A format has been chosen for the first Masters tournament in the European, CIS and Turkish regions.
After months of questionable tournament formats and a lack of broadcasted matches, Riot Games has announced the official format for the European regional Masters tournaments.
The major events will be a group stage into playoffs format with two groups in a double-elimination format with the playoffs also in a double-elimination format.
VCT Europe, Turkey and CIS Masters format have been announced.
🔹 Dates: March 12-21
🔹 Two GSL groups into 4-team single elimination bracket
🔹 All matches are Bo3 (Grand Finals are Bo5)
🔹 $300,000 USD total prize pool
— Liquipedia VALORANT (@LiquipediaVAL) March 3, 2021
All matches will be best-of-three except for the grand finals which will be a best-of-five showdown. The combined prize pool for the three tournaments will be $300,000. Each spot in the event will also award qualification points for each team participating.
The lowest placing teams will receive 10 points with the winner of the tournament receiving 100.
History of European Formats
The Valorant Champions Tour and many of Europe's other high-profile tournament series have had some interesting formats before this Masters announcement. The current system for Europe, CIS and Turkey is a single-elimination open qualifier with each bracket culminating in a final qualification match.
Even when teams qualify for the main event, they are still in separate groups that will not meet until this Masters tournament. Many of the qualification matches are also not streamed which is in stark comparison to other regions like North America that have hundreds of matches streamed thanks to its double-elimination tournament format.
Even before the VCT, the European region did not adopt a double-elimination tournament structure. Tournament organizers either went with single-elimination formats or tried new innovative formats like the Red Bull Homeground tournament. In that particular event, teams would compete in a best-of-three match that could turn into a best-of-five if both teams took a map off each other.
Other Regional Formats
Tournament format experimentation has been a staple in many regions for the VCT. Brazil and Korea have adopted group stage formats for qualifications into the Masters event, with a best-of-one or two map series for each group.
While the experimentation has been a novel process in many regions, Europe specifically may have suffered from its limited amount of matches. While Brazil, Korea and North America have a host of match VODs and tournaments for fans to watch, Europe is restricted by its current format to a few recorded matches from high-profile teams.
This Masters format announcement should fix this problem in the region and give fans something worth watching, a tournament, which they have not had in the VCT era so far.