Who will participate in VALORANT’s franchising system in 2023?
With 2023, VALORANT’s competitive scene will take on a completely different look. In 2021, Riot Games added the VALORANT Champions Tour to the scene, and at the beginning of 2022, local leagues were added to the system. In 2023, the brand new franchising model will be included in the scene.
How will the new system work, and who will be included?
What will the Valorant franchising system look like?
Riot Games will establish three new international leagues with the franchising system. These leagues will cover Americas, Europe, and Asia. All of the leagues will be played offline, live in front of a live audience. Although it has not yet been announced how many teams will be in the leagues, it is certain that each league will cover different regions. For example, Americas will consist of teams from North America, Latin America and Brazil. EMEA will host Europe, MENA, Turkey and Russian organizations, while Asia will host Southeast Asia, Japan, Korea, Oceania and South Asian teams.
Teams wishing to participate in the leagues do not need to pay any entry fee, as in League of Legends. In addition, Riot Games has stated that they will not take previous VALORANT achievements into consideration when selecting teams, but will take more seriously the value that organizations can bring to the league.
Check out our Valorant franchising breakdown from the original announcement.
What are the secure locks for the leagues?
The number of teams in the leagues has not yet been officially announced, but various reports suggest that it will be between 10-12 teams. Considering all the organizations competing on the VALORANT Champions Tour, this number is quite small and most of the prominent orgs will be left out of the new leagues. That said, there are some esports teams that are almost certain to be in the leagues.
Likely Valorant EMEA Franchise Locks
- Fnatic – one of the most established esports organizations in the world, will undoubtedly take part in the new EMEA league. Considering their brand power and the importance they attach to VALORANT, it is hard to imagine a league without them.
- BBL Esports – We know the new league will include at least 1 Turkish team and there is no way that team will be none other than BBL Esports. BBL’s fan support and audience power is powerful. So much so that the top three most watched matches in VCT 2022 EMEA Stage 2 belong to them. On the other hand, the organization has been in the EMEA league for two seasons.
- G2 Esports – are making attempts to join the American league, the chances of this happening are not very high. G2 bring a lot to the EMEA scene and Riot Games will not want to lose them in the region.
- Guild Esports are consistently at the top of the European scene and regularly place in Top 4 at most events. Given how prominent both Guild and Guild X are in the scene, they are for sure among the top candidates to earn a spot in next year’s competition.
Likely Valorant Americas Franchise Locks
Unlike EMEA, the teams for the America’s league are much harder to predict. There are already some very important teams in the regions and it’s impossible that all of them will be in the new league.
- TSM – When a big event is being organized, TSM are usually there. This is not likely to change for VALORANT as well. Even though the organization has failed on the stage recently, they would be one of the factors that will increase the value of the league.
- FaZe Clan – In most esports scenes with franchising and partnership systems, we often see FaZe Clan. They have a lot of influence and this leads to a steady increase in their fan base. It is very possible for them to have a seat in the league.
- OpTic Gaming are the reigning Masters Champions and runners up in VCT NA Stage 2. While the organization only recently skyrocketed to Valorant prominence, they are well established in other esports and almost a secure lock in a potential franchising system.
- KRU Esports – The most prominent team among the organizations that can be included in the league from Latin America. Although the history of the organization is not very old, it has managed to establish a great community in VALORANT in a short time. And this community could be their ticket to the league.
- FURIA Esports are one of the first organizations that come to mind when it comes to Brazilian esports. With their success in different FPS games and their large and passionate fan base, FURIA are among the teams from Brazil to be included in the Americas league.
As the 2023 season approaches, Riot Games will share more details about the new system and the teams that will participate.