Riot Games Announces 2021 VALORANT Champions Tour

It was a successful integration for VALORANT into the esports ecosystem and now it will be introducing a new competitive structure – VALORANT Champions Tour – for the 2021 season. The Champions Tour will come after the Ignition Series and the First Strike tournaments.

The game is barely one-year-old in the esports scene but has announced its ambitious plans for its second year in operation following its successful release and integration. The event will span the entire year, featuring several regional tournaments around the globe until a champion is crowned at the end.

Champions Tour Structure

VALORANT’s Champions Tour will follow three-level structures that will continually knockout teams until the strongest remain. It will feature a range of tournaments that will be played in different regions – North America, Europe, Asia, Africa, Australia, and South America – following a pyramid structure until the best team remains at the end of 2021.

According to the Senior Director of Esports at Riot Games, Whalen Rozelle, “The Champions Tour is our next step to grow VALORANT into a global esport, worthy of the passion of our fans. We have spent a couple of years now talking to players, teams, fans, prospective partners, and other stakeholders, and we are extremely excited to launch our first official season. Our focus will be on elevating and showcasing the creative and talented players who are shaping this game across the globe. Fans and players both wanted high stakes competition and that is what the VALORANT Champions Tour is designed to do.”

Three stages will make up the Champions Tour with each stage having its dedicated tournament. At the base of the pyramid and the kick-off point of the tour is the VALORANT Challengers. Here, stories, rivalries, and stars will be built in each region in a bid to qualify for the next stage of the tour. At this level, amateur talent will be allowed to prove themselves in their respective regions before heading for the bigger stage. Rozelle has explained this as an opportunity for stars and teams to rise and make a name for themselves, first on the regional stage before leveling up.

When leveled up, teams will find themselves at the Masters level where they have to compete with teams from other regions. Top teams from their respective regions will face off for a spot at the tour finals.

The VALORANT Champions is the stage where teams that have performed the best at the Masters level will go head-to-head for a chance to be crowned the best VALORANT team in 2021. There will be Last Chance Qualifiers after the Masters event is completed, to bring the total number of teams performing at the VALORANT Champions to 16. This event will take place over two weeks and is VALORANT’s version of the League of Legends World Championship.

The Champions Tour will begin in early 2021 and will round off in December. With its announcement, Riot Games also unveiled that Red Bull and Secretlab will be founding partners for the 2021 VALORANT Champions Tour. Despite its infancy, this move has highlighted the commerciality of the title’s competitive scene. Riot Games has teamed up with both partners in the past as they have sponsored several League of Legends competitions.

Furthermore, it has been confirmed that the developers will be working with third-part tournament operators for the regional Challengers competitions. This partnership has been seen before as Riot Games teamed up with Nerd Street Gamers and Engine Media to successfully host VALORANT First Strike: North American Qualifiers.

The gaming community is excited to see how this will go as the anticipation builds. However, no concrete dates, locations, or prize pools have been announced yet.