Hello fellow readers! In this article you will be able to find everything you need to know about Vainglory betting, a title of the Multiplayer Online Battle Arena (we’ll refer to it as MOBA from now on, to make things simpler) mobile genre.
The entire mobile market is on a huge upward trend all over the world, caused by the number of people with access to a smartphone and wireless internet connection growing each day – not to mention the ever-increasing processing power of the devices enabling games to scale up to very good interface graphics, which in result bring in more and more players over time.
There are some mobile titles even pushing to be Electronic Sports, and Vainglory is one of those. Below you can read an in-depth and comprehensive guide to its biggest tournaments up to date, best teams and pro players on the scene, bet types currently accepted on the pro matches, expectations for the future of the product and the market in general and much more.
As pointed out above, the game is made for smartphones and tablets that have iOS (released in November 2014) and Android (released in July 2015) and was developed and published by the same company, Super Evil Megacorp founded in 2012 with their focus solely on this title.
Since its launch, the game has received lots of praise from critics and players alike. It won the “Apple Design Award” in 2015 and the famous media outlet “The Guardian” named Vainglory the best iOS gaming app of 2014. Some of the ratings it got from sites specialized in gaming are:
As you can see, these are already good scores on their own, but when compared to other similar titles designed for mobile platforms, they look even better. It’s hard to find a well thought out, developed and published the application for cell phones nowadays, as most recent launches seem to be failed attempts at a quick cash grab, with little (and unoriginal) content and lots of micro transactions (and many of them being literally pay to win).
Vainglory has a very similar playstyle to Dota 2 and League of Legends (the two biggest multiplayer online battle arena titles for PC currently) but the length of the matches are much shorter – the average dispute lasts around 20 minutes, making easier for the fans to play it anywhere at any little time they available.
In a regular match, two teams face against each other in a 3 versus 3 setting, with each person controlling 1 unique hero (or Avatˆar, as it is commonly called). The opposing factions fight to control the middle path (also known as lane) and eventually destroy the enemy’s base. The clash ends when one team manages to destroy the other’s ˆ (this structure is like Dota 2’s Ancient Throne or League of Legend’s Nexus), the ultimate objective of the match.
Similar to the other MOBAs, there are constant (on a fixed timer) spawns of minions, creatures that are controlled by the computer artificial intelligence and aid the players on their offense and defense. Along the lane there are turrets that attack automatically anything that dares to come close (from the opposing team). One more map feature that is present in VG is the jungle, situated below the lane with many creatures to be killed or objectives to be taken and/or controlled by the Avatars.
The communication factor is very important in a MOBA game and is a hard thing to achieve in a mobile app by the developers. In VG, for the communication between the players on the same side, there are 3 options available as of this date: Emoticons, Strategy pings and pre fixed text lines (like Dota 2’s chat wheel).
The ranking system
The ranking system for the matchmaking ladder inside the game is calculated by ELO, as is common with most electronic sports nowadays. This allows everyone to have a good experience while gaming by constantly facing opponents of similar skill level. When you improve and start winning more than losing, your ELO increases and you face off against better players. In case you fall into a big losing streak, the opposite happens and you’re put against weaker competition.
Microtransactions within the application
The way Super Evil Megacorp found to monetize the app in order to cover the expenses they have to run the game and to net a reasonable profit is through microtransactions. The fans can buy Immensely Concentrated Evil (ICE) with real money and then spend it to unlock new Avatars and different skins for their already owned heroes, to make them look better and different.
But don’t worry, because VG is not a pay to win game. Every time you play a match, you are rewarded with Glory points – these points can also be used to permanently unlock new Avatars, meaning that the users who wish to spend money here will have no advantage over “free users”, only a cosmetic difference.
Vainglory bet types for pro matches
Some sites have already started to offer the option to bet on Vainglory professional matches and series. This trend started earlier in the year, with the announcement of a complete competitive calendar spanning through the entire year with many events in all the regions of the world.
