Valorant: Riot Announces Competitive Changes to Encourage Mixed-Gender Teams

Valorant: Riot Announces Competitive Changes to Encourage Mixed-Gender Teams

19. June 2024 by Valentin Pasetti

Riot Games has announced a series of groundbreaking changes to Valorant’s competitive scene, aimed at promoting mixed-gender teams and providing better opportunities for players in the Game Changers program. These changes are designed to foster inclusivity and support diverse talent in the competitive gaming ecosystem.

Riot’s Commitment to Mixed-Gender Competition

Riot Games has long been a proponent of creating inclusive and safe environments for gamers of all backgrounds. With this latest initiative, they aim to take significant strides in encouraging mixed-gender teams within Valorant’s competitive framework.

This move comes in response to feedback from the community and players within the Game Changers program who have expressed a desire for more opportunities and a more inclusive competitive landscape.


Enhancements to the Game Changers Ecosystem

The Game Changers program was initially created to provide a platform for women and marginalized genders to compete comfortably and safely. However, Riot Games is now looking to elevate this initiative by introducing several key changes:

1. Path to Pro via Premier

Starting with Episode 9, Act 1, the Premier system will be revamped to allow teams to ascend to the Challengers league based on their performance. This new structure aims to simplify the progression for Game Changers players, making it easier for them to compete at higher levels without having to choose between different competitive events.

  • Exceptional Division: Teams qualifying for Game Changers can now be admitted to the Exceptional Division if they meet specific criteria.
  • Scheduling Flexibility: Game Changers players will be granted breaks from Premier matches (outside of playoffs) to avoid conflicts with Game Changers events.


2. Challenger League Qualifiers

Teams that qualify for the Game Changers Championship will also participate in local Challenger league qualifiers. This provides an opportunity to secure a spot in their regional Challenger league.

  • Flexible Residency and Contract Rules: Game Changers players will be treated as universal slots, not imports, and can register for Challenger or International leagues at any time, bypassing transfer windows.

3. Simultaneous Ownership Exception

International league teams can have a Challenger team, provided at least three out of five players are from Game Changers. The same rule applies to Challenger teams wishing to have a Premier team.


Promoting Mixed-Gender Competitions

Starting in OFF//SEASON 2024, Riot will test mixed-gender tournaments. This initiative aims to foster inclusion and provide more opportunities for diverse talent to shine together.

Important Changes Summary

  1. Premier Pathway: Introducing the Exceptional Division in Premier to facilitate the progression to Challengers.
  2. Scheduling Flexibility: Allowing Game Changers players to compete in both Premier and Game Changers events without conflicts.
  3. Challenger Qualifiers: Enabling Game Changers teams to qualify for their regional Challenger leagues.
  4. Residency and Contract Flexibility: Treating Game Changers players as universal slots and allowing registration at any time.
  5. Simultaneous Ownership: Allowing International and Challenger teams to own multiple teams with Game Changers players.
  6. Mixed-Gender Tournaments: Testing mixed-gender competitions to promote diversity and inclusion.

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Riot Games’ latest initiatives reflect a strong commitment to inclusivity and competitive integrity in Valorant. By creating more opportunities for mixed-gender teams and easing the pathway for Game Changers players, Riot is paving the way for a more diverse and dynamic competitive scene.

Players and teams should stay informed about these changes and take advantage of the new opportunities presented.


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