided to take their Esports scene to the next level in 2022.
New initiatives for amateur players, and expended talent pipelines have been put into play for the upcoming season. Here’s everything we know.
Valorant Champions Tour (VCT 2022)
From amateurs to Valorant champions, the upcoming circuit structure is a playing field for all levels of Valorant players in across the globe.
EMEA, notably Europe is home to many Valorant powerhouses, namely Gambit, G2 Esports, and the VCT 2021 champion itself, Acend. Hence, it’s a tremendous roadmap to nurture multiple regions’ talents, rising up to the championship.
The VCT 2021 Early Structure
The VCT 2022 season will vary in structure across regions. Thus far we only have news about the EMEA region being divided into multiple leagues. The amateur Valorant Regional Circuit (VRC), Valorant Game Changers, and Valorant Regional League (VRL) are what’s new in the VCT 2022.
The three new leagues will provide a sustainable bubble for regional candidates to compete among opponents of their level before qualifying for the Valorant Challengers leagues. Traditionally, groups of thirty-two teams play open qualifiers to secure the top eight, earning slots in the Challengers league. Then, teams qualify for the Challengers Finals tournament, which rewards VCT Circuit points for participation. Meanwhile, the top two winners advances to the Masters Tournament.
This three-part Stage occurs thrice last season, where teams make their way up the Circuit Standings, and eventually the Valorant Champions tournament. This was unsustainable for the semi-pro scene, as it’s a free-for-all clash in the open qualifiers, regardless of powerhouses or amateurs.
We cannot be certain this structure will be used across all regions, or each region will attempt to do their own tweak on it, while Riot Games assesses which one works best.
What’s new in VCT 2022?
Valorant Regional Circuit (VRC)
Eager Valorant players, who are looking to start a Valorant pro career can try out the VRC. Aimed to promote the amateur scene in various EMEA regions, Valorant will set up several competitions under the VRC series. Regional circuits will pop up across EMEA, giving both amatuer players and newcomers opportunities to try out the game.
Valorant is now promoting the Valorant Game Changers exclusively as the optimal platform to accommodate new talents. Last month they even introduced the Game Changers EMEA Academy as a learning platform that prevent smurfs from ruining the Valorant experience.
There are three Game Changers series throughout 2022, the first kicking off in January, followed by May and September. Regional winners get to play in Global Game Changer tournament, set for November.
As quoted from the Valorant team,
“To our Game Changers community – this is your time. Your platform. The world is listening. Bring the fire.”
Valorant Regional Leagues (VRL)
On the semi-pro scene, VRL launched eight new regional leagues in Europe such as Spain, France, UK, Poland, CIS, MENA, Turkey, and DACH. Each is to be run by respective partner organizers and has two stages across the year. It features the regular season and playoffs that crown a champion in each league. The league winners qualify for the VCT Promotion Tournament, move on to the VRL EMEA finals. Qualifiers for the EMEA VRLs begin on January 24, with the first split scheduled for February 14.
We hope the same regional league format is used in South East Asia and LATAM to further boost competition in these developing regions.
VCT 2022 Broadcasting and Viewership
Competitive gameplay serves as learning material and encourages new players to learn from the Valorant game. Valorant will officially broadcast all events, even the amateur leagues, and qualifiers. VCT events will be broadcasted with commentaries in multiple languages, such as Korean, Chinese, English, German, Spanish, Russian, Turkish, Vietnamese – the list goes on. Once again, promoting accessibility to the niche regional communities.