So far the betting types for the VG are very limited but are expected to be expanded in the future as the game keeps growing and pulling in more players and viewers. The most common types are:
Winner of the series
You pick either team A or B to win the best of 3 (or best of 5 in case of grand finals or challenge battle). There are only 2 possible outcomes (win or lose) and no possibility of a draw.
Winner of the map
For this bet, you pick either one of the teams to win a given map (you can choose map 1, map 2 or even a map 3 in case the series ties at 1 x 1). Same as the other type above, there are only 2 possible outcomes, win or lose – and there are no chances of a draw to make the bet null.
In this section, you will be able to read about the rules set in place by Super Evil Megacorp to ensure the game is played in the fairest way possible, with both squads having equal chances of winning the match and the outcome relying solely on the professional’s skill level. You will realize (if you are into any other MOBA eSports) that some rules are basically the same from other titles of the same genre. Here’s a quick list (reminder: you can find the complete rulebook on Vainglory’s official site, at the eSports section).
- The dispute only ends when one team destroy the others Vain Crystal, or when one of the squads decide to surrender.
- Competitive matches are played on the official 3v3 map (Halcyon Fold) on standard settings, with each roster picking their Avatars alternatively (there are currently 34 heroes in the game to be chosen by the players and more and more are being added on a frequent basis).
- Everyone must play on their tablets or smartphones. Using a simulator to run the application on a Personal Computer with a keyboard and a mouse is prohibited and if caught doing this, a crew may be disqualified from the tournament or be punished with a Walk Over.
- Teams must have a minimum of 3 and a maximum of 5 mates in their competitive roster, and all players must attend the scheduled dates of competition and the Media Day that happens one day prior to the matches, to promote the series.
- All of the players on a roster must be at least 13 years old to be able to participate in the tournaments and events held for VG.
- Inappropriate behavior is prohibited. This consists of swearing, cheating, harassing other players, collusion, violence, sexism, racism, etc.
Regarding match disruptions of any kind (a very heated topic in any eSports’ community), these are the rules in place:
- Players are required to ensure that their internet connection is stable and in good conditions to be able to start the series.
- In case of someone disconnects, the game can be paused. This will be judged by the tournament organizers watching the match (the duration of the pause as well).
- If it takes too long for the player to return, or if he comes back but still experiences connectivity problems, the tournament organizers may decide if a second pause will be issued or if the game must be played on.
- Any organizer can declare a match restart at any time he sees its fit. Other than that, a match will only be restarted if all players from both teams agree on the decision to remake the map.
Biggest Events for Vainglory
In this section, we’ll go over VG’s biggest tournaments during its competitive calendar. Super Evil Megacorp did a great job planning and executing these events and the scene greatly benefits from this very organized approach by the company.
The eSports’ site for VG is very clean, user friendly and contains all the information you need to know: schedule for the upcoming matches, format explanation, qualifiers and events structure info, etc.
Let’s delve into some of the events:
The Evil 8
The evil 8 is a competition that happens in both North America and Europe, separately. Each division holds 8 of the best teams in the region that face each other each weekend during the competitive calendar, being awarded points for their wins.
A single Evil 8 Season is divided into 2 splits, and at the end of each one there is a match called “Challenge Battle”. In this mini event, the 3 rosters with the least amount of points on the Evil 8 league will have to play a series against the 3 best placed teams in the Challenger ladder (these series are best of 5). If the Challenger squad wins, they knock down the Evil 8 crew to the CL tier and claim their spot on E8 for the next split.
Once the second split is over, the 5 best placed guys will be qualified to the Live Championships, along with the 3 winners from the Challenge Battle mini event. These 8 teams will then duke it out against each other to decide which squad will lift the Evil 8 trophy (there’s 1 NA champion and 1 EU champion).
Tesseract League / Vainglory 8
Tesseract League is the official qualifier for the Southeast Asia region that awards organizations with spots in the upcoming Vainglory 8 season.
The format of VG 8 is the same as the one described above for The Evil 8, with the main ladder (VG 8) and a Challenger ladder as well.
The winner of Tesseract League is also awarded with a direct spot into the next Vainglory International Premier League, the most prestigious event of the year for the mobile MOBA.
