Part of the Pacific Challengers League, the VCT Challengers League Japan will begin their first split on the 28th of Jan. The split will run until the 10th of Feb. Much like the other challenger leagues, it will culminate in a playoffs at the end, set to run between the 19th of Feb till the 19th of Mar. Organized by RAGE, the league has the unique format of no invited organizations.
Instead, eight sets of Open Qualifiers were held at the same time between the 13th of Jan and 15th, with the winner of each qualifier proceeding into the league. Each Open Qualifier included eight teams, for a total of 64 teams competing across for qualification into the league. The Open Qualifiers were double elimination Bo3 format. Teams needed to win a minimum of four series in order to attain qualification.
#VALORANT Challengers Japan 2023#VCJ— VALORANT Challengers Japan (@valesportscl_jp) January 18, 2023
Split 1 Main Stage 組合せ発表⚔️🔥@FENNEL_official @IGZIST_GG @crazyraccoon406 @Sengoku_Gaming @northeption @RC_REJECT @SCARZ5 @crest_gaming
1月28日（土）11:00 - 配信開始!!📺
Fennel- Currently unranked, the roster underwent a massive rebuild in the off-season, with four brand new players and new support staff. The organization itself has a deep history of competing within Japan’s challenger scene, having records that stretch from 2021. 8-0 record across 4 series in OQ.
IGZIST- Currently the 3rd best team in Asia, they were formerly known as BlackBird Ignis. The organization IGZIST picked up the roster and they have only competed domestically. They have been competing since 2021. 8-1 record across 4 series in OQ.
Crazy Raccoon- One of the strongest Japanese rosters to have been produced in the early infancy of Valorant, they are currently 2nd in Japan, behind ZETA DIVISION. In 2021, they attended VCT Masters Reykjavik and Berlin, as well as Champions 2021. They were the highest accomplishing Japanese roster at the time. 8-1 record across 4 series in OQ.
Sengoku Gaming- Currently 30th in Asia, their roster was formerly known as Feeling, before they were picked up by Sengoku Gaming. Their roster has been competing since 2021 with deep experience in Challengers level series. 8-0 record across 4 series in OQ.
NORTHEPTION- Currently 6th in Japan, this organization has a stellar record of finding and developing talent. A large number of their players have now gone on to play in the partners league under Detonation Gaming and ZETA DIVISION. They were also the former home for the infamous Korean Jett, Park “Seoldam” Sang-min and were a series away from qualification to Champions in 2021. 8-0 record across 4 series in OQ.
REJECT- Currently 5th in Japan, they have also been competing since 2021. Overall mid runs for Challenger series throughout 2021 and 2022. They have since done a complete overhaul of their roster and support staff in the off-season. 8-0 record across 4 series in OQ.
SCARZ- Currently 7th in Japan, they are a relatively strong unit that have taken down some large names in Japan such as Sengoku Gaming. Competed in a large number of Challengers series since 2021, they have made very deep runs up until semifinals and grand finals. 8-2 record across 4 series in OQ.
Crest Gaming Zst- Currently unranked, they fought well through their OQ with an 8-2 record. Having competed since 2020, their record is sparse with minimal runs. Relatively mid challengers series runs with some roster adjustments over the off-season.
The regular season split will see all 8 teams compete in a single round robin Bo3 format. The top 6 teams of the split will advance to playoffs, with the top 2 performing teams advancing to the Upper Bracket finals and the 3rd to 6th teams advancing to the Lower Bracket Quarter Finals. Both Upper and Lower finals are set to be played offline (LAN). Bottom two are automatically dismissed from the league.
The format is also more brutal than other leagues. The top 2 performing teams during playoffs will retain their league spots. However, the other four teams will be relegated to the Split 2 Advance Stage, to compete with eight other teams.
The schedule has also been interspersed, with the days selected being Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday. However, these do not repeat every week.
Jan 28th (Sat)- 1100, 1400, 1700, 2000 (GMT+9, JST)
Jan 29th (Sun)- 1100, 1400, 1700, 2000 (GMT+9, JST)
Feb 1st (Wed)- 1700, 2000 (GMT+9, JST)
Feb 2nd (Thu)- 1600, 1900 (GMT+9, JST)
Feb 3rd (Fri)- 1600, 1900 (GMT+9, JST)
Feb 4th (Sat)- 1100, 1400, 1700, 2000 (GMT+9, JST)
Feb 5th (Sun)- 1100, 1400, 1700, 2000 (GMT+9, JST)
Feb 8th (Wed)- 1700, 2000 (GMT+9, JST)
Feb 9th (Thu)- 1700, 2000 (GMT+9, JST)
Feb 10th (Fri)- 1600, 1900 (GMT+9, JST)
Image credit: Riot Games
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