VALORANT Champions Tour 2021 guide: Schedule, results, moments

The VALORANT Champions Tour is Riot Games’ first official attempt at a global circuit for stoking competitive VALORANT. Spawned out of the early success of the First Strike events, the Champions Tour is a year-long circuit of regional competition culminating in a Champions event to crown the first world champion.

For all things VALORANT Champions Tour, including the circuit structure, participating teams, scheduling, notable moments and more, we’ve created a comprehensive guide to keep you informed.

VALORANT Champions Tour format

The VALORANT Champions Tour will begin with the Challenger series of events, regional tournaments with an open qualification system. There will be three sets of Challenger events with three weekends each. The open qualifiers will produce eight teams to compete each weekend. The top four teams from the first weekend will bypass the open qualifiers for the second weekend. The top four from the second weekend will advance to the Challenger Final while the bottom four bypass the third weekend’s qualifiers. Finally, the top four from the third weekend will also advance to the Challenger Final.

The Challenger Final determines which teams will represent their regions at one of just three Master events. Here’s the regional distribution of the 16 Masters teams:

  • Three teams from North America (Oceanic teams will have qualifications through NA)
  • Four teams from Europe (CIS, Turkey, and Middle East/North Africa teams will have qualifications through EU)
  • Two teams from Brazil
  • Two teams from Korea
  • Two teams from Japan
  • Two teams from Southeast Asia
  • One team from Latin America
Image via Riot Games

Teams that compete in the three Masters events will earn points toward qualifying to the world championship event, Champions. Additionally, the team that wins the final Masters event will qualify directly for Champions regardless of their points total. After that final Masters event, four Last Chance Qualifiers will produce the final four teams for Champions.

Here’s the regional distribution of Champions teams:

  • Three teams from North America: two via circuit points and one via Last Chance Qualifier (Oceanic teams will have qualifications through NA)
  • Three teams from Europe: two via circuit points and one via Last Chance Qualifier (CIS, Turkey, and Middle East/North Africa teams will have qualifications through EU)
  • Two teams from Brazil via circuit points
  • One team from Latin America via circuit points
  • One team from Japan via circuit points
  • Two teams from Southeast Asia via circuit points
  • One team from Korea via circuit points
  • One team from Brazil-Latin America Last Chance Qualifier
  • One team from Japan-Southeast Asia-Korea Last Chance Qualifier
  • The winner of the Masters 3 event

While the esports team at Riot hasn’t given any specific details on the tournament format for specific events, it refers to the Champions event as its own “version of [League of Legends] Worlds.” Will it proceed with a double-round robin group stage or will it go with a format that allows for more best-of-threes? We’ll update this section when that information becomes available.

VALORANT Champions Tour schedule

The full schedule for the entire VALORANT Champions Tour is still tentative, but we do know that the first three Challengers events will take place between January and March, with the first Masters event taking place later in March.

The first two Challengers stages for each region are complete, with only Challengers 3 and Masters remaining for phase one. The third and final Challengers event for North America will take place from March 4 to 7, with the Masters being held on March 11 to 21. The final European Challengers event will take place on March 6 to 7, with Masters going from March 12 to 21. The dates for the other regions are as follows:

  • Brazil
    • Challengers 3: Feb. 27 to March 6
    • Masters: March 19 to 21
  • Japan
    • Challengers 3: March 6 to 7
    • Masters: March 13 to 21
  • Korea
    • Challengers 3: March 4 to 7
    • Masters: March TBD
  • CIS
    • Challengers 3: March 6 to 7
    • Masters: March 12 to 21
  • Turkey
    • Challengers 3: March 6 to 7
    • Masters: March 12 to 21
  • Latin America
  • Southeast Asia

At the conclusion of all the regional Masters events, phase one will officially end, thus will begin phase two. At the end of the regional Challengers events of phase two, teams will qualify for one sole international Masters event.

Image via Riot Games.

This event is scheduled to take place from May 24 to 30 in Reykjavík, Iceland after the conclusion of the League of Legends Mid-Season Invitational.

VALORANT Champions Tour results

North American Challengers 2

The open qualifier bracket for NA Challengers 2 concluded on Feb. 14, with four teams qualifying for the upcoming main event. 100 Thieves, FaZe Clan, Gen.G Esports, and Team Envy all advanced through to the open qualifier.

These four teams joined Sentinels, Immortals, Luminosity Gaming, and XSET in the Challengers 2 main event. The main event had been delayed to a Feb. 20 start date due to the winter storms affecting Texas, where several players live.

