Riot has revealed their global 2023 competitive structure, which includes further details on international leagues and regional competition.

The 2023 VCT will have four major tiers of competition. Amateur teams will start off in an in-game competitive system still in development, and will work their way through Challengers and the international leagues in hopes of one day being world champions.

Some of the in-game competitive system's details had already been shared earlier this year as an augment to what Ranked currently offers. In today's announcement, Riot revealed that they seek to integrate this system directly into the VCT from 2024 onwards. The top teams will get a chance to qualify directly into Challengers from the game, creating a seamless connection between both. More details will be revealed before the year ends.

As the 2022 Challengers system is being upgraded and rebranded to currently-unnamed international leagues, the current European Regional Leagues are being turned into 2023's new Challenger ecosystem. Due to that transformation, they're also being expanded to apply worldwide, meaning regional Challenger Leagues will sprout in the Americas, Asia and Oceania. The Challenger Leagues are:

The 2023 Challenger Leagues distribution Image by Riot Games.

These leagues — 21 in total — will be fully open to regional competition. Each competition will kick off with open qualifiers that funnel into two splits of multi-week regular season play. The top teams will then head to playoffs, where the best team will be crowned that league's champion and head into Challengers Ascension, a new event akin to this year's VCT EMEA Promotion.

There will be three Challengers Ascension tournaments across the world: one in the Americas, one in EMEA, and one in the Pacific. Each Ascension winner will earn a two-year promotion to their continent's international league, receiving similar benefits and an equal chance to reach Masters and Champions. Once those two years expire, the Ascension winners will drop back down to regional competition and will have to fight their way back up.

The 2023 competitive path Image by Riot Games.

As previously announced, each of the three international leagues will host 10 teams, making for 30 total teams in Riot's partnership system. However, expansion will start in 2024. Riot aims to add one team every year until 2027, when each league will have 14 teams for a total of 42 worldwide. Starting in 2026, there are plans to promote two teams per region to international leagues instead of just one via Challengers Ascension.

Further information has been promised later this fall. Specific details about regional open qualifiers, the overall Challenger schedule, as well as Ascension tournaments will be revealed before the year is out.

Riot's international leagues expansion Image by Riot Games.