Riot Games Announces VCT Challengers Asia Pacific, Ending Southeast Asia Regional Series

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The 2024 Valorant Championship Tour is poised to deliver some of the most surprising twists yet. Shortly after the VCT 2025 roadmap update, Riot Games shared that there will be a major overhaul of the Challengers circuit, a B-tier competitive scheme, for the Southeast Asia region.

Valorant esports introduced the ‘Challengers Asia Pacific,’ merging six sub-regions into one entity. Matches will now be hosted on Singapore or Hong Kong servers. This transformation brings Indonesia, Malaysia/Singapore, the Philippines, Thailand, Vietnam, and Taiwan/Hong Kong together under this new circuit.

Starting with the new Split 3 tournament series later this year, these teams will vie for qualification into Split 1 of Challengers next year.

In total, the APAC region will see five Challenger leagues commencing later this year, with Valorant Challengers Southeast Asia kicking off in September 2024. Jake Sin, Head of Valorant Esports APAC, explained that this move aims to foster a sustainable Valorant esports ecosystem.

“After Ascension this year, we’re consolidating six Challenger leagues in the SEA region into one premier league to enhance competition quality with international matchups and a superior viewing experience for fans. While it might seem like a setback with the sunsetting of the existing leagues, I want to emphasize that consolidation doesn’t mean downsizing or downgrading.”

Sin further explained that winning teams will be seeded into the Challengers SEA format alongside top Premier teams. The highest-ranking teams will secure direct slots, while remaining Challengers Split 2 participants will be placed into the Invite tier of Premier for another shot at qualifying.

“But with fewer leagues, does this mean a lot of teams and players will lose their opportunities to grind through regional competitions? Actually, that’s where Premier comes in. With the continued improvements to Premier and the better alignment between Premier and Challengers, we are confident that it will become a fantastic platform for the next generation of talent to hone their skills until they are ready to take the next step.” he said.

Despite the promising outlook, some long-time SEA fans and analysts worry about potential long-term impacts on the established Valorant scene. There’s concern that one of the six regions might miss out on sending teams to the main event of Challengers Southeast Asia due to weaker relative performance, such as Singapore and Indonesia compared to Myanmar and Vietnam.

Additionally, there’s a concern that this change might end the much-anticipated LAN events traditionally held in each participating country. A decline in hype means community interest could diminish over time, leading to less exposure for potential teams and players.

The Challengers Southeast Asia Split 3 will be the first real test of this new system, offering a glimpse into the intensified competition we can expect next year. Here’s hoping these changes bring a positive change to SEA Valorant in the future.

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