In 2022, we aspire to make VALORANT the biggest FPS esports in the world – and it’s clear from the performances we’ve seen so far that EMEA is emerging as a true powerhouse region.
Following a phenomenal opening year, 2022 will see a number of significant, exciting changes made to VALORANT esports within EMEA.
By developing a new, multi-layered ecosystem, we can give opportunities to all players; from amateur and aspiring pro gamers participating in the newly created VALORANT Regional Leagues and VALORANT Regional Circuits, to the new wave of women taking VALORANT esports to the next level through our Game Changers programme; to the world’s truly elite VALORANT stars through the VALORANT Champions Tour.
Most importantly, the expansion of the EMEA ecosystem will also benefit our loyal fans, giving them more opportunities to support their country, local team or favourite player and witness the best in the region battle it out for glory.
VALORANT CHAMPIONS TOUR
The VALORANT Champions Tour is the pinnacle of FPS esports in EMEA and our 2021 season produced some incredible and memorable moments for teams and fans alike, especially from our top four EMEA teams (Acend, Gambit, Fnatic, Team Liquid) who fought hard to make it to the first ever VCT Champions competition! In 2022, the EMEA VCT structure will be adapted to suit the whole region, allowing all the localised territories in the wider EMEA umbrella to grow and maintain a healthy level of competition.
The four EMEA teams that participated in VALORANT Champions 2021 will be invited back to VCT Stage 1 in 2022. A further eight spots will be up for grabs through two open and closed qualifiers in each territory; four spots in EU, two from Turkey and two from CIS. Teams from MENA will be able to compete in any of these qualifiers.
Teams will be able to qualify to VCT Stage 2 through the VCT promotion tournament; where the winners of the eight VRLs (more on these below) in Stage 1 will compete to face off against the bottom two VCT teams, with two VCT spots on the line.
We will have more information on the overall format for VCT soon, so expect to hear more from us in early 2022.
Get ready to cheer on some of the most elite competitors VALORANT esports has to offer, as they compete not just for the title of the best in EMEA, but for global supremacy.
One of the new, exciting layers of the ecosystem we will be introducing to the VALORANT esports EMEA is the VALORANT Regional Leagues (VRLs).
The VRLs will become the peak of regional VALORANT esports, providing a highly competitive platform for talent development with a distinctly national flair.
In 2022, we will be launching eight new EMEA VRLs in:
- Spain (Players from Portugal and Italy are also eligible to compete in this league) operated by LVP
- France (Players within Benelux are also eligible to compete in this league) operated by Freaks 4U Gaming
- UK, Ireland & Nordics operated by Promod Esports
- Poland + EE (Players from Israel are also eligible to compete in this league) operated by FRENZY
- CIS operated by GIG Me
- MENA operated by Calyx Gaming
- Turkey operated by ESA Esports
- DACH operated by Freaks 4U Gaming
Each league will be operated by our partner organisers and will run for two stages across the year, with a regular season and playoffs crowning a champion in each league. A certain number of the participating teams will be decided through VRL open qualifiers, at least once per season. At the end of stage one, the winner of each VRL will qualify for the VCT Promotion Tournament. In stage 2, each VRL winner will then qualify for the VRL EMEA finals.
Note: The number of VRL qualifiers and available spots may vary based on the results of the aforementioned VCT promotion tournament
The new VRLs will provide highly-skilled players with deeply satisfying competitive experiences, as well as giving them the rare opportunity to improve their skills in a structured ecosystem that fosters healthy, top-level competition.
On top of this, VRLs offer keen VALORANT fans the chance to celebrate and cheer on their national teams as they go head-to-head with the rest of EMEA.
The 2022 VRL season will kick-off with qualifiers on January 24, with the first split beginning the week of February 14.
Stay tuned and get ready to show your regional pride as teams battle it out to become their national champions!
GAME CHANGERS EMEA
After an incredible year for the Game Changers initiative across the globe, our teams have proven they are #HERETOSLAY, – and now it’s time to show that VCT Game Changers EMEA is here to stay!
We’re planning three exciting VCT Game Changers EMEA series in 2022, kicking-off in January with the remaining two taking place in May and September. Teams who succeed in these events will qualify for a place in the Global Game Changers event planned for November.
We’re also introducing the Game Changers EMEA Academy, a place for new teams and friends to compete in a safe space in up to six tournaments throughout the year. We’re excited to see brand new faces bring the fire to our Game Changers tournaments, be bold and stake your claim!
