Riot has revealed updates to the Challengers format for the upcoming 2025 season, including changes to the Ascension system and further tuning of the Premier pathway to Challengers.

The 2025 season will introduce performance-based extension for Ascension teams and the removal of auto-relegation. The new Premier Invite Division will directly provide an opportunity to compete for a spot in Challengers. In addition, Challenger Leagues will span the entire year, with new Challenger tournaments to take place in Fall 2024.

Ascension Changes

Currently, Ascension teams are guaranteed a two-year stay in their respective International Leagues (IL), after which they face automatic relegation back to Challengers.

Starting in 2025, Ascension slots will be determined by the teams' performance throughout the season instead, shortening the default term length to one year but providing the opportunity to extend it indefinitely. International leagues will be capped at 12 teams.

Auto-relegation is no more. Auto-relegation is no more.

At the end of the season, Ascension teams are presented with two potential pathways to retain their slot in the International League.

Teams can extend their stay in by qualifying for Champions. Should both Ascension teams make it to Champions, the higher-placed team at the end of the event will retain their slot while the other can compete at Ascension for their spot.

Teams can also defend their slot if they finish in the top eight, giving them a chance to play in Ascension against the winners of each respective regional Challengers.

If a team misses the playoffs entirely, they will be automatically relegated to Challengers.

Premier Promotion and Calendar Updates

Challengers will run for the full length of the year. Challengers will run for the full length of the year.

In December last year, Riot introduced Premier as the primary system for teams to qualify for the Challengers series. In April, Riot also introduced the addition of Invite Division, the highest tier of play within Premier that teams must qualify for, replacing the current Contender Division.

Teams that place in the top 32 of the Contender Division will gain an automatic invite to the Invite Division. The Invite Division will start in Episode 9 Act 1, roughly in early July, with teams from the division gaining a chance to compete for Promotion/Relegation every two Acts of Premier.

Starting in Fall 2024, the winners of Invite Division and eligible teams from E9A1 and E9A2 will be eligible for Promotion/Relegation tournaments as part of a series of new Challengers tournaments. Further details will be revealed by Riot and regional tournament organizers in the upcoming weeks.