ESL and AOC Gaming are teaming up to host a new Oceania Valorant tournament: VALORANT Rising Heroes. The tournament will run from March to June and boasts a prize pool of $20,000 AUD, along with other gamer gear prizes.
Rising Heroes tournament structure and prizes
The three-month long VALORANT Heroes Rising event will have three different open qualifier sections, followed by a group stage. The group stage will be a Swiss group structure. Once the top eight teams have been decided, the playoffs will commence in a double-elimination bracket.
This tournament’s prize pool rivals that of the Oceania Tour events and also includes a collection of gamer gear prizes. Teams that finish in the top three will receive keyboards, mice, headsets, and microphones with the top two teams earning new monitors as well.
Australia and New Zealand have had a rough to start to their competitive Valorant scene. The region did not have access to the game until June, prompting some to play on the North American server during the beta. Oceania was initially left out of the Valorant Champions Tour announcement.
Now the region is a part of the VCT with the Oceania Tour, but has lacked high profile tournaments and significant prize pools outside of those events. The territory also does not have a direct path towards a Masters slot for international competition. Oceania teams must battle within their own regional Challengers events, with the top two teams qualifying for a last-chance match with North American squads to earn a Masters spot.
The Oceanic region has been on a bit of a downswing recently. The most dominant team in the region, EXO Clan, is in the process of leaving for America. The team is currently competing in Oceania because of travel and visa restrictions, but have committed to competing in North America in the future.
Competing for a last-chance spot while playing in Oceania may be harder than moving to North America for more chances to qualify for Masters. The competitive Valorant scene in North America continues to grow with new Valorant Champions Tour Challengers events and Game Changer Series.
The region clearly has a fondness for the game. Many former Counter Strike, Fortnite and Overwatch professionals have made the jump to Valorant. Community tournaments and monthly events are common, albeit with smaller prize pools and attendance than other larger regions. But, Oceania has been underrepresented in the Riot circuit and does not receive the same attention similar regions do.