The organizers of the Valorant Champions Tour’s European division have been facing criticism for its unbalanced tournament format, especially compared to its North American counterparts.
The Valorant Champions Tour is underway worldwide. However, Riot Games has landed in hot water after implementing an unbalanced tournament format in the European region.
After the less than satisfactory execution of the Valorant First Strike in the region, Riot promised to improve the tournament format. However, nothing has changed for the Valorant Champions Tour.
The problem with the Valorant tournament format for Europe
Valorant First Strike was the first worldwide Valorant tournament organized by Riot, with different tournament organizers for different regions. However, the European division players were vocal about Riot’s unbalanced format.
The publisher implemented a best-of-one elimination bracket, which is not as forgiving as North America’s best-of-three double-elimination brackets.
In the Reddit discussion thread regarding the issue, Riot Head of Production and Event, Jose “RiotCrower” Klingenberg, acknowledged the issue and promised to improve it.
As the European Division of the Valorant Champion Tour rolled around, players quickly pointed out the recurring format, which started at the First Strike.
Redditor u/ PrizzyFIzz was quick to pinpoint the mistakes. Regarding the North American division, he wrote:
“In North America, nerdstgamers is running the qualifiers for this event, in a double-elimination format Best of 3 matches. You lose one Bo3? Don’t worry. There will be another in the lower bracket. 100T and TSM were both eliminated, losing both bo3s; however, there will be another qualifier in a week running THE SAME format (double elim bo3s.) Nerdstgamers have gotten a lot of love and respect from the EU players for running such a smooth and good event.”
However, the story is different in Europe. There is no double elimination, and best of three is absent till the round of 64.
Team Heretics, winner of the Valorant First Strike Europe, did not qualify for the Valorant Champions Tour European Challengers 1.
In the upcoming week, there will be another qualifier. However, it will be in a best of one format until round 8, i.e., the semifinals. To qualify, teams have to win every single one of the six stages, every match. One slip-up and its elimination.
Even though fans initially blamed regional tournament organizer Freaks 4U Gaming, commentator Jakub “Lothar” Szygulski was quick to point out that it wasn’t the case.
“To my knowledge, Freak4U, who are producing the EU VCT, has no say in the format which comes directly from Riot. I can’t confirm this right now since it’s Sunday night, but that’s what I remember.”
He was backed up and supported by commentator Ryan “RyanCentral” Horton. Colleague Dustin “dusT” Mouret expressed what everyone was thinking when he questioned why the VCT isn’t a uniform format across all regions.
Unfortunately, teams aren’t getting an equal opportunity at the Valorant Champions Tour, and fans can only hope the situation improves by the upcoming qualifiers.