Valorant started as a competition for CSGO, with the Riot-endorsed esports scene and Riot’s plan to ensure there would be events throughout the year. Many CSGO and Overwatch professionals found the new opportunity and game exciting and switched to Valorant.
The switch was significant in North America especially, considering a lack of CSGO in NA. With Valve doing little to nothing for CSGO, Many players switched from CSGO or Valorant.
The exact format was followed in 2022, attracting a lot of organisations to invest in Valorant Esports in 2021 and 2022. With North America VCT NA Challengers Qualifier averaging 256 odd teams, a similar pattern was visible across the globe.
But come July 2022, Riot revealed their plans for Valorant Esports 2023. The Valorant Esports 2023 can be summarised as follows:
- Three Premier level leagues for World’s top team viz. Americas, Europe and Asia
- Partnership programme for Organisations to be part of the Premier leagues, which Riot would shortlist.
- Shortlisted teams to get an incentive to develop a good ecosystem for talent.
- Consistent and Frequent Inter-Regional and Global tournaments
- Additional Regional Leagues and Expansion of Current VCT system
- A new in-game mode where players and team can showcase their talents to get into the Regional Leagues
While the new system looks absolutely amazing, many quickly point out the lack of clarity for the teams, which would fall outside the partnership program.
Riot does mention the domestic leagues, but the lack of explanation on how the teams would be selected for the Premier League system and what happens to the teams who are not selected and would the teams in the League change made a lot of organisations and players uncomfortable. The uncertainty led to many teams leaving the scene altogether.
While talking about the same, Tarik, Zellsis and Shroud mentioned that other teams need a slot to get into the Premier League. Zellsis mentions how the organisations are leaving the scene altogether as Riot has mentioned the establishment and expansion of the current VCT system.
At the same time, Tarik and Shroud point out the downsides of selecting a fixed number of teams without a qualifying tournament. While it has not been mentioned, looking at League of Legends, it is clear that there would be changes to the league, and the other teams would get a shot at making it to the Premier Leagues.
There also would be Inter-regional and Global tournaments for all the teams which don’t make it to the franchising, similar to the VRL EMEA Finals.While many points are yet to be clarified and will be soon, the establishment of a league and teams not getting a chance to be at the top of the crop has left teams trepid and leaving the scene.
We have to wait and see how the new system fares, The miscommunication seems to be the issue that has taken the World by storm.