How about the cream of the crop, though? Many more people than there are openings in the VCT think they deserve a shot at VALORANT fame. Most of these exceptionally gifted individuals continue to compete in regional tier two VALORANT Challengers scenes, boosting teammates who do not match their level of skill and without the help of any franchising or professional team.
Is money the biggest challenge for Valorant squads?
The players' dedication and the organization of leaders like Krystian "TERP" Terpiski have kept VALORANT alive after the franchise's demise. As the league's general manager, he must find creative solutions to financial problems if VALORANT Challengers East is to continue producing players who can compete at the highest levels. Players wouldn't have the same opportunity to make it to the professional level that the VALORANT community hopes for if there weren't people like him organizing tier-two competitions around the world.
It's no secret that several esports tier-two leagues, including VALORANT, are having a tough go of it. The ability to relegate and boost the promotion of skilled teams is one of the most exciting innovations of the franchised league, giving optimism to middle-tier clubs that they can get to the top through sheer quality and consistency.
It's not easy to keep believing in a better future, especially when it seems like no one is benefiting financially from your efforts, which is always the primary goal of big businesses like Riot Games.
According to TERP:
"If you ask every regional manager what the biggest problem they face with the Challengers League is, it’s money (...) It’s challenging because [Riot Games] don’t allow particular sponsors."
TERP believes that Riot ought to offer support, mostly in the form of funding, if they intend to ensure that access to VCT remains truly global. Red Bull Polska is the primary sponsor of the East: Surge, a lower-level team.
In addition, TERP's ability to secure sponsorships for his league has suffered as a result of the ongoing conflict in Ukraine, with potential sponsors stepping away due to their proximity to the war, worsening the minor league's financial condition.
Challengers East has a rough road ahead and could do with a financial boost.
He said that Riot hasn't given up on the tier-two market for VALORANT, and that the company plans to meet with the leaders of all Challengers leagues shortly to potentially fix these issues.
The Warsaw, Poland, studio of Challengers East: Surge reeks of dedication to the game and to esports as a whole. The connection to Polish and Eastern European talent is plain to see, from the plethora of photos and awards upstairs to the chandelier of esports jerseys from a wide range of games.
When compared to VCT EMEA's spacious desk and stage, the league clearly isn't in as good of shape as it could be, as evidenced by the cramped chamber housing the league's broadcasting operations.
Despite all the problems in VALORANT's second division, the potential exists. As a result of roster constraints, every Challengers league features players that, with a bit more luck, would have made it onto a major club. In the East, the best players are dispersed across several clubs, each of which has a solid chance of winning the championship.
Surging to take their place in the Champions Tour.
Fnatic's sixth man kamyk is one of the most talked-about recent East: Surge hires, despite the fact that the team is not in the same position as it was a year ago. Besides Patitek and baddyG, there are a ton of additional current league players who were around during the peak of VALORANT. With the hiring market closed, however, these players must compete for Ascension while also demonstrating their abilities for the 2024 season.
Acend is one of the top teams, and they won the first VALORANT championship in 2021. There was only one consistent member of the core during 2022–2023. In 2023, the franchises of cNed, zeek, and starxo gained access to the league's top talent.
Acend has dominated both splits thanks to the guidance of Nbs and the development of MONSTEERR. Ascension is pretty much guaranteed for them, and the squad may even win the Challengers League and be promoted to the Champions Tour in 2024.
Regardless of who advances from Challengers East to Ascension, the East: Surge and EMEA regions both received disappointing news. The Challengers League and the region as a whole will not participate in local area networks (LANs). The East: Surge finals will not be held on LAN this year due to funding issues. As a result, players who intend on participating in future LANs will be deprived of an opportunity that could be formative for them and their teams.
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