Game Changers is an important platform for our women players – the start of their path to pro. So, to encourage these teams to aim higher than ever before, the VCT Game Changers EMEA 2022 circuit will run parallel to the series within the wider EMEA ecosystem avoiding any overlaps where possible, allowing our teams to compete in both the Game Changers tournaments alongside the VRL’s and VCT open qualifiers.
To our Game Changers community – this is your time. Your platform. The world is listening. Bring the fire.
From 2022 onwards, we want to make sure we’re helping to develop and promote grassroots VALORANT talent across the region. With this goal in mind, we’ll be starting to roll out a series of new competitions specifically for these players called VALORANT Regional Circuits (VRCs).
We hope that these circuits will help elevate EMEA’s thriving amateur competitive ecosystem to new heights. They’ll provide players of all skill levels with a chance to experience the thrill of organised competition and prove themselves against other competitors in their region.
The typical circuit will give local players the opportunity to compete in individual competitions throughout the season, and earn circuit points for their team. At the end of the season, the teams with the most points will then battle it out in an effort to become the circuit champions.
Over the course of next year, players will see these Regional Circuits popping up across EMEA, with the hope that, in time, players all over EMEA will have a VRC to compete in.
BROADCASTING AND VIEWERSHIP
In 2022 we are significantly ramping up the number of VALORANT Esports competitions being broadcast in the EMEA region. Fans will be able to tune in and watch a huge number of VALORANT Esports competitions, including:
- VCT Qualifiers
- VCT Regular Season Stages 1 and 2
- VCT Masters Stages 1 and 2
- VCT Promotion Tournament
- The EMEA Last Chance Qualifier
- VCT Champions 2022
- Three EMEA Game Changers Tournaments
- All eight VALORANT Regional Leagues
- The VRL Finals
As an absolute minimum, we will be broadcasting all VCT events in eight languages: English, French, German, Spanish, Russian, Turkish, and Polish, Arabic. We will continue to update the community on any other languages we’ll be broadcasting in closer to the time of the event.
As we continue to work hard to further grow this burgeoning esport and reach a wider audience, we hope this new format will give certainty to fans and players alike as to how VALORANT esports in EMEA will look across the year. We truly believe that through this new ecosystem, we can build deeper engagement between teams and players, discover the future of VALORANT talent, and build up a lifelong fanbase.
IESF puts out call for nominations for IESF Athletes’ Committee
For five years Mind Sports South Africa (MSSA) had one of its athletes on IESF’s Athletes’ Commission.
With the IESF launching its Athletes’ Commission in the Hilton Hotel in Shangai in 2016, the Athlestes’ Commission was instrumental in ensuring the rights and interests of athletes were always tacken into account at IESF’s Board.
The first chairman of the Athletes’ Commission, as elected in 2016, was none other than Koen Schobbers. At the same election, Jason Batzofin, who was a learner at St John’s College, was elected on the committee and served with distinction.
In 2019 Jason Batzofin was elected as chairman and continued to serve with distinction until, due to unforseen circumstances, felt the need to resign. Upon Jason’s resignation, Tiffini Lim was appointed as Chairlady by IESF’s Board.
To stand for this important committee, National Federation’s Athletes Representative shall satisfy at least two of the points below:
a) Shall have experience as an esports athlete;
b) Shall have experience in esports;
c) Have worked with their National Federation in the past three (3) years;
d) Have represented their Member nation at an IESF-accredited event
It must be noted that no nation may have more than one representative in the Athletes Committee.
• Registration Opens: 27 November 2022
• Registration Closes: 6 December 2022 (15:00 Bali Time)
• Voting Begins: 7 December 2022 (15:00 Bali Time)
• Voting Closes: 10 December 2022 (15:00 Bali Time)
Challengermode launches in-game tournaments with The Battle of Polytopia, ushering in a new era for esports & competitive gaming
Global esports platform Challengermode has signed an exclusive 5 year deal with developers of turn-based civilization strategy game The Battle of Polytopia, Midjiwan, to development of the game’s competitive esports scene.
This partnership is a huge step forward in Challengermode’s mission to directly support game developers in realizing their games’ esports ambitions, proving just how easy it is for players to make the jump from casual multiplayer to grassroots competitive gaming – and for 3rd party esports organizers to host easily accessible competitions in-game.
Challengermode will provide Midjiwan with its esports expertise and automated tournament technology to guide the development of The Battle of Polytopia for competitive audiences worldwide across Steam, iOS and Android. Players will be able to browse, play and see the results of tournaments from within the Polytopia game app itself without having to leave the game client or use any external 3rd party esports mechanisms. The aim is to create a robust esports community for The Battle of Polytopia where grassroots players can compete seamlessly in an organized setting for real prizes.
