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Now that the VALORANT Europe, Middle East and Africa Stage 1 Challengers qualifiers have come to a close, many are wondering what’s next for their favorite teams that didn’t make the cut.

Popular teams like KOI, Giants Gaming, Excel, Team Vitality, Futbolist and many more fell short of making it into Challengers 1. Although they may not be participating in the first stage of the EMEA VALORANT Champions Tour, these teams are not going away. Instead, many will be participating in VALORANT Regional Leagues, a new addition to the pro circuit in 2022.

The VRLs are meant to act as a system that can feed into the EMEA VCT for future stages. For example, in Stage 2 Challengers, a promotion tournament will take place where the winners of the eight VRLs will compete against the bottom two VCT teams for two spots in the VCT. Through this system, the VRLs create a way for fan favorite teams to battle back into the highest forum of competitive VALORANT.

EMEA VRLs explained

The eight EMEA VRLs in 2022 are:

  • Spain (Players from Portugal and Italy are also eligible to compete in this league)
  • France (Players within Benelux are also eligible to compete in this league)
  • UK, Ireland & Nordics
  • Poland/Europe East (Players from Israel are also eligible to compete in this league)
  • Commonwealth of Independent States
  • Middle East and North Africa
  • Turkey
  • Germany, Austria, Switzerland (DACH)

Each of the VLRs are operated by Riot Games’ partner tournament organizers. The leagues run in two stages across the whole year, with both a regular season and a playoffs. Some of the participating teams will be decided through an open qualifier where any regional team that meets the requirements can try to battle their way into their respective VRLs.

The winners of Stage 1 VRLs will qualify for the VCT Promotion Tournament. The winner of Stage 2 VRLs qualify for a VRL EMEA finals.

The first split of the 2022 VRL season begins the week of Feb. 14.