Riot Games have announced a number of updates to the Path to Pro in VALORANT, with Challengers EMEA headlining the changes

VALORANT's 2024 Esports season is continuing, with Stage 2 going live across the regions last week. But looking to the future, Riot Games has announced a series of changes for 2025. The Path to Pro is seeing a number of changes across VCT Challengers, VCT Game Changers, Premier EMEA, and the VALORANT Regional Circuits.

Here's everything you need to know about the journey to VCT.

VALORANT Challengers EMEA: Inter-Regional Competition

The biggest changes come from the VALORANT Challengers events. The sub-VCT tier of regional play was how some made their way into VCT.

Notably, Team Heretics' Mert "Wo0t" Alkan and Karmine Corp's Marshall "N4RRATE" Massey were particular success stories of the developer highlighted. To further improve this integral part of the EMEA ecosystem, a series of changes are being brought in.

Team Heretics' Wo0t is a success story for Challengers EMEA (Image via Riot Games)
Team Heretics' Wo0t is a success story for Challengers EMEA (Image via Riot Games)

The biggest change is the introduction of VALORANT Challengers EMEA. VCT is seeing a global shift to Three-Stage structures in 2025. So, the top teams from each EMEA region at the end of a stage will progress to Challengers EMEA.

This will be a chance for the various regions to measure each other and compete against a variety of regional styles of play after every stage. This will also be a great opportunity for fans.

They can watch the best upcoming talents in EMEA compete against each other. Unfortunately, the ping difference means that MENA teams will only compete in Stage 3 of VALORANT Challengers EMEA. Their teams will compete in a playoffs event during the first two stages.

How do Challengers teams compete in Ascension?

With the new system, VALORANT Challengers in EMEA will still give chances to the best teams to compete at VALORANT Ascension and earn their ticket to VCT EMEA.

There will, however, be a switch to a points-based system in 2025. The top teams will be rewarded with performance-based points throughout the season. And these points will become the basis for Ascension invites.

Italy and Portugal Join VALORANT Challengers Spain

To sync up with the EMEA Premier zones and create a more competitive league, Italy and Portugal will be joining Challengers Spain: Rising in 2025. To give these players the best Path to Pro, Challengers Spain will not consider any players from Italy or Portugal as imports.

The recently announced Ascension Updates
The recently announced Ascension Updates

Challengers Spain will have eight teams in 2025. With two new countries joining, a new distribution of invites has been created:

  • Top 4 Teams in Challengers Spain: Rising (Based on league points in 2024)
  • Top team from Challengers Italy: Rinascimento (Ascension 1st Seed)
  • Top team from Challengers Portugal: Tempest (Ascension 1st Seed)
  • One Wildcard Spot
  • The winner of a Qualifying Tournament

The wildcard spots will be handed out by Riot Games based on various criteria like team stability, impact on the ecosystem, etc. The Qualifying tournament on the other hand, will see the remaining teams across the three current leagues compete together.

VALORANT Regional Circuits 2025

Following its introduction in 2024, Premier will continue to act as the primary Path to Pro for VALORANT EMEA. But given VRCs' history, the devs have re-confirmed VRC's role in the system.

Teams will also be enabled to compete in both Premier and VRC throughout the year, allowing players even more opportunities to compete.

Game Changers: Express Lane

Game Changers' impact on VALORANT Esports, especially in EMEA, can not be understated. Especially with G2 Gozen's success story having competed in Challengers DACH.

As mentioned in the global announcement, a new 'Express Lane Mechanic' will be introduced. This will allow Game Changers teams to compete in Open Qualifiers for the Challengers Leagues without missing out on Game Changers events.

Challengers Stage 3 Events in 2024

Following the conclusion of Ascension, VALORANT will see a number of events as part of Challengers Stage 3 in EMEA. Here are the available details for the upcoming events in 2024:

VALORANT Challengers League
Start Date
VALORANT Challengers Spain: RisingSeptember 25Challengers Spain will host a qualification tournament starting September 25. This will include teams from Challengers Italy, Portugal, Spain, and Premier. The winner will compete in the Challengers League Spain: Rising in 2025.
VALORANT Challengers DACH: EvolutionSeptember 27“The Pokal” is returning to DACH, featuring teams from Project V, Challengers DACH and Premier. 16 teams will compete in the tournament, which will run through until December.
VALORANT Challengers East: SurgeOctober 4Challengers East will host a league competition for a mix of Challengers League teams, as well as two open qualifier teams and two Premier teams. Challengers East will also have an Open Cup, for teams that will not compete in the league phase.
VALORANT Challengers North: PolarisNovember (exact date TBC)Challengers North will host an eight team double elimination tournament in November, running through until December.
VALORANT Challengers France: RevolutionTBCTBA
VALORANT Challengers Türkiye: BirlikTBCTBA
VALORANT Challengers MENA: ResilienceTBCTBA
VALORANT Challengers EMEA Stage 3 events

Stay tuned to for more esports news and VALORANT coverage.