When the action finally started on Feb. 20, Immortals and Team Envy qualified for the first NA Masters via the winner’s bracket. Sentinels and XSET Gaming also qualified via the lower bracket. Envy and Sentinels both advanced to the grand finals, where Envy swept Sentinels in dominant fashion to take first place.

European Challengers 2

Eight teams fought in the second European Challengers open qualifier, with four spots at the closed qualifier on the line. Similarly to the first Challengers qualifier, the field features several unsigned and smaller org teams.

Alliance, G2, Fnatic, and Team Heretics qualified to join Ninjas in Pyjamas, OG (ex-Monkey Business), Wave Esports, and FunPlus Phoenix in the closed qualifier.

At the main event, Alliance, Ninjas in Pyjamas, FPX, and Heretics all won their series to be the first to qualify for EU Masters 1. The other four teams will advance directly to the EU Challengers 3 main event.

North American Challengers 1

The open qualifier bracket for the first NA Challengers event of the VALORANT Champions Tour concluded on Jan. 31. Immortals defeated Team Envy to earn the first seed at Challengers, which began on Feb. 4.

Immortals and Envy were joined by NRG, Sentinels, Gen.G Esports, Luminosity, XSET, and Andbox. Several teams that participated in First Strike, including T1, FaZe Clan, Renegades, and grand finalists TSM and 100 Thieves, failed to qualify.

In the grand finals of NA Challengers 1, Sentinels stomped Immortals 3-1 to take home first place. Sentinels and Immortals will join Luminosity Gaming and XSET as direct invites to Challengers 2.

European Challengers 1

The first European Challengers event concluded with a handful of surprise teams directly qualifying for the second Challengers event. Ninjas in Pyjamas, Monkey Business, Wave Esports, and FunPlus Phoenix all advanced directly to Challengers 2.

Ninjas in Pyjamas upset G2 Esports in the closed single-elimination bracket to book their ticket to Challengers 2. The unsigned roster Monkey Business shocked Guild Esports 2-0. Wave Esports defeated the recently-signed Fnatic roster. Finally, a back-and-forth series between FunPlus Phoenix and Team Liquid went the way of FPX.

Other regions

  • Brazil
    • Challengers 1 winners: FURIA, Team Vikings, SLICK, and Imperial Esports directly qualified for Challengers 2.
    • Challengers 2 winners: Gamelanders, Vorax, FURIA, and Team Vikings qualified for Masters.
  • Japan
    • Challengers 1 winners: REJECT, Absolute Jupiter, FIRST Gaming, and FAV gaming directly qualified for Challengers 2.
    • Challengers 2 winners: Absolute Jupiter, Crazy Raccoon, FIRST Gaming, and FAV gaming qualified for Masters.
  • Korea
    • Challengers 1 winners: DAMWON Gaming, Vision Strikers, World Game Star, and BearClaw Gaming directly qualified for Challengers 2.
    • Challengers 2 winners: Vision Strikers, Team MUYAHO, Nuturn Gaming, and APE Prince qualified for Masters.
  • CIS
    • Challengers 1 winners: One Breath Gaming, Gambit Esports, CrowCrowd, and Team Singularity directly qualified for Challengers 2.
    • Challengers 2 winners: One Breath Gaming, Gambit Esports, CrowCrowd, and Divinity qualified for Masters.
  • Turkey
    • Challengers 1 winners: Cyber Skull, BBL, Futbolist, and Oxygen directly qualified for Challengers 2.
    • Challengers 2 winners: No Org Found, BBL, OtherSide, and Oxygen qualified for Masters.
  • Latin America North
    • Challengers 1 winners: LazerKlan, LDM Esports, Infinity Esports, and Pro Hub Gaming directly qualified for Challengers 2.
    • Challengers 2 winners: LazerKlan, LDM Esports, Infinity Esports, and Buscando Org qualified for Masters.
  • Latin America South
    • Challengers 1 winners: Wygers Argentina, KRÜ Esports, Furious Gaming, and 9z Team directly qualified for Challengers 2.
    • Challengers 2 winners: Australs, Wygers Argentina, KRÜ Esports, and Furious Gaming qualified for Masters.

VALORANT Champions Tour teams to watch

The beauty of the open qualifier system is that virtually any team, whether they’re a familiar face or a complete unknown, has a chance to make it as far as the wins can carry them. That being said, there are a number of dangerous teams that have been on fire as of late and would consider anything less than contention at Champions as a disappointment.

With Challengers 2 complete, the field of teams to contend with in the Challengers 3 qualifier and main event has been shortened by four. In North America, 100 Thieves, Luminosity, FaZe Clan, and Gen.G wait in the Challengers 3 main event for four more teams from the open qualifier. Those teams are Team SoloMid, NRG, T1, and the unsigned roster DuhHoonkaBonKuhloos (DHBK).

