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Several top teams from North America have been directly invited to the VALORANT Challengers circuit, hosted by Knights Arena, while another four will face off against each other to qualify next week, multiple sources told Dot Esports.
Fan favorites in the region such as TSM and FaZe have been invited to compete in Challengers without having to qualify through the open qualifiers, which begin on Jan. 9. Shopify Rebellion, The Guard, G2 Esports, and newcomers M80 will join them.
Another six teams will qualify for the league with four from the open qualifier, which will begin on Jan. 9 and conclude on Jan. 13 while a final two teams will earn a spot through the last chance qualifier, which is set to take place from Jan. 17 to Jan. 22. The first split will begin on Feb. 1 and conclude on March 17.
All teams excluding M80 failed to secure a partnership with developers and tournament organizers Riot Games to compete in the North American international league, which is set to begin in February with a kick-off tournament.
Several teams were snubbed from a direct invite to the Challengers league. Dark Ratio, for example, which was linked with MAD Lions, was unable to secure an invite. Streamer Disguised Toasts Challengers team will also have to slug through the open qualifier.
At the conclusion of the season, two teams will qualify for the Ascension tournament through the Challengers playoffs, which are set to take place from May 31 to June 10. The two teams that secure qualification for the Ascension tournament will face off against the top teams from the neighboring Challengers regions for a chance to win a spot in the Americas international league in 2024.