Valorant Champions will take place in Berlin in December 2021, Riot Games announced Friday.
The in-person event will invite sixteen representatives, 12 who will qualify through their performance during the regular season and four through the Last Chance Qualifiers taking place in October, in an end-of-year competition where the winner is convincingly given the title of the best Valorant team in the world.
Thus far, North America's Sentinels and Latin America's KRÜ Esports have already qualified for the event early after dominating regional play.
Valorant's first-ever world championship and LAN tournament on American soil was originally expected to take place in Los Angeles, both with reports from Upcomer and with Riot teasing the California location in their Year One Anthem celebration video.
However, it appears Riot has had to back track on their plans, just as in League of Legends, due to health concerns surrounding the ongoing pandemic.
"While our initial intention was to host each of our international events in a different region," Riot said in a blog post, "as COVID-19 related complications began to increase, we had to re-evaluate our plans. Our goals focused on finding and securing locations that would allow the greatest likelihood for qualified teams to attend. Currently, European travel policies are the most favorable for bringing players from the participating VCT regions and present us with the best pathway to produce a Champions where all qualified teams can attend. Our priorities are to create a safe and globally inclusive event that fans all over the world will enjoy."
The news comes with unfortunate timing as it was announced the same morning that Bren Esports, the No. 1 seed from the Southeast Asia (SEA) region representing the Philippines, was ruled out of VCT Stage 3: Masters Berlin due to visa issues.
Without a live audience, Masters Berlin is set to kick off LAN competition on Friday, Sept. 10, at the Verti Music Hall in Berlin, Germany.