The time has come.
CHINA – Riot Games revealed today the integration of China as the latest addition to the VALORANT Champions Tour (VCT), positioning it as the fourth International League. This announcement places China shoulder to shoulder with the Pacific, EMEA, and Americas leagues at the premier level of competition. Specifics about the Chinese League, including its hub city, remain under wraps for now.
“I am extremely excited to share that China will join the Americas, EMEA and Pacific as the fourth official league in the VCT,” said Leo Faria, Global Head of VALORANT Esports. “The Chinese community has shown their potential. Teams have continuously made their mark on global events, and with the launch of VALORANT in China, we want to officially welcome the community into our global sport.”
In line with the approach used for the establishment of the previous three international leagues, Riot Games is in the midst of a thorough and detailed selection process to determine the ten partner teams for the Chinese league.
“We hope these long-term partners can share our vision, focus on long-term and sustainable development, and contribute to the entire VALORANT esports ecosystem. To achieve this goal, we will not charge any seat fees but will provide relatively generous subsidies and a comprehensive incentive plan for the selected long-term partners, rewarding their contributions to the development of the VALORANT esports ecosystem. The partner teams for the VCT CN region are expected to be announced later this year.”
The prior selection process for teams from EMEA, Pacific, and Americas was extensive, taking several months and involving written applications, in-depth interviews, and financial evaluations.
Furthermore, they will implement a similar two-year promotion for the league. In its inaugural year, it’s anticipated that an additional team will join, bringing the tally to eleven, mirroring the structure in other leagues. The promotional tournament is set for December this year. Qualification for this tournament will be based on points accumulated in the Fearless Covenant CN Evolution Series Open Tournament (VALORANT CN Evolution Series), running from September through November.
The debut season of VALORANT International Leagues concluded in June, with Paper Rex (Pacific), Team Liquid (EMEA), and LOUD (Americas) emerging as champions.
Details about the teams representing VCT China remain under wraps at the moment. However, following the game’s approval in the nation, a number of major organizations have made early moves into the scene this year.
Recognizable names from the LPL such as EDward Gaming, Bilibili Gaming, Weibo Gaming, JD Gaming, LNG Esports, Rare Atom, and Royal Never Give Up, have made their presence known in domestic competition. On the other hand, after winning a Masters event this year, FunPlus Phoenix chose to shift from the EMEA region to their home base in China. The renowned Swedish organization Ninjas in Pyjamas is also reportedly on its way to securing a team for the region, mirroring FunPlus Phoenix’s departure from EMEA.
In anticipation of the monumental inaugural year of VALORANT in China, Riot Games took the initiative to elevate the broadcast quality by launching a caster training program. The objective was to bolster the audience experience by bringing onboard elite-level commentators. Out of a staggering 500+ applicants, a mere 20 made the cut after a stringent three-stage selection process. From this group, 12 were handpicked as the official voices for VALORANT’s Chinese airings. Even if some of these commentators had notable reputations in other esports titles, they all went through the same selection process.
10 Partnered Teams:
- There are ten partnered teams, in line with the other three ILs.
- To be announced later this year
- Ascension CN event to take place in December
- It’s expected that one team will earn a two-year promotion, consistent with the other three ILs.
- Teams can qualify through the points earned in the VALORANT CN Evolution Series tournaments from September to November.
- The announced Challenger Leagues currently don’t cover the CN region.
Cover photo courtesy of VALORANT Esports