full timeline of events for vct 2023 partnership

Image via Riot Games

In 2023, the VALORANT ecosystem as we’ve known it since the start of 2021 will completely change with the launch of the Riot-sponsored partnership model. The top tier of VALORANT esports will consist of three international leagues, one for the Americas, one for EMEA, and one for Asia, each consisting of 10 partnered organizations.

Much has already changed since the partnership model was announced, in particular Riot’s approach to the tier-two system and promotion to keep the mass of interested organizations from departing VALORANT.

But how did we reach this point and what can we look forward to in the near future? Here’s the full timeline of events regarding the formation of the VCT 2023 partnership system.

April 28, 2022: Riot announces the VCT partnership system set to launch in 2023

In late April 2022, Riot officially unveiled its plans for partnership for 2023. Riot’s plans focused on the aforementioned international leagues for the Americas, EMEA, and Asia. It also included mention of domestic leagues across the world, much like it’s already been doing in EMEA during the 2022 VCT season.

full timeline of events for vct 2023 partnership

Image via Riot Games

As opposed to franchised leagues like the Overwatch League, the Call of Duty League, and Riot’s various top-tier League of Legends leagues, Riot said it will offer organizations a stipend for competing in VALORANT, rather than ask for large buy-in fees in the realm of tens of millions. While an official number hasn’t been given, reports say that the stipend will be in the high six-figures range, with the potential to possibly reach $1 million.

May 6, 2022: Riot reportedly opens the application process

Riot Games began to reach out to “several tier-one organizations” about applying for partnership in the VCT 2023 season, according to a report by Dot Esports’ George Geddes. At this time, Riot told teams about the formal application process that would require teams to submit financial reports and demonstrate their commitment to VALORANT.

full timeline of events for vct 2023 partnership

Photo by Lance Skundrich/Riot Games

While official details about Riot’s criteria never came out, many have speculated that factors like social media influence, success in VALORANT, and diversity initiatives were some of the things Riot was most looking for. Many teams like TSM, 100T, and others made their VCT partnership applications public.

Summer 2022: Teams advance in the application process while others exit

From June through August, a number of teams across the major regions were informed of their status in the application process. Teams like The Guard, TSM, Cloud9, OpTic, 100T, NRG, XSET, and other prominent teams in the top tier of NA VALORANT moved past the first round. Riot reportedly received over 150 proposals.

full timeline of events for vct 2023 partnership

Photo via Riot Games

But a handful of teams found out they would not be advancing and have since departed VALORANT for the time being. Luminosity Gaming was one of the biggest names to first announce its departure, making its NA LCQ-bound roster available for free agency. DarkZero, Shopify Rebellion, Complexity, SoaR, NYXL, and others have also left but are open to returning in the future.

Aug. 16, 2022: Riot announces expanded tier-two system and top league promotion path

Riot’s mid-August announcement breathed life back into a worried tier-two system with the reveal of an expanded global tier-two system of Challengers leagues with the opportunity to earn promotion to the top-tier global leagues.

full timeline of events for vct 2023 partnership

Image via Riot Games

The Challengers tier-two system will feature 21 different regional Challengers leagues, all of which begin with open qualifiers. The top Challengers teams will face off in the Ascension tournament at the end of the year, and the winners of Ascension will earn a two-year promotion into the top global league. After two years, those teams will be sent back down to Challengers.

What’s next for VCT partnership?

Between now and the start of the season, there will be more announcements and reports surrounding the VCT partnership model.

Here are some things to look out for over the next few months between now and 2023:

  • Riot informing teams of their official partnership status.
  • Format reveals for both the Challengers system and the top international leagues.
  • Free agency period for partnered teams.
  • Qualifiers for Challengers.

This post will be updated when that information becomes available.


When is the release date of Sifu’s Summer Update?

Image via Sloclap Earlier this year, Slowcap’s Sifu took the world by storm, selling over one million copies in its first three weeks on the market. Close to launch, the team revealed that the game would get several free content updates over the course of the year. In the ...

View more: When is the release date of Sifu’s Summer Update?

Wo Long: Fallen Dynasty gameplay trailer shows fast-paced, high-flying action

Wo Long: Fallen Dynasty is a slow burning title that’s slowly heating up and bringing the hype to fans of third person action titles. One of next year’s most dynamic and aggressive titles has just gotten a new gameplay trailer, giving us a brief glimpse of what we have to ...

View more: Wo Long: Fallen Dynasty gameplay trailer shows fast-paced, high-flying action

New Minecraft Legends Trailer Gives A First Look At Fiery Foes

Gungrave GORE - Release Date Trailer - IGN

A series making its return after many years, Gungrave GORE promises bloody mayhem, a killer team, and a fall release date in this new Gamescom trailer. A mix of CG and gameplay gives it a good taste of the carnage to come. This new Gungrave game will launch on ...

View more: Gungrave GORE - Release Date Trailer - IGN

Heavy Metal's first YA story Starward concludes with an all-out celestial brawl

This is not your grandfather's Heavy Metal

View more: Heavy Metal's first YA story Starward concludes with an all-out celestial brawl

Nexa and flameZ help OG upset FaZe in BLAST Premier Fall Groups

Photo via PGL OG beat FaZe Clan 2-1 today in the knockout stage of the BLAST Premier Fall Groups, which is their best result since adding Adam “NEOFRAG” Zouhar, Maciej “F1KU” Miklas, and Abdulkhalik “degster” Gasanov halfway through 2022. The victory allows OG to move further in the CS:GO ...

View more: Nexa and flameZ help OG upset FaZe in BLAST Premier Fall Groups

Destroy All Humans! 2 - Reprobed Review

In the first Destroy All Humans!, Crypto evidently didn’t manage to successfully carry out his objective to destroy all of the humans – as per the title’s remit – necessitating the existence of a 2006 sequel, which forms the basis for this remake, playfully titled Destroy All Humans! 2 – ...

View more: Destroy All Humans! 2 - Reprobed Review

Hearthstone Patch 24.2: Full notes and updates

Battlegrounds. Battlegrounds everywhere Miscellaneous Mercs, Brawliseum, and more Image via Blizzard Entertainment The latest update to Blizzard’s popular card game is bringing along the new separate seasonal pass for Battlegrounds and Runestones, Hearthstone’s new virtual currency. Heroic Brawliseum is also making a return, plus in-game reporting is finally being ...

View more: Hearthstone Patch 24.2: Full notes and updates

Metal Gear and Silent Hill fans hope Konami's announcement could revive classic games

Age of Darkness: Final Stand - Edwin Hero Spotlight - IGN

Destroy All Humans! 2: Reprobed Video Review - IGN

The First 13 Minutes of Destroy All Humans! 2 - Reprobed PS5 Gameplay - IGN

Destroy All Humans 2 - Reprobed

Team Liquid officially exits PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds eSports

‘The Ghost Lights’ VOD Review

Official PC system requirements for Hogwarts Legacy

Review Destroy all Humans! 2 – Reprobed

Aliens: Dark Descent is more than an XCOM clone - and feels surprisingly true to the movies

Destiny 2's New Craftable Taipan-4FR Linear Fusion Rifle Is A Must-Have, Here's How To Get It

Volunteer As A Subject In THE OUTLAST TRIALS Closed Beta