Riot reveals updated pathway to make VCT Champs more accessible
Riot Games has unveiled a major update to the VALORANT competitive scene with the introduction of the VALORANT Premier system, set to launch in 2024.
This system establishes a new path for teams aspiring to compete in the Challengers and the VALORANT Champions Tour (VCT). The initiative is part of Riot's strategy to enable players to progress to the Champions Tour through their performance in the game itself.
The new path to pro
The path to becoming a Contender, the highest tier of the Premier system, starts with achieving an Immortal 3 rank or higher — for now. While Riot says that the ultimate goal is to have the pre-filtering process work without a minimum requirement for ranked queue and instead just work through qualification in the Premier system, it has not quite arrived at that goal yet.
In addition to individual skill, forming a strong team with members who also possess recent high rankings is essential, requiring everyone to not just be ranked at Immortal 3 at any point, but at the time of registration.
Furthermore and in line with this new system, Riot Games has set forth specific guidelines for participation. Players need to be at least 16 years old to align with the age requirements of the Challenger League.
There is also a clear distinction made regarding the eligibility of current professional players: those on active rosters of Challenger or International League teams are not permitted to compete in the Premier. However, players from the Game Changers series are eligible to participate.
Furthermore, adherence to a single account for participation in the Premier is mandatory, as Riot Games will be vigilantly monitoring for any use of ringers, substitutes, and cross-region play. Teams that violate these or other rules, such as cheating, will face serious consequences.
Key dates and steps for aspiring challengers
Aspiring challengers should be aware of several important dates and steps in this process.
To ensure eligibility for the Contender Division, players must secure an Immortal 3 ranking or higher by January 10, 2024, which coincides with the start of Episode 8 Act 1. Teams composed entirely of Contender-eligible players need to register for Premier between January 8-17, 2024. Additionally, signing up for the Challengers Open Qualifier is an essential step, with more specific information to be released in the coming weeks.
Players who have failed to get into Challengers via the Open Qualifier will still have the opportunity to hone their skills in Premier Contenders, available through the in-game client in VALORANT.
Riot Games had run Premier beta tournaments across the globe starting in late 2022 all the way through Summer in 2023, testing out the system across various regions. Moreover, Premier will lead directly into VALORANT Challengers, a tier 2 system with direct qualification opportunities for the best teams to participate in the VALORANT Champions Tour.