The Riot Scholastic Association of America (RSAA) has announced the formation of the College VALORANT Season (CVAL).

The Riot Scholastic Association of America (RSAA) has announced the formation of the College VALORANT Season (CVAL). In a continued effort to grow the esports ecosystem around VALORANT, Riot has committed to developing a younger player base by investing in North American collegiate players and giving them a pathway into professional play.

Bullet points from the RSAA:

  • College VALORANT (“CVAL”) will be open to school-based teams at all accredited colleges and universities in the United States and Canada
  • Three open regional tournaments will be held during the fall, winter, and spring
  • Tournament winners and overall top performers from each region will be invited to the 32-school, cross-region College VALORANT Championship, concluding with a LAN finals event.
  • Riot will award scholarship prizes at all thee season tournaments, as well as the Championship
Photo via CU oulder twitter

In the press release, it states that any school-based team from an accredited university will be eligible to play in both the United States and Canada. The season will consist of three seasons (fall, winter, and spring) headlined by a 32-school College VALORANT Championship with a LAN event finals. 

“The RSAA is committed to fostering the development of gaming as a meaningful and complementary part of the college experience.”

As of now, Riot has no intention of combining the collegiate league with the professional ecosystem directly, but does conclude that the exposure will open them up to scouts looking for younger, unknown talent. 

Similar entry requirements carried over from the League of Legends side will stay in the College VALORANT season. The first is the student eligibility requirements which makes attending as a full-time or as a part-time student that was formerly a full-time necessary. Prospective players must be currently enrolled in a two-year degree program.

Format

Graphic via the RSAA website

As for the format, the league will be broken down into four regions: North, East, South, and West. The relative distance to Riot’s VALORANT servers will decide which region teams will compete in. Each region will be capped at 128-teams in total. Teams have the ability to choose which region they will compete in, but only then have the option to earn points in that region. 

In phase one, teams will be placed into a group of four schools and play a round-robin. The regions will have 32 groups in total. The winner of the round-robin group format moves on to phase 2 where they will play in a 32-team single-elimination bracket. The top eight teams remaining in phase two will play a double elimination bracket to crown the region champion. 

The two remaining teams from those regions will move on to the College Championship. Two teams from each region for all three seasons will qualify meaning 24 teams in total. A point system based on placements will decide the final qualifying eight teams. Again, the top two teams in each region who didn’t qualify by making the finals will qualify by having the most points. The College Championship will consist of 32-teams.

RSAA commits to third-party organizers for the College VALORANT Season

In addition to the RSAA starting a collegiate ecosystem for players, third-party organizers will also benefit from Riot letting them handle the regional play. Similar to the North American Valorant Champions Tour (VCT), a non-Riot entity will handle the stream and tournament organizing. This will allow Riot to not only build a strong ecosystem for players but for non-players interested in the competitive scene. 

Esports developers have left the College space largely untapped. CVAL is another foray into the collegiate space. It’s another chance to build a stronger foundation for VALORANT. It’s a gateway for to the professional scene. 

Registration will begin in September 2022, but the RSAA promises further details coming in August. 

Important Dates

  • Operations RFP process begins: July 13
  • RFP submissions due: August 1
  • Fall Tournament
  • Registration: 9/9 – 10/7
  • Phase 1: 10/24 – 11/6
  • Phase 2 11/12 – 12/12 (No matches scheduled over Thanksgiving weekend)
  • Winter Tournament
  • Registration: 11/28 – 1/6
  • Phase 1: 1/16 – 1/29
  • Phase 2: 2/4 – 2/26
  • Spring Tournament
  • Registration: 1/23 – 2/27
  • Phase 1: 3/13 – 3/26
  • Phase 2: 4/1 – 4/30 (No matches scheduled over Easter weekend)
  • CVAL Championship
  • Online rounds: 5/6 – 5/21
  • Live finals: TBD, June or July
Blake Van Poucke -

Blake Van Poucke

| Twitter: @TokyoDown

Blake Van Poucke is a Valorant writer at esports.gg. He found esports through the early days of MLG and the Super Smash Bros Melee scene. He's been competing and writing about esports dating back to 2008. He has written for several publications and wishes to return to in-person esports events in 2022