The 2018 Challenger Series will be a mix of veteran competitors along with a number of rising stars fresh out of the junior ranks.
The Series, introduced for the 2014-2015 season, offers all senior-level skaters the opportunity to compete on a number of international stages. For those not seeded for Grand Prix assignments, these events offer skaters the advantage of testing their skills against some of the best, and earn World Standing Points in the process.
There are two new competitions on the roster this season. The Asian Open Figure Skating Trophy, which had been an ASU International Figure Skating competition since 2007, is now part of the Challenger Series. The Inge Solar Memorial–Alpen Trophy will replace the Cup of Tyrol Innsbruck.
Lombardia Trophy and the U.S. International Figure Skating Classic take place the same weekend in mid-September. Likewise, Ondrej Nepela Trophy and the Autumn Classic International take place simultaneously the following weekend.
The Japanese federation confirmed in late July that Yuzuru Hanyu will open his season on “adopted home turf” at the Autumn Classic International, which takes place in Oakville, a city on the outskirts of Toronto. This will be the first in the last three seasons that he and his former training mate, Javier Fernández, have not gone head-to-head at this competition.