Riot Games have revealed a new model for 2023. The major changes include a new in-game competitive mode, expanded VRLs in other parts of the world, more Game Changers support, and international leagues to bring more teams to other regions to compete.
One of the changes coming to Valorant in 2023 are a new in-game competitive mode that is directly integrated with the Valorant esports ecosystem. The mode will not replace the current matchmaking system, but provide further opportunities for players who have achieved Radiant rank with the "opportunity to qualify for domestic leagues in their region."
Additionally, domestic leagues are going to be introduced for different regions of the world. Regional leagues in Europe have been ongoing since the start of the year, and Riot has announced that a similar model will be rolled out for other regions. The best teams from each region will get to compete in one of three international leagues — Asia, the Americas, and Europe — featuring local and interregional competition.
The division of teams that will compete in their respective international leagues are as follows:
- Americas: North America, Latin America, Brazil
- Asia: Korea, Japan, Southeast Asia, Oceania, South Asia
- Europe: Europe, Russia, Turkey, MENA
Similarly to what was announced going into 2022, Riot have provided a window following the conclusion of Champions in September for third-party tournaments to operate. Additionally, Game Changers will receive its own Championship, similarly to what will take place later this year.
A major change going forward is a stipend system different than other franchising models found in the League Championship Series and Overwatch League. In this system which teams will apply to be a part of, Riot will provide partners with financial support in exchange for a partnership with the company, allowing them with the "exclusive opportunity to collaborate on unique in-game activations and products" and "distribute esports branded content, allowing (players) to express their esports fandom both while watching and while playing".
While no definitive statement has been made on bringing live audiences to major events, Riot has stated that they are working on making in-person events a "safe reality" going forward in 2022 and into 2023.