Riot Games has announced that the VALORANT Champions Tour Europe, Middle East and Africa Stage 1 Challengers will not resume on March 4. VCT EMEA stated on Twitter that they are currently “exploring the option to have matches this weekend.” This means some games may still go forward, but Friday games will definitively be postponed.
The VCT EMEA will not resume this Friday, and we’re exploring the option to have matches this weekend. We’re working with teams on the scheduling, and will update you as soon as we can!
— VALORANT Champions Tour EMEA (@valesports_emea) March 3, 2022
This follows a previous announcement that VCT EMEA Week 3 games would be postponed due to the “escalating crisis in Ukraine.” All Week 3 games will be rescheduled, though it is unclear, as of yet, when they will actually take place. Week 4 games were originally anticipated to go ahead as planned, but the cancellation of Friday games means that they, too, will need to be rescheduled. The games that would have gone ahead on Friday were the all-Turkish team matchup of BBL Esports vs. SuperMassive Blaze and LDN UTD vs. Team Liquid.
The crisis in Ukraine, which began when Russia launched a full-scale invasion in February, is ongoing and has impacted many sectors of gaming. Esports players hailing from the region have been particularly affected by it. A recent report stated that VCT EMEA team FunPlus Phoenix is currently using a stand-in for Ukranian in-game leader Kirill “ANGE1” Karasiow, who lives in Kyiv. Previously, FunPlus Phoenix pulled off an upset victory against tournament favorites Gambit Esports, putting them in the conversation for the best VALORANT team in the Commonwealth of Independent States region.
The first two weeks of VCT EMEA occurred before the invasion sparked the crisis in Ukraine. Stage 1 Challengers will culminate in VCT Masters Stage 1, which will take place in Reykjavík, Iceland starting April 10. There is no word yet on how the EMEA delays will impact masters scheduling or qualification.