VCT 2025: Changes in International League Promotions and Retentions

VCT 2025: Changes in International League Promotions and Retentions

24. June 2024 by Valentin Pasetti

Starting in 2025, teams promoted to the International Leagues in Valorant will have the opportunity to retain their spot, conditional on their performance. Riot Games announced this significant update on Friday, reflecting a shift in the competitive structure.

Evolution of the Valorant Competitive Scene

In 2023, Riot Games introduced a franchise system for Valorant, creating three primary International Leagues: Americas, EMEA, and APAC. The following year saw the addition of the China league, bringing the total to four key regional competitions.

Initially, these franchise leagues did not allow for relegation, ensuring the stability of selected teams. However, there was a provision for annual promotion from the Challenger Leagues, though these promotions were temporary and lasted only two years before mandatory relegation.

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New Retention System for Promoted Teams

Riot Games plans to implement a more dynamic system starting in 2025, allowing promoted teams to extend their stay in the International Leagues based on their performance. Here are the key details:

  • Extension: A promoted team can extend its stay by one year if it qualifies for the Champions tournament. If both promoted teams rank among the top four, the one with the better performance at Champions will retain the spot, while the other will compete in the Contention phase.
  • Contention: If a promoted team finishes within the top eight of their league, they will have the chance to defend their place. This involves competing in the Ascension tournament against Challenger teams to secure their position for the next season.
  • Relegation: A team failing to qualify for the Stage 2 Playoffs will be relegated back to their respective Challenger League. If both promoted teams are relegated, the top two teams from the Ascension will directly replace them.

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Implications for the Future

This new system introduces a merit-based approach, emphasizing performance and competitive integrity. Teams promoted through the Ascension tournament now have a clear pathway to maintain their International League status, fostering a more dynamic and competitive environment.

Structure of International Leagues

From 2025 onwards, each International League will comprise 12 teams. The ability for promoted teams to retain their spots will depend on their capability to perform at the highest level and compete with established teams.

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Riot Games’ decision to allow promoted teams to keep their spots based on performance marks a significant change in Valorant’s competitive structure.

This new system, set to take effect in 2025, ensures that meritocracy prevails, giving ascended teams a fair chance to prove their worth and solidify their presence in the top tier of Valorant esports.