After many months of deliberation, Riot Games finally revealed the full list of 30 teams that will join the new Valorant Champions Tour as partnered organizations in a blog post published Wednesday. See the full list at the bottom of this article.
"The process was incredibly competitive, and we were humbled by the interest and the overwhelming number of applications we've received," the company wrote in its announcement. "The selection spanned months, including a written application, in-depth interviews, and financial reviews."
The company said it had three main criteria for partnered organizations: that each organization put fans first, celebrate the game's diverse community, and are committed to supporting pros; that each organization make compelling content with a strong brand identity and exciting personalities on the team; and that each organization focus on long-term sustainability.
On the other hand, past competitive performance was not a central factor in Riot's decision.
Teams that ultimately fell short of partner status will still be able to compete in the VCT through the Challengers tournament series. Riot Games detailed the new system last month, which offers teams a chance to be promoting into the larger Champions circuit temporarily.
The 2023 season will begin with Challengers Split one in January, while the Champions circuit will start with a kickoff tournament in Sao Paulo, Brazil. That tournament will see three weeks of competition starting Feb. 14 and ending March 5.
The International League split will pick up March 26 and run until May 28, during which time Challengers split two will get underway. Masters 2023 will take place in June, followed by the Last Chance Qualifier in July. Also in July: Challenger teams will play out the Ascension Tournament that will determine who joins the Champions Tour for the 2024 season. Finally, Champions 2023 will close out the season in August.
VCT Partner Teams: Americas
"We were fortunate to have found such a strong group of teams who represent fans across North America, Brazil, and Latin America. These organizations have a proven track record of achieving success within esports and building brands with deeply loyal fan bases," Riot Games said.
- 100 Thieves
- Evil Geniuses
- Krü Esports
VCT Partner Teams: EMEA
"EMEA is vast and wide and has an incredible FPS pedigree," said Riot Games. "We wanted a balance of teams whose reach spans the whole territory and those who hyper serve the biggest national audiences."
- Team Liquid
- Team Vitality
- Karmine Corp
- Team Heretics
- FUT Esports
- BBL Esports
VCT Partner Teams: Pacific
"The mix of teams [in Pacific] was carefully chosen to ensure the vibrant mosaic of countries and regions within the Asia-Pacific was well-represented," Riot Games said.
- Zeta Divsion
- Detonation Gaming
- Team Secret
- Paper Rex
- Rex Regum Qeon
- Talon Esports
- Global Esports