Buriram United Esports won the Arena of Valor International Championship (AIC) 2021 on December 19th, lifting the tournament trophy and taking home the $400,000 grand prize in a hard-fought, best-of-seven battle.
The world champions were among 14 teams from eight regions vying for the title in a tournament that kicked off in late November. This year’s AIC was the fifth edition of the tournament and featured a prize pool of $1,000,000 – double that of the previous year. And it was conducted online so that fans could enjoy the eagerly anticipated Multiplayer Online Battle Arena esports competition in a safe and engaging manner.
The success of AIC 2021 has spurred organizers Level Infinite and publisher Garena to today announce comprehensive plans to enhance their Arena of Valor (AoV) esports efforts around the world in 2022. Starting next year, the global esports structure will focus on upscaling all layers of competition, from amateur/grassroots up to the pinnacle of pro competition at the AoV International Championship (AIC) and AoV World Cup (AWC).
“It has been rewarding to see the growing passion of the players, as well as the strong support from fans over the past year. We are excited to be scaling up the level of competition for AoV in 2022. More teams will be invited to join the pro leagues, while prize pools in selected regions will also be increased. We hope this encourages teams to push themselves to greater heights,” shared Justin Lye, Garena Global Esports Manager.
Pro leagues will commence in January until May, starting with the RoV Pro League (RPL) from end January, followed by Arena of Glory (AOG), Garena Challenger Series (GCS), and AoV Star League (ASL) taking place in February. Winners will advance to take their place at AIC 2022, with the pro leagues entering their second season from July to September, where teams will continue to battle for a spot at AWC 2022.
In 2022, Garena will further implement a new annual points system in several regions to aid local teams in charting their path to a spot at AWC 2022. The system will see teams accumulate points across the year to earn their way to the spot and placing the onus on teams to perform well consistently through the year.
“We can’t wait to embark together with all of you on this journey through the 2022 competitive season – it promises to be the greatest in all of Arena of Valor history. We hope you all enjoyed the AIC as much as we did, congratulations to the new champion Buriram United Esports – GGWP,” said Bernd Gottsmann, Lead of the Global Esports Center for Tencent Games Global.
Next year’s AoV International Championship is scheduled for June 2022, with even more teams from more regions joining the battle. As a demonstration of the organizers’ continued commitment to growing the esports scene, the prize pool will be doubled to an impressive USD$2,000,000.
The competitive schedule will be bookended by the AoV World Cup taking place in October, with 16 teams challenging for their share of a record-breaking USD$10,000,000 prize pool, the highest for any mobile esports event in the world. The top 16 locking horns for the title will each get a minimum of $250,000, and the eventual winner will win $3,500,000.
New regions such as Europe, North and South America, South Asia, the Middle East, and North Africa, will also be hosting city and campus tournaments, with regional and other semi-pro tournaments awaiting eager competitors. New regional leagues will also be part of the setup to allow more opportunities for players to shine.
Arena of Valor is available in 16 languages and 173 countries and regions. It has been among the top five in download charts in 18 countries and regions, and top 10 in grossing charts in 28 countries and regions. It’s the top mobile game in several Asian countries and regions, where mobile is the predominant platform, and has a penetration rate of 60% local population in those markets.