Robel Efrem, CEO and founder of Challengermode said: “We couldn’t be more excited to be helping Midjiwan expand the competitive gaming side of The Battle of Polytopia. I’ve been a big fan of the game for years, so having the opportunity to assist with the creation of its nascent esports scene is a dream come true. It’s also an excellent opportunity for Challengermode to demonstrate benefits of game developers working directly with companies in the esports space to rapidly scale up their own competitive gaming operations, making their games better integrated and more accessible to esports hopefuls of all levels. With the sustained growth of the grassroots esports sector, we fully expect more game developers to add competitive modes such as tournaments, leagues and ladders alongside their classic multiplayer modes in the near future.”
Integrating with the Challengermode Game Integration API opens up possibilities for Midjiwan to develop other valuable additions for the competitive community in Polytopia, including “Live Games” – a play clock game mode where players have a bit more than 1 minute from the start of their turn to make their moves. Players will also be able to access replays of matches, meaning all multiplayer games they complete can be saved, rewatched and shared as much as they like.
Christian Lovstedt, General Manager at Midjiwan, adds that: “Challengermode’s dedication at the grassroots level esports players made them the perfect partner to work with in building out our competitive gaming scene for The Battle for Polytopia. As a developer, it was important to us to integrate the esports aspects of Polytopia with the main game itself, removing the barrier that usually exists between casual multiplayer and the competitive play that players can enjoy at a more professional level. We welcome Challengermode’s esports expertise in bringing the competitive side of The Battle for Polytopia to a wider audience than ever before, and look forward to working closely with them in this endeavour.”
SIS awarded ESIC Gold Standards accreditation for Competitive Gaming offering
Endorsement marks out supplier as only esports betting events provider to officially meet new integrity measures
SIS (Sports Information Services), the leading multi-channel supplier of 24/7 live betting services, has been awarded the Esports Integrity Commission’s (ESIC) Gold Standards, the highest possible accreditation from the industry association.
The award sees SIS become the first esports betting events supplier to meet ESIC’s stringent new criteria, created to set unmatched levels of integrity and safety in the esports betting industry, for its Competitive Gaming portfolio (Esoccer, Ebasketball and CS:GO).
The purpose of the ESIC Gold Standard is to build on its existing principles by setting out a list of standards for tournament organisers, ensuring that events are run to the highest level of integrity and safety for the benefit of all stakeholders.
With stringent integrity measures in place, SIS Competitive Gaming follows best practice outlined by ESIC in addition to strict operational measures in place to ensure that each event is fair.
Each SIS Competitive Gaming head-to-head match, all of which take place from within SIS’ UK-based self-contained studios, is streamed live with experienced casters providing live in-game commentary. The streams take place through a secure platform that is exclusive to licensed operator sites where the age of the audience has been verified and is not available on open streaming services, meaning there is less danger of toxic messaging of the sort that is often carried on unlicensed sites.
All events are overseen by a dedicated ESIC-trained integrity referee and have a real-time link to SIS’ expert trading team, which closely monitors betting activity. Rigorous gamer competitiveness and predictability tracking measures are in place, through supremacy and volatility reporting, with all events taking place in a jurisdiction with well-respected legal and employment rights.
The new ESIC Gold Standards have been created to elevate transparency and impartiality, and required SIS to meet a number of rigorous requirements across the board, including:
- No communication devices allowed anywhere in the gaming studios
- Minimum of three employed personnel (independent from gamers) watching every event
- Controlled fixed game settings to ensure fair and competitive play
- Employees are fully background checked for criminal records, with references taken
- Ensure all gamers are of sufficient skills and expertise to compete against other pro gamers.
- ESIC anti-corruption code to be signed by all staff and gamers
SIS continues to work with ESIC to evolve the Gold Standards to improve Integrity and the visibility of clear tangible rules and standards by which tournament organisers should run events.
Adam Conway, Head of Esports & Competitive Gaming at SIS, said: “We are extremely proud to have received this new accreditation, which shines a light on the very high integrity and safety standards we have always put at the core of our Competitive Gaming offering.
“Our operator partners and their customers appreciate our high levels of integrity, such as visible referees invigilating every game, making us the only esports betting events supplier to do so.”
Ian Smith, Commissioner at Esports Integrity Commission, said: “ESIC’s new Gold Standards set heightened levels of integrity and safety in the Esports industry for the benefit of all stakeholders, and through ongoing assessment of SIS’ Competitive Gaming operations, which meet all the key integrity requirements, we are delighted to award SIS with ESIC’s Gold Standards, our highest possible accreditation”.
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