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The 2021 VALORANT Champions Tour (VCT) Last Chance Qualifier for the Asia-Pacific (APAC) region had its team allocation updated to give the two slots devoted for Chinese teams in the event away to South Korea and Japan due to logistical issues.
The VCT Last Chance Qualifier for APAC features 10 teams from the region competing for a spot in VALORANT Champions, the final and marquee tournament of the 2021 VCT, in December.
The qualifier's original team allocation was comprised of three teams from Southeast Asia, two each from Japan, South Korea, and China, as well as one team from South Asia.
In a statement released on Friday (24 September), Riot Games revealed their decision to reallocate the slots for China over to South Korea and Japan came as a result of "logistical issues that have the potential to impact the overall competitive integrity of the tournament".
Riot did not elaborate further on the "logistical issues" faced by the Chinese teams.
VALORANT is not officially released yet in China, and is currently awaiting approval from the country's National Press and Publication Administration.
This meant that Chinese players and teams had to resort to using virtual private networks (VPNs) to play and compete on the game's Hong Kong servers.
While using VPNs may have allowed Chinese teams to play and compete in VALORANT before the game's official release in the country, it also came at the cost of having to play with significant ping.
With the slot redistribution, DAMWON Gaming from South Korea and FENNEL from Japan will be taking over the slots previously devoted to the Chinese teams.
ZETA DIVISION pull out
An additional slot for a Japanese team was also opened up after ZETA DIVISION withdrew from the qualifier.
ZETA DIVISION explained in a statement on Friday that they withdrew from the APAC Last Chance Qualifier in order to rebuild for the 2022 VCT. The team notably finished second in the VCT circuit point standings for Japan after finishing second in the country's Stage 1 Masters and Stage 2 Challengers events and winning the Stage 3 Challengers Playoffs.
ZETA DIVISION's victory in the Stage 3 Challengers Playoffs for Japan also earned them a slot in the recently-concluded VCT Stage 3 Masters tournament in Berlin, Germany. However, the team crashed out of Masters Berlin in 13th-15th place after losing in the two games they played in the group stage.
The organisation said in their statement that their results in Masters Berlin were "more severe than expected" and that it prompted them to look ahead to the 2022 VCT instead of competing in the APAC Last Chance Qualifier "without strengthening or reorganizing the team".
As a result of ZETA DIVISION's withdrawal, Northeption has also earned a spot in the qualifier.
About the VCT Last Chance Qualifier APAC
The full list of teams competing in APAC Last Chance Qualifier now include Paper Rex, FULL SENSE, and BOOM Esports from Southeast Asia; REJECT, Northeption, and FENNEL from Japan; NUTURN Gaming, F4Q, and DAMWON Gaming from South Korea; as well as Global Esports from South Asia.
The event will take place from 11 to 17 October and will follow a double-elimination format with all matches being a best-of-three except for the grand finals, which will be a full best-of-five series.
The winner of the APAC Last Chance Qualifier will join three other Last Chance Qualifier teams from North America, South America, as well as Europe, Middle East and North Africa in the last batch of squads to qualify for VALORANT Champions.
Gambit Esports, Sentinels, Team Envy, KRÜ Esports, Team Vikings, Keyd Stars, Acend, Fnatic, Vision Strikers, Crazy Raccoon, X10 Esports, and Team Secret have already qualified for the tournament through circuit points.
VALORANT Champions will take place from 2 to 12 December in Berlin, Germany and will crown the first-ever VALORANT world champions.
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