Riot Games has named esports infrastructure company Nerd Street Gamers as its exclusive partner for the first stage of the 2022 VALORANT Champions Tour (VCT) for North America.

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The deal will see Nerd Street Gamers lead the tournament circuit’s operations and broadcast.

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Image credit: Riot Games, Nerd Street Gamers

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VCT Stage 1: Challengers NA commences with two 128-team Open Qualifiers, the first of which is expected to begin on January 27th. Following qualifiers, VCT Stage 1: Challengers will start on February 11th. 

Alongside operating the VCT, Nerd Street Gamers will operate all of Riot Games’ Game Changers series in North America this year.

John Fazio, CEO and Founder of Nerd Street Gamers, spoke on the deal: “Riot Games is an extraordinary partner, and Nerd Street is excited to continue working with a publisher that supports its games’ communities, from first-time players to fans, talent, and professional teams.

“As an organisation, we take pride in delivering top-tier services to every organization we work with, and being selected to operate VCT in its second year demonstrates the success we were able to achieve together last year.” 

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Nerd Street Gamers has a long-standing relationship with Riot Games having operated and produced the LCS Proving Ground last-chance qualifier tournament in 2021. Moreover, the company has collaborated on the North American League of Legends: Wild Rift: Summoner Series.

Bear Jemison, VALORANT Esports Product Lead for North America and Oceania, also commented: “We couldn’t be more excited to work with Nerd Street Gamers again to bring a new season of VCT play to North America, “Nerd Street has been an incredible partner and they bring a wealth of expertise, experience, and passion to their esports operations. We’re confident that together, we’ll build something that fans will love.”

Esports Insider says: Considering the success of Nerd Street’s handling of previous VCT stages, it’s no surprise to see the company return as the exclusive operator for the first stage of 2022 and all VCT Game Changers tournaments in 2022.

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