Following astounding success in North America earlier this year, Riot Games is expanding its VALORANT Champions Tour (VCT) Game Changers programme to the EMEA region with three new tournaments set to take place over the next three months.
First announced back in February 2021, the VCT Game Changers programme aims to foster an inclusive environment for competition and create safe opportunities for women to compete without fear of identity or gender-based harassment. VCT Game Changers EMEA will supplement the competitive season in the region by creating new opportunities and exposure for women within VALORANT esports.
Kicking off later this month, the three incoming VCT Game Changers EMEA tournaments will take place across three key dates:
September 27 – October 3, 2021
October 25 – October 31, 2021
November 15 – November 21, 2021
Both events in September and October will be open qualifier tournaments, featuring up to 64 teams made up of women. However, the tournament in October will be a special “All-in” edition which will allow for co-ed teams, provided at least three team members are women. Entrants will then compete for a share of the €20,000 prize pool up for grabs per tournament. All contestants must also hold a rank of Platinum 1 at the time of registration, or during the preceding Act. The third and final tournament will take place in November, offering up a total prize pool of €50,000. Further information on this will be announced in due course.
“Right now, the esports industry is suffering from a severe lack of female representation at pro level. If we want to inspire more women to pursue their esports dreams, we need to take direct action to make these games more accessible, and create a level playing field for them to enter in years to come. We want VCT Game Changers EMEA to be that stepping stone for women, in the EU to show off their VALORANT skills and compete in a fair, safe environment but still within the ecosystem, said Vera Wienken, Brand Manager DACH for Riot Games and a leader of the VCT Game Changers EMEA initiative.
“We’re very excited to announce the expansion of VCT Game Changers to the EMEA region, and we’re proud of how this initiative has helped create a competitive ecosystem that is more representative of the diverse VALORANT community,” said Alexandra LePlante, Event Manager for Riot Games. “However, ultimately we would love to see enough diversity within the wider competitive VALORANT ecosystem in years to come, that we no longer need programmes like VCT Game Changers.”
VALORANT quickly established itself as a fan-favorite among the global first-person shooter community after launching its closed beta in April 2020. The game made history on its first day, breaking viewership records with 34 million hours-watched in a single day, and surpassing 1.7 million peak concurrent viewers, a peak concurrent record second only to Riot Games’ 2019 League of Legends World Championship Finals. Over the course of VALORANT’s two-month beta testing period, an average of nearly 3 million players logged on each day to play. Fans also demonstrated their enthusiasm for the shooter by watching more than 470 million hours of VALORANT closed beta streams on Twitch, the world’s leading service and community for multiplayer entertainment, and Korean video-streaming service AfreecaTV.
You can tune in to the action on Twitch and follow all the updates on the official VCT Europe twitter. During the semi-finals and finals of each event, you can join your favourite content creators as they host watch parties and enjoy the games with the community.