MANILA - Team Secret and RRQ, which both have Filipinos in their rosters, are among the partnered – or franchised teams – participating in the Valorant Champions Tour (VCT) Pacific League.
What will this mean?
This means both squads will have fixed slots into their regional league -- in this case, the Pacific League -- as VCT makes changes into its system in 2023.
In a press release, Riot said they looked into the team's fan culture, sustainability, and motivation and values when they selected teams into their team partnership program.
"We invited teams by sharing a briefing deck and they all had the opportunity to create presentations, with the best ones invited for interviews. Following these we then made the decision on the ten teams that would join us for next year and beyond," Riot Games said in a press release.
VCT will be divided into three gaming regions: Americas, Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA), and Pacific, which Team Secret and RRQ will be part off.
The Pacific region will have T1 (Korea), ZETA DIVISION (Japan), DetonatioN Gaming (Japan), powerhouse Paper Rex (Singapore, Malaysia), GLobal Esports (South Asia) and Talon Esports (Thailand).
Team Secret's Valorant and Wild Rift squads consist of All-Filipino rosters, with its Valorant squad already competing in the world stage, starting from VCT Champions in Berlin in 2021.
RRQ is listed as an Indonesian organization but has an all-Filipino VALORANT squad. Players of their League of Legends: Wild Rift squad are also Filipino.
Riot previously said the teams will have a tenure of 2 years in the international league -- in this case, the VCT Pacific League, which will be the main basis for qualifying into international competitions such as Masters and compete for the world title in Valorant Champions.
Non-partnership teams will have to battle it out in the Challengers circuit and Ascension tournaments for a chance at promotion in 2024.
International leagues will expand by one team until 2027, when it hits the cap of 14 teams. Riot previously said this will be their long-term project for the game title's ecosystem.
VCT 2023 will start with an all-partnership tournament in Sau Paulo Brazil, which Riot said will be the "largest international tournament" for the circuit.
After the kick-off tournament, teams will participate in their respective league splits, until May.
International League matches will happen in Los Angeles, Seoul, and Berlin, with the venue for next year's Masters tournament yet to be announced.