Rage is similar to Tesseract League, but it is aimed at Japanese teams and organizations. The winner of RAGE is also credited with a direct invite to the next Vainglory International Premier League and a chance to compete against the best crews in the world on the biggest stage for the game.
Vainglory International Premier League
This event is like Dota 2’s International or League of Legend’s World Finals – it’s the biggest tournament of the year for Vainglory players, and the most exciting for the fans to watch and cheer for their favorite teams.
The attending guys are the winners of RAGE, Terreract League, North America’s Evil 8 division, Europe’s Evil 8 division and invited teams by Super Evil Megacorp and OGN based on recent performances (and also a little bit of fan appeal to bring more hype to the tournament and the competitive scene).
Best Vainglory Professional Squads
Since the competitive calendar season for the game is already halfway through (it started earlier in the year and ends in November), we can already analyze the organization’s skill level and compare them against each other (not with teams from different regions though, as they have not faced each other enough times to draw any conclusions).
One thing you will notice when we go through the best teams currently is the presence of many high caliber organizations that have a Vainglory division and sponsor players with salaries and give them the necessary infrastructure for them to compete at the highest level. Let’s start with the North America scene:
Cloud 9 started the 2017 season as the Dream Team for the NA region. With 3 very talented players, they are always among the favorites in any events they attend. Their roster is currently: Gabevizzle, Oldskool, ILoveJoseph.
In the competitive split of autumn 2017, Cloud 9 managed to finish the group stage in first place, with impressive 19 points accumulated, qualifying with ease for the playoffs. At the Round of 8, they faced off against Hollywood Hammers and won with a convincing 2 x 0.
At the round of 4, they got caught off guard and ended up losing 0 x 2 to Team SoloMid, and afterwards to Nova eSports in the 3rd place deciding series (with a 1 x 2 score).
Despite their shortcoming in the autumn split, they have managed to win the 2017 summer live championship, taking home $30.000 USD, a very nice sum of money for a mobile MOBA competition (and this is expected to increase as the game keeps growing in user base and in viewers numbers for the tournaments).
TSM is arguably the best team in the NA region as of now. They have 2 North Americans and 1 Chinese playing in the main squad: BestChuckNA, VONC and FlashX.
The organization already has 6 titles in the history of the game, the first one being back in March of 2016, and the latest one the summer 2017 1st split that just happened last July. Due to all these victories, the org has already claimed roughly $90.000 USD in prize purses so far.
Heading into the 2nd summer spit, TSM has already guaranteed their spot in the Live Championship, since it is impossible for them to drop below top 5 in the ladder with the number of points they have accumulated.
Tempo Storm is another well known organization in the eSports world, with divisions on many of the most popular games currently. Their roster consists of the players Selena, Hide and LostboyToph, all 3 of them from North America.
Tempo Storm is a smaller team in VG compared to the 2 mentioned above because they lack previous results to back them up. Putting that aside, their performance on the 1st summer split was very good, and they ended up in 4th place, and are now almost securing themselves a spot at the Live Championships – if they can keep up their good showings from the first split they’ll certainly make it.
The orgs total winnings as of today are $6.000 USD and they wish to add more to that on the upcoming events.
Hammer eSports consists of StartingAllOver, ttigers and Chicken123, 3 North Americans as well just like Tempo Storm. Their total winnings amounts to $10.500 USD, with their most impressive results being two 3rd place finishes earlier in the year at Spring 2017’s first and second splits.
Hammer had the worst performance in the last split (1st summer split) in the NA region, scoring only 2 points in the entire first split. Despite those awful showings, Hammers managed to win the Challenge Battle to maintain themselves at the highest tier of competition and have been showing great signs of improvement on the 2nd split – so far they have accumulated 14 points, putting them in 2nd place for the split and 3rd place overall for the summer, almost clinching the so desired spot in the Live Championships.
Now that you’ve read about the best teams in North America, let’s move over to Europe and see which organizations have been dominating the most, especially in the latest split.
