Riot Games stated that our ambitions were sky-high for the inaugural year of VALORANT Challengers EMEA, and going into 2024, none of this will change. A season of gripping head-to-head, intense rivalries and occasional upsets saw Gentle Mates emerge as the first winners of VALORANT Ascension EMEA and the first team promoted to VCT EMEA for the coming year.
The Challengers Leagues play a pivotal role in developing the next generation of EMEA talent by providing a competitive ecosystem for up-and-coming players to thrive, and we have every intention of keeping this momentum going in 2024.
Vision & Changes
Going into 2024, our goal is to maintain a high level of competitiveness and continue creating a space for development, ensuring every player is capable of realising their full potential.
One step we’re revisiting is how points are distributed throughout the season. Last year, a few teams were able to rely on a strong finish in Stage 2 to secure a place in VALORANT Ascension EMEA. However, this year, we’re adding more points to Stage 1 so that teams who perform consistently well across both stages are most rewarded. Each league is taking its own unique approach in how they choose to raise the stakes for Stage 1, but one thing that’s for certain is there will be less teams willing to give others a head start.
We’re also implementing a number of changes in EMEA that we previously shared to support the ecosystem better:
- Affiliate teams – Challengers teams can now become affiliated with VCT teams. This has no impact on their ability to participate in Ascension and/or ascend into VCT EMEA but our goal is for this to help build collaborative relationships that will be mutually beneficial.
- Player loans – Giving the best players a chance to perform on the biggest stage, we’re reworking player loans so that teams in the VCT are able to loan up to two players from Challengers Leagues (and more broadly from any league outside of the VCT International Leagues).
- Two-way players – A perk of a team adopting an affiliation relationship, the two-way player system enables VCT teams to give players play time in both the VCT and Challengers Leagues in order to support their development.
Challengers EMEA 2024: Key Dates and Format
Ahead of the 2024 Challengers EMEA season, we’re delighted to confirm that MistGames will become the new tournament organiser for Northern Europe: Polaris league, and we’ll be confirming its start date in the coming weeks. MistGames shares our long-term vision for VALORANT Esports in EMEA and we’re confident the team will produce a fantastic tournament for our players and fans in Northern Europe.
You can find all the remaining EMEA Challengers Leagues’ start dates below.
- VALORANT Challengers DACH: Evolution – 20th January
- VALORANT Challengers France: Revolution – 20th January
- VALORANT Challengers Spain: Rising – 15th January
- VALORANT Challengers Italy: Rinascimento – 27th January
- VALORANT Challengers Portugal: Tempest – 15th January
- VALORANT Challengers Northern Europe: Polaris – TBC
- VALORANT Challengers Eastern Europe: Surge – 15th January
- VALORANT Challengers MENA: Resilience – 17th February
- VALORANT Challengers Türkiye Birlik – 20th January
Stage 1 playoffs will occur in early March through to mid-April, with all leagues concluding by 20th March.
Stage 2 will immediately follow the conclusion of the VCT EMEA playoffs and commence from mid-May through to the end of July, with all leagues concluding by 27th July.
Qualifying for Ascension and the 2025 Season
Gentle Mates set the standard for Ascension last year and made clear what needs to be done to be in with a fighting chance of lifting the trophy when September comes around. The best-performing teams from each region will qualify for Ascension, where they’ll be battling it out to emerge victorious and win the coveted prize, a spot in VCT EMEA 2025!
Lastly, the 2025 Challengers EMEA season will kick off in the final quarter of 2024! We’ve restructured the Challengers format to give you more moments that will leave you hanging onto the edge of your seat.