2023 WCG Ballantine Challengers Korea Stage 1 kicks off on January 26th
Challengers Korea, the first step toward the international league, the upper echelon of the Valorant Champions Tour, kicks off on Thursday, January 26.
Riot Games, the developer and distributor of the 5v5 character-based tactical shooter “VALORANT,” today announced that Stage 1 of the 2023 WCG VALORANT Challengers Korea will kick off on Thursday, January 26 with a matchup between DePlus Gia and Nongshim Red Force.
In 2023, Riot Games will launch a new international league to expand the Valorant esports ecosystem, with sub-leagues, the Challengers League, taking place in 21 regions around the world. The Stage 2 winner of each regional Challengers will advance to the Ascension (promotion) of their region, with Korea’s Pacific Ascension featuring the 10 winning teams from the 10 regional Challengers Leagues in the Pacific.
The winners of each region’s Ascension are eligible to compete in their region’s International League for two years starting the following year. After two years, these teams return to the Regional Challengers to compete in the Regional League and Ascension.
The 2023 WCG Valorant Challengers Korea Stage 1, which kicks off on January 26, is co-presented by Riot Games and Big Picture Interactive, and is the first event to test the mettle of Korean teams that will compete at Ascension.
Six teams, including DPLUS Kia, Nongshim Red Force, Daejeon Hana CNJ, Maru Gaming, WGS X, and OP.GG, will participate as invited teams. Shadow Corp. and Rio qualified for the Open Qualifier on Saturday, January 14 and Sunday, January 15 by surviving to the end.
Shadow Corporation defeated On Slayers 2-0 in the Group 3 final on Day 1 to advance to the Day 2 playoffs, where they took down Turning Mecard and Team Indigo on Day 2 to finish in first place. Rio advanced to Day 2 with a 2-0 victory over Tartarus and Blatter, both of whom participated in Stage 2 of last year’s Valorant Challengers Korea, on Day 1. They lost to Team Indigo in the first game of Day 2, but swept Turning Mecard and Team Indigo in the loser’s bracket and final, respectively, to finish in second place.
The 2023 WCG Ballantine Challengers Korea Stage 1 has a total prize pool of 75 million won and will kick off on January 26 and conclude with the Grand Finals on February 25. The regular league will be played in a single-round robin format (best-of-three) with each team facing off once.
The playoffs for the first through sixth-place finishers in the regular season will begin with Week 1 on Thursday, Feb. 16 through Saturday, Feb. 18, followed by Week 2 on Wednesday, Feb. 22, culminating in the finals on Saturday, Feb. 25. The playoffs will be a best-of-three, best-of-two series, with only the loser’s bracket and final being a best-of-five, best-of-three series. The regular league will be played online, while the playoffs and finals will be played offline, with more details to be announced at a later date.
WCG Ballantine Challengers Korea 2023 will be streamed live on Twitch, WCG Twitch, Ballantine Challengers Tour YouTube, 토토사이트 Challengers Korea YouTube, WCG YouTube, Africa TV channel and Naver Sports.