Here’s a handy rundown of the VCT betting basics and everything you need to know about the premier Valorant esports events, including schedules, top teams and a regional overview!

Valorant Champions Tour 2021: the rundown

Riot Games is hard at work to bolster the competitive scene of Valorant and the esports scene’s inaugural season is heating up as we’re heading into Stage 3 Masters Berlin of the circuit, with lots of coveted VCT points on the line to secure an invitation to the global finals later this year.

The Valorant esports scene may look a bit confusing at first with all the different event types and the oddly named multi-hyphenated tournament names: here’s how it all shakes out and what you need to pay special attention to if you’re interested in VCT betting.

VALORANT Champions Tour schedule and format

The Valorant Champions Tour, or VCT for short, is the pinnacle of competitive Valorant. After a set of initial regional events in the pandemic era, the structure has solidified in a way similar to how Riot has organized the League of Legends competitive circuit:

Regional events remain the foundation of the VCT, with Valorant Champions Challengers events (comprising of open and closed qualifiers heading into the Challengers Playoffs) guaranteeing qualification spots for the international Valorant Champions Masters events. Overall performances in the Tour will net you points that will count towards your qualification for Valorant Champions 2021. This means that VCT betting enthusiasts should keep an eye out on all these events on the calendar as every result feeds into the overall standings in the race for the global finals.

Beyond the eleven highest-scoring teams from the circuit, the winner of Masters 3 will directly qualify for the main event as well alongside the winners of the four last chance qualifiers to make up the sixteen-team total field of Valorant Champions 2021.

The Valorant esports scene currently comprises seven regions: North America, EMEA (meaning “Europe, the Middle East and Africa”), Brazil, (the rest of) Latin America, Japan, Southeast Asia and Korea.

Betting on VCT: the most important storylines you need to know

VCT betting requires a great understanding of the Valorant metagame and the way the various regional qualifier results shake out. Here’s what you should keep an eye out going forward to better understand Valorant odds as we progress towards the business end of the VCT season:

Early adopters are not the best – these VCT teams should be treated with skepticism

There’s been a lot of hype, understandably, around the teams and players built around CS:GO pros and notable personalities early into Valorant’s life cycle, especially when it comes to North America.

However, esports history has shown us that these early adopters banking on their existing fame and previous expertise in other games can rarely keep up with the up-and-coming youngsters who pick up the game with a fresh perspective, and it’s the reason behind why teams like 100 Thieves and TSM have been slowly falling down the pecking order in NA, and by the same token, why G2 had to go through a complete roster revamp to remain relevant in Europe. Treat teams like these with skepticism when betting on VCT events and you should see an increase in your results!

Stay on top of the Valorant patches to understand what’s going on in the competitive scene

Having a good understanding of the gameplay is paramount to figuring out which teams are going to emerge as dark horses and surprise victors in competitive events. VCT betting experts always keep an eye on the latest developments in the metagame: even small shifts like the recent discoveries related to effective ADS binds can lead to the rapid rise of teams that are extra effective with a particular set of weapons or on a given map.

Agents’ buffs and nerfs also have an outsized impact on the short-term performances of teams and players and keeping an eye on their social media should give you a good idea of whether they expect to do well or poorly after any set of changes.

The Valorant Champions Tour is still very young – expect many changes over time

Valorant Champions 2021 is the inaugural top-tier esports tournament for the game, so much like how the players, teams and the gameplay are all subject to change, the same holds true for the tournament format and the entire competitive scene as a whole. This means that as important as the current winners will be in esports history, Valorant Champions 2021 will serve as much of a footnote from a VCT betting perspective as TI1 did for Dota 2 all the way back in 2011: everything is set to evolve over time.