Aspiring VALORANT pros in Oceania, who have been left in the dark about the esports’ future in the region, can breathe a sigh of relief following Riot Games’ partnership extension with New Zealand-based LetsPlay.Live.
Competitors will battle for a share of a $100,000 AUD prize pool across two stages in 2023, with the Stage 2 champions receiving an invitation to the APAC VALORANT Ascension tournament.
From there, OCE’s top squad will take on the best up-and-coming teams from the wider Asia-Pacific region for a shot at the VALORANT Pacific League — joining the best of the best in Riot’s major VALORANT franchised league.
The LPL & Riot Games deal is an extension of a current partnership dating back to 2021.
“Oceania has been a strong contender on the VALORANT stage over 2021 and 2022,” said LPL Founder and Managing Director Duane Matu.
“We’re excited to be shining a light on our player and desk talent through broadcasts and tournaments across the next two years, solidifying LPL’s place in the OCE scene.
“We’re thrilled to be partnering with Riot Games once more to bring VALORANT esports and global pathways to the Oceanic region.”
Open qualifier applications for VALORANT Challengers Oceania 2023 Stage 1 are open now, with the main tournament set to kick off in mid-January.
Stage 2 is set to begin in April, with Oceania’s representative for the APAC Ascension tournament decided by June.
It is understood VALORANT Challengers Oceania will be held online only at this stage.
Riot Games first partnered with LPL in 2021 with the VALORANT Oceania Tour — complete with a $30,000 AUD prize pool and an opportunity to compete at VCT Champions.
“We’re excited to be continuing our partnership with LetsPlay.Live to deliver quality VALORANT esports to our Oceanic players,” said Ben Galea, Oceanic League Manager for Riot Games.
“VALORANT continues to be growing in Oceania and with continued investment and a clear path to the top through international play, we hope our players are more excited than ever to be part of the VALORANT esports ecosystem.”
Registration for VALORANT Challengers Oceania’s Stage 1 Open Qualifiers is now open, with the qualifiers beginning this December.