Challengers EMEA 2023: Vision and Format

Dec 14, 2022

Last year EMEA saw immense plays, great moments, and the rise of new regional talent, with FUT Esports taking the finals for Türkiye against the French representatives Team Vitality with an impressive reverse sweep. Now, a new year brings change as we bid farewell to the VALORANT Regional Leagues (VRLs) and introduce the Challengers circuit!

In August we shared some insight on what Challengers would look like in 2023, with teams joining one of over 20 leagues, providing a path for every VALORANT player to realize their competitive dreams. Up-and-coming talent is crucial for the long-term success of VALORANT esports, and we want to make sure these individuals have a platform to prove themselves. 

Today we’re happy to provide further information on how we shaped our decisions for 2023, the new format, and the kickoff dates. Read on to find out!

Our Vision

In 2023 we have a few key priorities. Firstly, we want to tell the stories of each region, embracing their flair, their unique styles of play, and their approach to the game. We understand that players feel particularly passionate about supporting teams and players from their own country and culture, and Challengers is one way in which we hope to fulfill this

Secondly, and closely related to the above - we hope to shine a light on more of the regions that make up EMEA, and with Italy and Portugal receiving individual leagues in 2023, we’ve now expanded the EMEA league count to 9. More leagues gives teams a larger space to express their individuality and bring in players from across EMEA to participate!

Finally, we want to provide the best platform possible for regional talent to become internationally recognised. The Ascension tournament, taking place in July and offering the best Challengers team a step up to the VCT, is just one example of how we hope to achieve this. The Challengers Leagues will also serve as a platform for players to show their worth, giving the VCT teams new names and a bigger pool of talent to keep an eye on.


The start dates for each EMEA Challengers Leagues are currently as follows:

  • Spain - January 8th
  • Eastern Europe - January 12th
  • DACH - January 14th
  • France - January 14th
  • Portugal - January 14th
  • Türkiye - January 14th
  • Northern Europe - January 16th
  • Italy - January 21st
  • MENA - January 28th

Don’t worry, we’ve avoided crossover with international events, with the first being the LOCK//IN tournament in São Paulo, Brazil - running from Monday, February 13th until Saturday, March 4th (more info available here).

Stage 1 playoffs will occur in all leagues in late February to early March, with all concluding by Sunday, March 12th. 

Stage 2 will then commence following the first week of the VCT split, with all leagues taking place on Saturday-Tuesday from Saturday, April 1st. Playoffs will occur from late May to early June, with all concluding by Sunday, June 11th.

The best teams for each regional league will then participate in the Ascension Tournament, which will begin in July, with the winner being crowned the best Challengers team of 2023, whilst also ascending to the international stage. The winner will earn a spot in the VCT EMEA League for two years to compete alongside the very best in VALORANT!

Social Channels

Listed below are the social channels for each region, make sure to follow them so you don’t miss the latest news and announcements!