You have to admit that, despite the global pandemic, Riot made sure to deliver esports entertainment at the highest possible level. And they ain't stopping! This weekend, we were already able to learn about the plans for all of 2022 and the general direction that Valorant esports will be heading. Challengers League, international tournaments, new ways to qualify for aspiring pro teams, further development of the VCT Game Changers Circuit – these are just part of what's in store for next year. But let's take it one step at a time!
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VCT 2022 Schedule
Next year's VCT season will be slightly shorter than the one we've had now. In 2022, we will have 2 (instead of 3) international majors called Masters, just like this year. Both of these tournaments will be preceded by regional Challengers tournaments, but this year, they will look slightly different.
In 2022, Challengers will begin with an open qualifier, from which the top teams will enter a multi-week league competition. This is a great option that rewards not only skill but consistency as well, which is an aspect that should be rewarded more often in eSports. Sure, the bracket system is also okay and might be even better to watch, but the league system feels much more fair to the players. Even if a team loses a game in a league, they will have a chance to learn from their mistakes and not repeat them in the following weeks, instead of waiting a few months for another opportunity. And if you consider the fact that for many players this is their first esports experience, it makes even more sense.
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For now, we don't know the exact dates of the 2022 VCT run for regions other than NA, but we'll keep this article updated.
VCT 2022 North America Schedule
|Stage 1 Challengers Open Qualifier||27.01 - 30.01|
|Stage 1 Challengers Main Event||11.02 - 27.03|
|Stage 1 Masters||TBA (April)|
|Stage 2 Challengers Open Qualifier||05.05 - 05.08|
|Stage 2 Challengers Closed Qualifier & Main Event||13.05 - 26.06|
|Last Chance Qualifier||TBA (August)|
VCT 2022 is a great chance to freshen up the Valorant esports scene a little and an opportunity for some teams to re-prove themselves regardless of how they did in 2021. The culmination of the entire VCT 2021 season will take place in 2022 with the Champions tournament; again, no significant changes. In short, the start of 2022 will not be much different from 2021, but it will slowly move in a slightly different direction than before. What do we mean by that exactly?
New Tournament Circuit, National Leagues & Game Changers
According to the VCT schedule, Riot will start a new tournament circuit in October 2022. Maybe it will have something to do with the tournament mode we wrote about some time ago? We have no information about it, but Riot certainly wants to make it easier for lesser-known teams to enter the world of Valorant esports. This is a common practice for esports tournament organizers – first, they open the competition to well-known players and organizations to get people interested, then slowly direct a focus on skills, and catch new talents.
Speaking of catching new talents, Riot plans to invest in national leagues that will start in EMEA and slowly make their way to other regions! We do not yet know if these will be an opportunity to get into major tournaments or gather VCT points, but it certainly expands the possibilities for teams around the world.
And lastly, VCT Game Changers improvements! Riot has announced that they are happy with the project and its interest and have promised to keep developing it. A global Game Changers event is planned for the end of 2022, and will likely be held for only the two largest regions (NA and EMEA). VCT Game Changers 2022 season will kick off in late March, so we'll probably receive more information about the exact rules of the official female-only competitive Valorant circuit pretty soon.