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Recently, Riot Games released the schedule for their overall plan for VCT 2022. One of the major changes coming is a switch to two stages, rather than three. In addition, Riot broke down how the event would change for each major region. For example, EMEA is expanding to include eight different regions. While some other regional changes are under wraps, Riot released important information for the many Latin American and Brazilian players and viewers, including major changes to VCT LATAM 2022.

VCT 2022 Brazil Changes

VCT Brazil will feature several of the top teams from VCT 2021 that made an impact on the region, as well as internationally. Riot mentioned they were the former Top 10 Brazilian teams, (based on VCT Circuit Points) and consist of: Team Vikings, Keyd Stars, Shark Esports, Havan Liberty, Gamelanders Blue and FURIA Esports. Four other teams were invited as well, but they will be placed into open qualifiers: NOORG 2.0, Stars Horizon, INGAMING Esports and Extenzy Gaming. These teams competed in VCT 2021, but did not make it into the top six.

VCT 2022 Stage 1 Open Qualifiers | Graphic by Riot
VCT 2022 Stage 1 Open Qualifiers. | Graphic by Riot Games

In terms of the formatting, Stage 1 will consist of two open qualifiers. The first takes place from Jan. 12-16 and the other Jan. 19-23. They will feature 256 open slots each, and will go on until two teams come out on top from each open qualifier set. This totals four teams that will combine with those top six teams from VCT 2021 to play in a group stage event, with the 10 teams being split into two groups of five. The top three from each group will move to an Elimination Round, which is a double elimination-style bracket, taking place March 22 to 27. The two finalists from this event will be admitted to VCT 2022 Masters 1.

VCT 2022 Stage 1 Elimination Stage | Graphic by Riot
VCT 2022 Stage 1 Elimination Stage. | Graphic by Riot Games

For the teams that lose in the group stage, they will play in an “Access Series.” The access series will start with two open qualifiers (again with 256 slots), but will admit four teams from each one, totaling eight. These eight teams will compete in a closed qualifier, where the top four will move to compete with the four teams that lost in the group stage. This is considered the Access Series finals. The four winning teams of the finals will secure a spot at VCT 2022, along with the top six Brazilian teams from Stage 1.

VCT 2022 Stage 1 Access Series | Graphic by Riot
VCT 2022 Stage 1 Access Series. | Graphic by Riot Games

The Access Series is an exciting addition. It allows teams that have already done well to skip the tumultuous open qualifiers, but it also gives a chance for new teams to skip ahead as well.

All of this will take place from January to March, ending with two teams that will be sent to Masters 1 in April.

VCT 2022 LATAM Changes

VCT 2022 LATAM is somewhat similar to how Challengers worked in the past, with a new league added in to make it more competitive. While the information didn’t go into specifics, it does go over the general format. There will be two open qualifiers for LATAM teams: one for those in LATAM North and one for those in LATAM South.

The top four from these will move onto a new feature for VCT LATAM: Challengers Leagues. These will pit the four teams from qualifiers against top-performing teams from a previous stage. They will be split up between North and South teams, as it is the last stop before the LATAM Challengers Playoffs.

For the Stage 1 Challengers Leagues, Riot invited the top teams from LATAM VCT 2021 to compete. For the North, INFINITY and Six Karma will represent, and for the South, Leviatán Esports (which absorbed Australs as an organization) and KRÜ Esports will feature. The two teams who top these leagues will move onto the playoffs, and the top team from those will move onto VALORANT Masters in April.

For the Stage 2 Challengers Leagues, the invited teams will be the top four from Stage 1 for the North and South. This mean if LATAM staples like KRÜ Esports or Six Karma underperform, they may miss out on VCT Stage 2.

VCT 2022 LATAM Stage 1 and Stage 2 Layout | Graphic by Riot
The VCT 2022 LATAM Stage 1 and Stage 2 Layout. | Graphic by Riot Games

The information did not specify how many from LATAM will go to the Masters tournaments. In VCT 2021, only one made the cut.

Riot also mentioned the South American Last Chance Qualifier. They did not mention any format changes for it, but did re-iterate that it will take LATAM and BR teams.

Something new that was mentioned by Riot, was that teams with good performance that fail to qualify for the Challengers League of their hemisphere will be able to participate in closed tournaments, that will allow them to gain experience and prizes outside of VCT. It is unclear if they will be Riot-sponsored tournaments or just general tournaments, but it is a welcome change.

With Champions fresh in our minds, excitement is high for the next year of VCT.

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