VALORANT Champions Tour announces Kickoff event schedule and format

VALORANT Champions Tour announces Kickoff event schedule and format
Images via Riot Games

Written by 

Sascha Heinisch


29th Jan 2024 15:04

EDIT: A Riot Games spokesperson has clarified that Kickoff will no longer be played on patch 8.0. The following article has been updated, and the patch being used for Kickoff is as yet unknown.

The VALORANT Champions Tour is gearing up for its 2024 season and has announced the first bits of the VCT EMEA Kickoff Tournament. This event, set to be hosted in the newly inaugurated Riot Games Arena, marks the beginning of the competitive year and serves as a pivotal phase for qualification for two direct qualification slots at Masters Madrid.

The structure of the VCT EMEA 2024 Kickoff

Image via Riot Games
Click to enlarge

The Kickoff Tournament features an asymmetric format to accommodate the uneven number of competitors in the 11 VCT teams. The tournament's structure is designed to challenge these teams while offering a clear path to Masters Madrid, setting a high competitive bar right from the season's outset.

Teams have been seeded and divided into groups based on their performance during the previous VCT season. Fnatic, having placed highest at Champions 2023, gains a strategic advantage with a bye to the second round in a smaller group that only consists of three instead of four teams. Gentle Mates, as the EMEA VALORANT Challengers Ascension 2023 winners, join Fnatic in this three-team group and will be playing Team Vitality during the first round of the bracket. The remaining teams have been distributed into two other groups via a draw, during which each group will face off in a double elimination bracket against each other.

From there, only the first-placed team will directly qualify for the playoffs while the second-placed teams will have to fight it out against the other groups’ runner-ups in the Play-Ins for the one last slot in the four-team single-elimination playoffs. All matches will be played in a Best-of-Three format except for the Grand Finals which are set to be a Best-of-Five. 

Key dates

The VCT EMEA 2024 Kickoff Tournament is scheduled to unfold over a compact two-week time period to get ready in time for Masters Madrid, which takes place only two weeks after the conclusion of Kickoff.

The Group stage will run from February 20th to 25th while the Play-Ins stage that determines the last team advancing to the Playoffs will be played on February 26th. The Playoffs, set for February 29th to March 1st, will be the decisive phase where the two finalists secure their spots at Masters Madrid.

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The tournament kicks off with exciting matchups, including FUT Esports vs Team Heretics at 4 pm BST / 5 pm CET and GiantX vs Karmine Corp right after. On the 21st, games start even earlier at 1 pm BST / 2 pm CET with Na’Vi facing off against BBL Esports.

Ticket sales and upcoming events

Tickets for the VCT EMEA 2024 Kickoff Tournament, available from February 2nd, allow fans to experience the new Riot Games Arena in Berlin, Germany. As implied in the name, this tournament is just the beginning of the VALORANT esports calendar, with Masters Madrid and the first stage of VCT EMEA set to follow.

Sascha "Yiska" Heinisch is a Senior Esports Journalist at GGRecon. He's been creating content in esports for over 10 years, starting with Warcraft 3.

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