Last week, Riot revealed their plans for the 2025 Challengers circuit, including a calendar update and complete overhaul of the Ascension system. Following the announcement, Riot has further expanded on details for the overall EMEA T2 format.

Format Updates

The 2025 season will keep the three stage calendar first introduced in 2024. Next year, however, will bring increased opportunities for cross-regional play in order to increase competition throughout the year.

Every stage, the top two teams from each Challengers League (excluding MENA) will qualify to a Challengers EMEA tournament. The intention is to allow the best teams in EMEA to play more frequently against each other, benefitting both the teams and viewers.

Due to ping differences, MENA teams will only participate in the Stage 3 EMEA tournament. Stage 1 and Stage 2 will simply conclude with a regional playoff, similar to the format currently in place.

In terms of Ascension qualification, teams will now earn "Championship Points" through the EMEA tournaments. Further details on region-specific formats and the new points system will be unveiled at a later date.

Italy, Portugal reunite with Challengers Spain

With the intention of further streamlining Premier qualification into Challengers, Challengers Italy and Portugal have returned to compete under the Challengers Spain banner. This will allow teams from the three regions, currently playing under the Premier IBIT (Iberia and Italy) region to qualify directly into a Challengers League comprising the same regions.

The new Challengers League will be made up of four Spanish teams, the top team from Portugal, the top team from Italy, a “Wildcard” team, and an open qualifier team.

The three regions last played under the same banner in the 2022 VRLs, but were separated the next year due to a lack of representation for Portuguese and Italian players. In 2022, nine Spanish teams were invited to the main event, while only one team from Portugal and one from Italy were invited to the initial Closed Qualifier of the year.

The Game Changers Express Lane

Due to the improving performance of Game Changers teams and players in the mixed circuit, as well as the tightly packed schedule between Challengers and Game Changers events, Riot is adding a new “Express Lane Mechanic” for eligible Game Changers participants.

This new mechanic will allow certain Game Changers teams to advance directly to Challengers open qualifiers, in order to avoid conflicts in their schedule between the two competitions. The Express Lane will also help encourage teams to participate in mixed events, as well as give the players opportunity to keep improving by playing against different teams.