Premier: Promotion and Connecting to Pro Play

Need more info on how you can get one step closer to playing in the VCT? You’ve come to the right place.

How to rise through the ranks of Premier and how our pro play connected Invite Division will work!

With Stage E8A2 coming to a close, we're excited to show you how Premier teams can climb through the ranks based solely on their Premier play, as well as a new division that will connect the best teams to the VALORANT Champions Tour (VCT).


Updated Qualification Threshold

Going forward, the Premier Score playoff qualification threshold will be 600.

Up to this point, the Premier Score threshold for playoff qualification was set at 675. With the upcoming changes to divisions and the introduction of promotion, we’d like more teams to have a chance of making a playoff run and allow teams with busier schedules (and enough wins) to feel ok taking a week off.

But remember—a higher Premier Score from Weekly matches will result in a higher seed for playoffs. So if you’re able to make all of your matches, you’ll have the advantage of easier opponents early on.



If you’ve been playing in Premier, you’ve probably noticed that winning your division’s playoff tournament is no easy feat. Starting with the Stage E8A3 Playoffs and going forward, teams will earn a promotion each time they win, as they’ve clearly demonstrated they’re ready to face more challenging opponents.


This means that in the next Stage, the promoted team will play in a division that is one higher than the previous Stage. For example, if a team in Advanced 1 wins the Stage E8A3 Playoffs, Premier will place them in Advanced 2 for Stage E9A1.

Playoff-based promotion is designed to allow any team to know just how many wins they are from reaching top level play. In Elite 4? You’re two playoff tournament wins away from Contender.

This also moves teams acting like a playoff 'Final Boss' to a division closer to their demonstrated skill level. We want teams in every division to be playing close matches and have a chance to make the playoffs.

Now for some finer details on promotion:

  • Promotion is for the team. Your Team Owner or Captain can add or remove players after receiving a promotion and the team will still qualify for placement in the higher division in the next Stage. If you’re on a team that earns a promotion and you create a new team, the promotion will not follow you.
  • Roster changes will not lose the promotion. Your team will always move up at least one division for the following stage even if you replace your top 5 MMR players with lower MMR players.
  • Teams may move up more than one division. If you add players with significantly higher Competitive MMR to your team, this may push you up to an even higher division.
  • Promotion is only valid for the next stage. If you don’t play in the following Premier Stage, the next time Premier places you in a division, standard seeding rules will apply.

I’m sure some of you are wondering what happens if you’re in Contender (the current highest division) and win your playoffs. Which brings us to…

Premier Connects to Pro Play in E9A1

In Stage E9A1, we’ll be launching a new Invite Division above Contender to complete the final step on the Path to Pro. The new Invite Division will be solely focused on being the highest level of in-game competition for our most talented teams.


Even though it won’t be available until Stage E9A1, teams can still earn a promotion to the Invite Division. To grow the ranks of this new division, in E8A3 we will promote not just the playoff winners, but also any team placing in the top 32 of the Contender Division standings after playoff tournaments finish. As an added bonus, the top 2 teams from Contender Division in each zone will have the opportunity to make it into a Challengers League.

To get to the top of the standings, your playoff result is what’s most important. So teams who get first place in their bracket rise to the top for the Stage, and teams that play in the playoffs will be ranked above ones that did not. After that, we use the following tiebreakers in order:

  • Premier Score (higher is better)
  • Number of Weekly matches played (more is better)
  • Weekly match round differential – Rounds Won minus Rounds Lost (higher is better)

If you’re wondering which Challengers League your Premier zone connects to, see below:




Invite and Contender Format

We’re updating the structure of play in both Invite and Contender Divisions with Stage E9A1. Our goals are to provide a hyper-competitive environment where the players who are best at winning as a team will rise to the top to take their shot in the Pros.

  • All teams must play in two scheduled events each week on the designated map of the week.
  • Instead of 25 points for a loss, losses will now be worth 0 points.
  • Matches will be made between teams with similar records, with rematch protection enabled.
  • If an uneven number of teams show up for an event, the team with the lowest Premier Score will receive a bye instead of playing a match.
  • Playoff qualification will not be based on Premier Score—instead, top teams will qualify for the playoffs based on their standings after Weekly matches finish.
  • After playoff tournaments finish, Premier will promote teams based on the final leaderboard standings for the stage.
  • Riot’s Esports Team will contact team owners promoting out of the Invite Division to provide details on where they will play now that they have earned their shot at pro play.

We’ll have more specific details about these changes as we head toward the full Path to Pro release.

Contender Eligibility

Starting in Stage E9A1, Premier teams in the Contender or Invite Divisions will not be able to add a player to their roster unless that player is Contender Eligible. Our goal is for teams already playing in the Elite Divisions and higher levels of Premier to have the easiest access to this eligibility.

Players who are Contender Eligible will be:

  • Able to join teams in Invite and Contender Divisions.
  • Automatically seeded into Contender Division when forming a new team with at least four other Contender Eligible players.

There’s a few ways a player can become Contender Eligible:

  • Play a weekly match in Contender or Invite.
  • Play a playoff match in Elite 5.
  • Play a Competitive match when ranked as Immortal 3 or higher.

Note that if a team's top five players have a significantly high MMR, they might still form a new team in Contender or have their existing team seeded there. In fact, we are adjusting the MMR calculations for divisions to facilitate natural formation of teams in Contender, maintaining a healthy number of teams in this division.

You will soon see Contender Eligibility information in the client.

Next Steps

We’ll have even more specifics to share about the schedules and pro connections as we near the full connection of our Path to Pro in Stage E9A1, but we hope this gives you an idea of where we’re headed.

While the team has focused on delivering this global connection to the VCT, we’re already looking forward to improving the experience for all Premier divisions and continuing to make it the most prestigious way to play VALORANT with your team.

I’d like to thank you all for joining us on this path, and we hope you’ll enjoy your journey in Premier. Good luck on your games!