With a bang
The Valorant Champions Tour is heading to Madrid for the first global esports event of 2024, Masters Madrid, and the schedule and format have both been revealed.
All Valorant esports roads lead to Madrid, Spain for the first global event of the 2024 competitive season. This event will see the top eight teams from the world competing for the first international title of the year. Masters Madrid not only is the start of the season, but it also has major implications for the rest of the year.
The 2024 season is set to be a huge one as Valorant esports grows despite some of the best teams being broken apart and some of the game’s biggest names walking away.
VCT 2024: Masters Madrid schedule, dates
VCT 2024: Masters Madrid is set to start on March 14 at the Madrid Arena in Spain. Tickets for the event will go on sale on January 12.
The event will run from March 14 through March 24. The official broadcast starts at 10:00 am ET, 7:00 am PST. The schedule is set as follows:
- March 14-18 – Swiss Stage
- March 21 – Bracket Stage
- March 22 – Upper Bracket Finals and Lower Bracket Semifinals
- March 23 – Lower Bracket Finals
- March 24 – Grand Finals
VCT 2024: Masters Madrid uses the same format as previous years with eight teams starting in the Swiss stage. The Swiss stage determines the seeding for the Bracket Stage. The tournament will follow a double-elimination format until one team is crowned as the champion.
VCT Kick-Off events dates
Teams qualify for Masters Madrid by performing well in regional Kick-Off events, which are scheduled to take place throughout February.
- VCT 2024: Americas Kick-Off – February 16
- VCT 2024: China Kick-Off – February 22
- VCT 2024: EMEA Kick-Off – February 20
- VCT 2024: Pacific Kick-Off – February 17
Each Kick-Off event has 11 teams fighting for one of two spots in Madrid. The competitive pool is comprised of 10 partner teams that return for each league cycle and one “Ascension” team that has to earn their spot.
The stakes of the events are not entirely clear. The prize pool for Masters Madrid 2024 is unknown, and it is uncertain whether winning will guarantee qualification for future international Valorant events.
Who is the favorite to win Masters Madrid 2024?
Fnatic is, without a doubt, one of the favorites to win Masters Madrid 2024, based solely on its 2023 performance.
Fnatic kept the same roster, which is considered by many as one of the best in the scene. This stands in harsh contrast to Valorant Champions 2023 winner Evil Geniuses, which has been stripping down and selling its roster for parts. Runner-up Paper Rex has also gone through a number of changes since the event with Wang “Jinggg” Jing Jie in limbo and Benedict “Benkai” Tan leaving.
Another strong contender is NRG. The team recently signed former Evil Geniuses players Max “Demon1” Mazanov and Ethan “Ethan” Arnold, as well as Jimmy “Marved” Nguyen. The roster is stacked with talent but will need to gel quickly.
Finally, Brazil’s LOUD remains a contender. The team kept its 2023 roster largely intact and was generally strong throughout the year. It came in third in Valorant Champions 2023 and could improve that at Masters Madrid.
The participants for VCT Masters Madrid 2024 are not yet confirmed, so these teams will still need to qualify for the event. A more definitive favorite will emerge once the event approaches and the 2024 Valorant esports season progresses.