Fnatic is one of the biggest electronic sports organizations in the world, so it’s no surprise that they’re represented in VG – and by some of the best players in the world, no less. They are TetnoJJ (from Germany), Palmattoro (from Italy) and nettetoilette (from Germany as well).
Don’t be fooled by Fnatic’s measly $9.500 USD in winnings only, because they are currently the 3rd place finishers in the 1st summer split and the 1st place overall accounting for both splits’ points so far.
As big as Fnatic is, they won’t settle until they’re at the very top of the competitive scene, so we can expect their roster to continually improve until they can claim some titles.
Same as Fnatic, SK Gaming is insanely huge. Since the Dota 1 and Counter Strike 1.6 days, SK is one of the most legendary organizations in the world, fielding only the best players and paying them accordingly for their skill.
They are currently sitting in 2nd for the Europe summer split, only behind Fnatic, and have already secured a spot to the Live Championships that is coming up in the next weeks. Beyond that, they were crowned the champions of the 1st summer split, taking home $5.750 USD to add to their now total of almost $20.000 USD in prize winnings overall.
SK’s roster is currently: Kvalafar (Portugal), Tyruzz (Germany) and jetpacks (Norway). They’ve been playing together since February and have shown good signs of improvement this year.
Although not as famous or with as big a reputation as the 2 teams mentioned above, G2 deserves respect for their eSports achievements across many games and genres.
Their current roster consists of Hundor, DarkPotato and KeanuNakoa, al 3 from Germany. This squad has been playing together the entire 2017 season, and have managed to claim 1 title, three 3rd place finishes and 1 8th place finish this year.
G2’s total prize pool winnings is pretty big, roughly $32.000 USD as of today. They probably won’t raise this number much in the future, since they’ve been playing very poorly during the Summer in both splits – they have to be very careful in the upcoming weeks otherwise they might get knocked down to the Challenger tier.
With 2 Germans on the squad (Apfel123 and ImTheDoom) and one player from the Republic of Moldova (justman00), mousesports have around $16.500 USD in prize winnings and are the squad with the most roster changes among the top teams. In 2017 alone, they have already gone through more than 10 player transactions (coming and leaving).
Mous is sitting comfortably in 3rd place with a spot in the Live Championships already secured for the season. This means they have a great chance of raking in a lot more in prizes and also increase their chances of being invited to Vainglory International Premier League at the end of the season.
These are 4 of the biggest Europe guys. We won’t go through teams from other regions in this article, but we might do a follow up at a more opportune time to talk about the Southeast Asia, China and South Korean professional scenes.
What’s in store for the future of Vainglory eSports?
With the competitive season a little bit more than half way through, VG has been experiencing great gains in terms of new players and viewer numbers for their recent events. This means the game will probably expand its eSports calendar for the next year, with more opportunities for teams from different regions to play against each other (would be great to generate some hype before the VIPL at the tail end of the season).
The prize purses for the events should also increase as well, with the games ability to attract more sponsors and negotiate better deals with the already existing ones (the fact that there are big organizations with Vainglory professional teams also helps in this case).
The future of mobile MOBAs in general
In regards to the mobile MOBA market, things are looking very bright. The mobile gaming community is growing exponentially in the number of players – mainly because smartphones are more and more accessible as every day goes by and internet wireless connections becoming better, more stable and cheaper.
This means that the mobile market is tapping into a niche people who weren’t normally gamers and now have started playing on their phones or tablets. These people most of the time don’t own Personal Computers with the necessary hardware to play with a decent setup – they’re exclusively playing on mobile!
Couple that with the fact that the gaming app industry is growing each year with no signs of stopping or even slowing down and you have the perfect conditions for mobile MOBAs to dominate the market in the future. If you are just reading this article without ever playing Vainglory, I suggest you give it a try for yourself and see that the user experience within the game is very good, even compared to the more traditional gaming methods (such as PC and consoles).
Thanks for reading our article! Feel free to bookmark it and send to your friends if they have any questions about Vainglory or even mobile MOBAs in general. We will be covering many more games coming up in the next days and weeks, so stay tuned so you don’t miss out on our complete and in depth guides!