How Will Riot Games’ Franchised League for Valorant Work?

Abhimannu Das
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The franchised league system will go live in three regions next year according to reports.
Entry into the system is expected to be free and teams will be inducted via an invite-only format.
Teams will receive four-year contracts after which Riot Games will decide on the future of their membership.

Riot Games announced its plans for Valorant esports in 2023 by revealing that it will be moving towards a franchised league system. The Valorant Champions Tour and the global events will continue to exist, but Riot will also have an international league that will be created through partnerships with various esports organizations. Here is everything we know about the franchised league system in Valorant so far.

Entry into the Valorant franchised leagues will be free and invite-only

Riot Games announced that there would be around ten Valorant organizations in the franchised leagues per region and currently there are plans for three regions (Asia, Americas and Europe). The number of teams in the leagues is subject to change but that is what the publisher has planned for now.

The annual stipend of the players is reported to be in the $600,000 USD range but it could go up to as high as $1.5 million USD. Asian partner teams are expected to receive less stipend than the Europe Middle-East and Africa (EMEA) and Americas regions. With Asian markets requiring less operational costs due to the economy, there will be a difference across regions. The exact figures are yet to be reported by any source.

Not much else was revealed by Riot Games since the announcement of the 2023 format reveal but YouTuber Lembo posted a video last week, revealing some “leaked information” about the league. Riot Games is yet to officially confirm any of the following information and readers should take the leaks with a grain of salt.

The partnership system for the Valorant franchised leagues will be different from the League European Championship (LEC) and the League Championship Series (LCS) for League of Legends. Valorant organizations will be offered four-year contracts to compete in the new franchised league system and at the end of the contract period, Riot Games will decide whether to include more teams or to replace existing teams.

With the system being invite-only and free, there is no “ownership” of a spot in the league. Riot Games would be the sole entity that manages the spots on the franchised leagues. Valorant teams will receive money from the league, the amount that each of the teams will receive is currently unknown since sponsorship deals have not yet been laid out.

According to a different report by George Geddes of Dot Esports, the minimum salary for players will be $50,000 USD per year in North America and the salaries will be similar in Asia and Europe. The leagues are expected to take place in Los Angeles for the Americas region, Seoul for the Asian region, while the location for Europe is yet to be determined.

Teams that do not make it to the franchised league system are expected to have an opportunity to compete in separate leagues and the top teams in those events will get to participate in global events featuring both the partnered and non-partnered esports teams in the Valorant scene. More details about the franchised league system will be officially available once the Valorant Champions comes to an end later this year.

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Abhimannu is a PC esports writer at AFK Gaming. With over seven years of experience in esports journalism, he has worked on a myriad of games and their ecosystems including Valorant, Overwatch and Apex Legends.

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