Riot Games to provide protection against poaching for VCT International League teams 

Riot Games to provide protection for Challengers teams against poaching (Image via Riot Games)
Riot Games to provide protection for Challengers teams against poaching (Image via Riot Games)

Riot Games has announced its detailed five-year plan for the upcoming VCT ecosystem. Teams participating in the Challengers ecosystem will be provided opportunities to participate in the VCT International Leagues. Along with that, Riot Games will also make sure they are safeguarded from poaching by partnered teams.

According to Riot's head of the esports operation, roster protection would be absolute for teams in International Leagues. They will work towards protecting these promoted teams from having their talented members poached by the partnered teams.

According to Whalen Rozelle, the head of the esports operation at Riot Games, contracts, roster composition, and player transfer windows will also be standardized.


How will the new safeguarding system affect the VCT?

Riot Games have confirmed that in the upcoming VCT, under the new Challengers system, the top teams from the domestic Challengers leagues will be able to qualify for the newly announced Ascension series.

According to The Post, Rozelle confirmed:

“Teams that violate these rules will face a variety of escalating penalties.”

The winners from each region, namely Americas, EMEA, and Asia, will earn a two-year promotion to their respective International Leagues.

As the participating teams compete in the Challengers to climb to the International Leagues, they might become vulnerable to partnered teams trying to poach them out. During this time, these rosters will be protected by the new safeguarding method.

The partnered teams may also follow similar roster rules for poaching. In that case, it wouldn't be wise for them to meddle with each other.

Teams participating in LCS or LEC are also restricted from talking to players or recruiting players while under contract. Riot Games will use a natural safeguarding technique to follow similar regulations for the revamped Challengers system and the teams participating.

However, the partnered teams' spots are awarded to their organizations directly and not to their rosters. This means partnered teams should still be able to bring changes to their rosters for as long as they don't poach or tinker with other players from the Challengers teams.

The upcoming VCT International Leagues will be much different from what the audience is used to. The competition will be very tense as sponsored teams will be added every year through their five-year plan.


The decision to safeguard the Challenger teams as they approach the International Leagues is an ethical decision by Riot Games. The esports ecosystem for Valorant and VCT will be much safer for the competing teams.

The new revamped Challengers system will take charge from 2023, where teams from all the regions will be able to participate under the Valorant path-to-pro program.

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Edited by Srijan Sen