Riot Games is making some big changes to the valorant esports scene. The change will begin in 2023 and will include the introduction of three regional leagues representing the Americas, Europe and Asia; previously, professional valorant operated in a tournament structure. changes will bring valorant more in line with Riot’s other popular competitive game, League of Legends.
It is not yet clear which teams will participate in the new leagues, nor how they will be selected. But Riot says “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 esports,” adding that “teams who meet the selection criteria will receive financial support from Riot Games in the form of an annual stipend and the exclusive opportunity to collaborate on unique in-game activations and merchandise.”
In addition to the weekly matches in the regional leagues, the best teams will also be able to qualify for international competitions, culminating in a world championship. The structure sounds very similar to the professional one. League of Legends scene, which similarly includes a number of national leagues and major international tournaments, including the worlds insanely popular. League is arguably the most successful esport in the world, and Riot seems to be trying to replicate that success with its team shooter.
As part of the new structure, Riot says it will add a new game mode to valorant which is “designed to identify the best talent worldwide. This mode will act as a complement to the existing leaderboards, giving players a new goal above ranked play that integrates into the esports ecosystem.” It is unclear when the new mode will be introduced. “Together, all these elements will contribute to a competitive ecosystem that will position valorant for its next stage of growth,” John Needham, president of esports at Riot, said in a statement.