Strafe logo
Riot Game introduces drastic changes to VALORANT Ascension and Challengers

Riot Game introduces drastic changes to VALORANT Ascension and Challengers

21 Jun
Andre Guaraldo

Riot Games is implementing changes to both the Valorant Challengers and Ascension for the 2025 season. These changes aim to create a more dynamic and competitive ecosystem for teams aspiring to reach the highest levels of Valorant esports. Here's everything you need to know:

Ascension system overhaul

  • Performance-based extensions:
    • Ascension teams will no longer face automatic relegation after a fixed term.
    • The term length for Ascension teams is now set at one year, with potential extensions based on performance.
    • Teams that perform well in the International Leagues (IL) can extend their stay indefinitely.
  • Qualification criteria:
    • Teams that finish in the top 4 at Champions will automatically extend their term by another year
    • If both Ascension teams make it to Champions, the higher-placed team retains their slot, while the other competes in Ascension for their spot.
    • Teams finishing in the top 8 of the International League earn a chance to defend their spot through the Ascension tournament.
    • Teams that fail to reach the playoffs (bottom 4) will be relegated to Challengers.
  • International league cap:
    • The number of teams in each International League will be capped at 12, ensuring a competitive but manageable league size.

Qualifying (and staying) at the top of the Valorant regional leagues will drastically change (credits: Riot Games) Qualifying (and staying) at the top of the Valorant regional leagues will drastically change (credits: Riot Games)

Premier pathway and Challengers calendar updates

  • Introduction of the Premier Invite division:
    • The Premier Invite Division replaces the current Contender Division, serving as the highest tier of play within Premier.
    • Teams from the Invite Division can compete for promotion to the Challengers series.
  • Year-round Challenger leagues:
    • Challenger Leagues will now run throughout the entire year, with new tournaments scheduled for Fall 2024.
    • These tournaments will bridge the gap between Ascension and the next year's Challengers season, providing continuous competition opportunities.
  • Premier to Challengers progression:
    • Teams placing in the top 32 of the Premier Contender Division automatically advance to the Invite Division.
    • The Invite Division will start in Episode 9 Act 1 (July 2024), with promotion/relegation tournaments occurring every two Acts.
    • Top teams from the Invite Division will have the opportunity to compete in the Challengers series.

Impact on current and future teams

  • No Immediate Relegation for Current Ascension Teams:
    • Existing Ascension teams, such as G2 Esports and others, will not face relegation this year and will compete in the VCT in 2025 alongside new Ascension teams.
  • Opportunities for New Talent:
    • The new system aims to provide a clearer and more accessible pathway for up-and-coming teams to reach the highest levels of competition.
    • Players from Premier will have more opportunities to break into the Challengers League, fostering a continuous influx of fresh talent.

Community and Professional Feedback

The Challengers and Ascension changes have been met with a mix of optimism and constructive criticism from the community. While many applaud the elimination of automatic relegation and the introduction of performance-based criteria, there are ongoing discussions about other aspects of the ecosystem, such as import rules and league size.

Overall, the updates reflect Riot's commitment to evolving Valorant esports into a more sustainable and competitive landscape.

These changes to the VCT's structure will enhance the competitive environment, offering teams and players more opportunities to prove themselves and maintain their positions through performance.

As the 2025 season approaches, Riot Games promises to reveal further details, ensuring transparency and clarity for all stakeholders involved.

Feature image credits: Riot Games

Read also:

VALORANT Premier Stage Episode 9 Act 1: All you need to know

Valorant Battle Pass: Everything You Need to Know

Riot Games Unveils Major Updates for Game Changers

Comments (0)

Log in to comment on this match