The VALORANT Champions Tour (VCT) will be coming to the female community in Southeast Asia!
Announced on Monday (21 June), the VCT Game Changers Southeast Asia sees Riot Games partnering with the Female Esports League (FSL) on this "new series aimed at creating new opportunities and exposure for women and other marginalised genders within the VALORANT Southeast Asia esports ecosystem". (Disclaimer: Yahoo is a media partner with FSL on their events)
The VCT Game Changers SEA will "supplement the ongoing competitive season by providing a pro player circuit that reflects the diversity and global nature of the VALORANT community and player talent seen in the region", Riot Games and FSL said in a press release.
It will be a monthly series, with the first tournament kicking off online with a prize pool of US$5,000 in July.
"We are thrilled to be bringing VCT Game Changers to Southeast Asia. As esports continues to gain momentum around the world, it is increasingly important to create opportunities that encourage diversity and inclusion for all players of all backgrounds," said Chris Tran, Head of Esports Southeast Asia, Hong Kong and Taiwan at Riot Games.
"In Asia, we have been incredibly happy to see a high level of female engagement with VALORANT and the VCT. By bringing VCT Game Changers to the region, we hope to provide a platform here for women and other marginalized genders to compete at the highest level of competitive play," Tran said in response to queries from Yahoo Esports.
The FSL partnership with Riot Games comes about a year after the FSL started running VALORANT tournaments, and almost a decade after the FSL first came together as a community.
"Nine years ago when FSL was born as a small annual community tournament, I didn't expect the reception and fervour from women gamers who were all looking for a safe space to hone their competitive gaming skills in," said Tammy Tang, the CEO of FSL.
"Riot endorsing us as their official Tournament Organiser of VCT Game Changers SEA affirms our mission to grow the women gaming community by providing a more structured approach to the circuit, as well as a USD$43,000 boost to the total prize pool," Tang added. "We'd like to invite the women who are aspiring professional gaming athletes to join us and be a part of our journey."
Kimberlyn See, Esports Operations Lead for FSL, said they were happy to have Riot Games onboard and that the two organisations shared the same vision on supporting the community.
"Our community has been with us since the release of VALORANT last year, and we've seen growth in both the number of players and their competitive skill level. The FSL VALORANT circuit was created with the goal of providing female teams consistent opportunities to compete and grow," she told Yahoo Esports.
The series will have four stages - the FSL Open, a monthly open group stage tournament, from which eight teams will advance to the Playoffs. The playoff teams will then compete in a best-of-3 double elimination format, that will culminate in a best-of-5 format. Teams will earn points for the FSL Open Leaderboard, with the top three teams qualifying for FSL Elite.
The next stage is the FSL Open Overtime in September, where teams that finished 4th to 19th on the leaderboard will compete for three qualifying spots to FSL Elite. This is followed by the FSL Wildcard, which is open to teams who have not qualified for the FSL Elite, or teams new to the circuit. The top two teams will earn a spot for FSL Elite.
Finally, the FSL Elite, which is currently scheduled for October, will see the eight teams that have qualified play for a prize pool of US$25,000, and the top team earning the first VCT Game Changers Southeast Asia Champion crown.
The VCT Game Changers SEA Playoffs will be live on FSL Twitch, FSL FPS Facebook (for English), FSL TH Twitch (for Thai), and FSL YouTube (for Bahasa Indonesia), as well as on Yahoo. Additional details on broadcasts will be released closer to the event.
Upcoming dates for VCT Game Changers SEA series:
FSL Open IV:
Registration: 10 - 24 June
Open Group: 26 - 27 June
Playoffs: 1- 4 July
FSL Open V:
Registration: 6 - 15 July
Open Group: 19 - 21 July
Playoffs: 29 July - 1 August
FSL Open VI:
Registration: 3 - 12 August
Open Group: 16 - 18 August
Playoffs: 26-29 August
FSL Open Overtime:
2 - 5 September
Registration: 9 - 19 September
Group Stage: 25 - 26 September
Playoffs: 1-3 October
23, 24, 30, 31 October
In addition to VALORANT, the FSL frequently runs tournaments for other female esports communities in Southeast Asia, including in League of Legends: Wild Rift, Mobile Legends, Dota 2 and PUBG Mobile.
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