In Europe, G2 Esports again stumbled at the finish line for the second straight Challengers 2 event. They will have one final chance to qualify for Masters 1, as they join Fnatic, Wave Esports, and OG as direct invites to the Challengers 3 main event. A plethora of talented teams will look to join them from the open qualifier, including Guild Esports, Team Vitality and Team Liquid.

To the surprise of absolutely no one, Vision Strikers went undefeated in first Challengers event of Korea, earning a spot at Challengers Two. Other teams like TNL Esports and NUTURN should have little difficulty qualifying for Challengers Two, but at this point it looks like no one’s coming close to knocking the Vision Strikers off their throne.

Once the Champions Tour gets underway and more Challengers events are completed, we will add a regional standings that we’ll consistently update.

VALORANT Champions Tour roster change tracker

We’ll be tracking the major roster changes before and throughout the VALORANT Champions Tour. Our tracker begins at the start of December when First Strike ended.

February 2021

  • Feb. 28: 100 Thieves signs Ethan from Evil Geniuses CS:GO, moves Dicey to the inactive roster.
  • Feb. 26: Alliance releases krea6on.
    • Giants Gaming adds Fit1nho, moves Happy to the bench.
  • Feb. 25: Team Liquid signs Jamppi.
    • Dignitas adds rara and ryann after a successful trial.
  • Feb. 24: Luminosity officially signs moose and YaBoiDre.
    • Liquid moves ec1s to inactive roster.
    • T1 signs curry.
  • Feb. 20: NRG signs ANDROID.
  • Feb. 18: Andbox signs Rebo from disbanded Moon Raccoons roster.
  • Feb. 16: Complexity releases Xp3 and ends sharky’s trial.
  • Feb. 15: OG signs Monkey Business roster.
  • Feb. 11: Andbox benches POACH.
  • Feb. 9: Version1 signs PLAYER1, effys, penny, Zellsis, and vanity.
  • Feb. 8: T1 parts ways with brax and AZK.
  • Feb. 4: Cloud9 Blue signs poiz as sixth-man.
  • Feb. 4: Team Vitality signs FrenzyGoKill roster of bramz, M4CHINA, vakk, ceNder, feqew, and coach fragon.
  • Feb. 3: Fnatic signs SUMN FC stack of Boaster, Doma, Mistic, Moe40, tsack, and coach mini.

January 2021

  • Jan. 30: Alliance finalizes full VALORANT roster. kAdavraa, Hype, luckeRRR, and krea6on join the already signed Fearoth. MitchMan joins as an analyst.
  • Jan. 28: Alliance announces first addition to roster in captain Fearoth.
  • Jan. 27: Evil Geniuses announces first mixed roster of potter, Clawdia, aleksandar, Temperature, and Osias.
    • Equinox Esports signs tex to starting roster
    • Rise Nation signs Neptune and poised
  • Jan 26: Cloud9 Blue adds xeta and coach Autumn to finalize the roster.
  • Jan. 25: FURIA finalizes VALORANT roster: Nozwerr, Khalil, Txddy1, xand, qck, coach Carlão.
    • Team Heretics adds RUBINO as sixth-man.
  • Jan. 21: Cloud9 Blue acquires ex-CS:GO pro leaf.
    • Gen.G adds koosta from its inactive CS:GO roster.
  • Jan. 20: Guild Esports adds Sayf and coach BARBARR.
    • Immortals adds Kehmicals and NaturE
  • Jan. 18: G2 Esports adds Zeek.
  • Jan. 16: Giants Gaming signs Orgless core of Happy, Boo, pipsoN, and hoody, as well as Meddo (former FPX). They also bench Fit1nho and donQ.
  • Jan. 14: XSET signs BcJ.
  • Jan. 13: XSET releases Brando.
  • Jan. 12: TenZ steps down from Cloud9’s active roster.
  • Jan. 9: NRG Esports releases KOLER.
  • Jan. 4: Immortals release jmoh and neptune.
    • FunPlus Phoenix signs dimasick.

December 2020

  • Dec. 26: Gen.G Esports benches PLAYER1.
  • Dec. 22: Ninjas in Pyjamas signs Ex6TenZ.
  • Dec. 18: G2 Esports benches davidp.
  • Dec. 17: Ninjas in Pyjamas signs Jady, extend CREA and rhyme’s contracts, and part ways with Sayf and luckeRRR.
  • Dec. 12: Equinox Esports releases Dcop.
  • Dec. 11: Cloud9 Blue parts ways with shinobi.
  • Dec. 8: FunPlus Phoenix releases Meddo.

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