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Valorant Challengers Southeast Asia Announced; Is This Good Or Bad?

Big news for Valorant players and fans in Asia and Southeast Asia: the Valorant Challengers 2024 APAC scene will be going through a big number of changes.

Riot Games will be introducing Valorant Challengers Southeast Asia 2024 which will lump the following countries under this official SEA league:

  • Indonesia
  • Malaysia/Singapore
  • The Philippines
  • Thailand
  • Vietnam
  • Taiwan/Hong Kong

The circuit will be matching Valorant’s Challengers leagues to their respective Premier Zones, which means bringing SEA markets together into one league. In total, the APAC region will have 5 Challengers leagues starting later this year. Valorant Challengers Southeast Asia will start from September 2024 onward.

“Our hope is that by narrowing our focus and operating more efficiently, we can improve the overall quality of the tournament for teams and fans across the region.

For teams currently competing in affected markets, qualification to Challengers SEA will be based on results from Split 2 of this year. Winning teams will be seeded into the Challengers SEA format alongside top Premier teams. Top ranking teams have a chance for direct slots, while remaining Challengers Split 2 participants will be placed into the Invite tier of Premier to fight for a second chance at qualifying. “

Here are a few more words about the merging of the APAC region league according to Riot Games head of APAC Jake Sin:

After Ascension this year, we’re consolidating 6 Challenger leagues in the SEA region into 1 premier league that will have higher quality of competition with international matchups and better viewing experience for fans. I know how it can seem on the surface and understand the frustration with the sunsetting of the existing leagues, but I want to stress that consolidation does not equal downsizing or downgrading. For Tier 2 to thrive, we need it to be a sustainable platform to invest in for our teams and tournament organizers. Most Challenger leagues are still struggling with viewership, leading to difficulty with commercialization.

The pie simply hasn’t grown big enough to feed all of our teams and TOs investing in the ecosystem. The carrot of Ascension (let alone winning it) is not attainable for the large majority of Tier 2 teams, which is why it’s important to create a system that is sustainable for teams and players who stay in Challengers. By consolidating our Tier 1 leagues in APAC into VCT Pacific in 2023, we’ve created a world-class league with industry-leading production, exciting international matchups, and a robust lineup of content, which led to a rapid growth in viewership and fandom.

Most importantly, we have raised the level of competition immensely, as proven by our 2nd/3rd place finishes in Madrid and championship in Shanghai. APAC is not an underdog any more; only two years ago we were labeled a “minor region.”

Here’s the current Valorant Challengers Split 3 2024 APAC calendar:

Challengers Southeast Asia

Dates*: October – December 2024

Total Teams: 16 total

  • 12 teams from Challengers Southeast Asia leagues (Indonesia, Malaysia/Singapore, Philippines, Thailand, Vietnam and Taiwan/Hong Kong)
    • The top 2 teams from each Southeast Asian league currently active for Summer Split will qualify for Split 3.
  • 4 teams from Premier Episode 9
    • 1 team from Act 1
    • 3 teams from Act 2

Challengers Japan

Dates*: October – December 2024

Total Teams: 16 total

  • 4 teams from Challengers Japan Split 2
  • 12 teams from Premier
    • 4 teams from Episode 8 Act 3
    • 4 teams from Episode 9 Act 1
    • 4 teams from Episode 9 Act 2

Challengers Korea

Dates*: October – November, 2024

Total Teams: 16 total

  • 8 teams from Challengers Korea Split 2
  • 8 teams from Premier Episode 9
    • 4 teams from Act 1
    • 4 teams from Act 2

Challengers South Asia

Dates*: September – October, 2024

Total Teams: 14 total

  • 8 teams from Challengers South Asia Split 2
  • 2 teams from Premier Episode 9
    • 1 from Act 1
    • 1 from Act 2
  • 4 teams from Open Qualifier

Challengers Oceania

Dates*: October – November 2024

Total Teams: 16 total

  • 8 teams from Challengers Oceania Split 2
  • 8 teams from Premier Episode 9
  • 4 from Act 1
  • 4 from Act 2

Is This Good Or Bad?

The current sentiment about this change -lumping all of SEA into one major series- might be good for views and presentation (meaning more organizations sponsoring), but this is the death of locals in the many SEA regions. This is especially painful for the Indonesian and Thailand scene which has seen loads of top competition and play in Valorant, to the point that the country’s respective locals are pretty top tier.

Needless to say, most fans and advocates of Valorant and the SEA scene are not pleased with this.

 

 

 

 

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