We're moving up.
This week, tournament hosts and VALORANT game developer Riot Games informed organizations regarding the next steps for the partnership system next year, multiple sources told Dot Esports.
Several North American teams have been shortlisted and will undergo individual meetings to divulge financial information. Teams such as The Guard, TSM, Cloud9, NRG, and Version1 have made it through to the next round, according to multiple sources.
In Korea, DRX Vision Strikers are likely through to the next round.
Despite these teams entering the next phase of partnership with Riot, it does not guarantee they will be selected. Other prominent organizations likely made it since there was a minimum of a dozen teams shortlisted for the next round in North America alone.
There may be some issues with teams such as T1 and G2, though. T1 is adamant it will remain in North America despite the brand being predominant in the Korean market, according to multiple sources. G2, which was founded in Europe, has sought to expand to the North American VALORANT scene for next year. But its unclear whether Riot will allow the organization to take up a slot in the Americas league.
This round of teams will be the second to last step prior to Riot deciding which orgs will be selected for the partnered leagues next year. These teams will eventually be filtered down to around six to eight teams selected from North America, which will be placed in the Americas international league.
Riot will decide the partnered teams prior to Champions, likely around August.
In the Americas league, there will be around another four to six teams from Latin America and Brazil, since teams were informed there would be around eight to 10 teams in each league, with 12 teams being the maximum if there was a decision to increase the number of teams. Following the initial report of the number of teams from Dot Esports, these figures remain unchanged at time of writing.