Vainglory: A New Update and Partnership with ESL Leads to an International eSport Championship.

Vainglory: Partnership with ESL Leads to an International eSport Championship

I had the pleasure of chatting with the folks at Super Evil Mega Corp again today, on the heels of their latest and perhaps one of their most significant update thus far. Along with congratulating them on their incredible success and the corresponding rave reviews from the core gaming community, we got to talk about their latest update and what the future holds for this ground-breaking title that has taken the gaming world by storm.

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Any fan of this phenomenal MOBA will be happy to know that the first set of hero skins is finally here! Now you can unlock the newest looks for six of Vainglory's most popular heroes, including two of my favorites, Koshka and Petal, as well as Adagio, Saw, Ringo, and Glaive. But that's just the tip of the iceberg.

Vainglory: Partnership with ESL Leads to an International eSport Championship

As sweet as the new skins may be, the skins are just that—an external garb that changes the look of your characters, but not their performance. As Vainglory's COO Kristian Segerstrale reiterated to me today, SEMC is committed to keeping Vainglory a free-to-play game in every respect. Vainglory is not, not will it ever become a typical "freemium" game, which means it will never host advertisements, nor will it ever incorporate a pay-to-play or pay-to-win structure. So while the skins certainly are cool, and you can count me among the many who went and spent my precious ICE (in-game currency purchased with real world money) on new skins for my heroes, the skins don't change the way you play, and they don't affect your hero's abilities. They aren't necessary and they don't help you progress. That said, this game has brought me so many hours of enjoyment that I had zero qualms about dropping another $20 on this game to buy more ICE. It's also important that I mention that ICE isn't the only way to acquire skins. With today's update, Vainglory's developers have introduced a card gaming element whereby you randomly win cards of varying value, just by playing the game. These cards can subsequently be traded in to purchase skins. In fact, as second- and third-tier skins eventually roll out, you will only be able to get those most prized skins with collected cards, not with ICE.

Vainglory: Partnership with ESL Leads to an International eSport Championship

To me the most noteworthy news out of the Vainglory camp today is that they have partnered with ESL (one of the most prominent names in eSports) and are about to put on the first ever Vainglory international championship. This is not an event that will take place under a different banner, such as a competition held at an event like PAX or E3. This is a standalone Vainglory only competition, taking place over the course of the next several weeks and offering a cash prize and NVIDIA tablets to boot. Vainglory is a MOBA like no other, being built from the ground as it is, specifically for mobile devices. It's no small feat that this game has garnered the attention of the international core gaming community and the fact that they have so quickly risen to a level of popularity that opens the door for such high Elo competition is a testament to the quality and refinement of this unapologetically core mobile game.

Vainglory: Partnership with ESL Leads to an International eSport Championship

With nine qualifier cups starting on the 13th of May and culminating in the grand finals on June 14, the international Vainglory championship is one of the first ever professional-level eSports competitions to revolve around a game that is built entirely for mobile devices only. This championship will be hosted in Germany, at the ESL headquarters in their dedicated eSport arena. Teams from around the globe will be present online to compete in this event that is like no other before it, paving the way for Vainglory to truly establish itself as a legitimate and formidable eSport game on its own merit.

Vainglory: Partnership with ESL Leads to an International eSport Championship

In the relatively short time since its introduction to the world at Apple's launching event for the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus, Vainglory has amassed a large, passionate, and skilled player base that has shown tremendous loyalty and support. I'm looking forward to some stiff competition, and if you've been watching the many high Elo mathces on the Vainglory Twitch streams then you know what I mean.

All I can say is "look out" to PCs and consoles. Mobile is intrinsic to the future of modern video gaming. With a game like Vainglory it is not so hard to imagine a future of eSports where a mobile game actually attracts the same stadium-filling crowds that some of the more established PC based MOBA already do.

For more news on Vainglory's latest update be sure to tune into their weekly Twitch stream on Friday afternoon, where PlayoffBeard and Zekent will recap this week's big news as well as host live matches. For those that haven't watched Vainglory gameplay, it's a great way to learn the game and pick up handy tips and valuable strategies. You can even click HERE to see your very own iPhone Life reporter playing alongside SEMC's EvilFinn and their resident pro-gamer Zekent.

And stay tuned to iPhone Life for the full transcript of my recent interview with Super Evil's own COO, Kristian Segerstrale where we discuss everything from the recent madhouse that was the Vainglory launch in Japan, to the important role the world renown ESL (Electronic Sports League) has played in Vainglory's emergence on the pro gaming circuit.

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Dig Om's picture

As Senior Gear Editor at iPhone Life, Dig reports on the latest and greatest accessories built for the iOS ecosystem. From rugged gear and Bluetooth speakers, to headphones, unique iDevice cases, and iOS remote controlled vehicles, Dig's articles cover a wide range of great gear for the iPhone and iPad. A core gamer for over three decades, Dig also writes iPhone Life's Game Centered column, which focuses on the best iOS games and game related news. Additionally, Dig's company, iDoc Tech Support, offers web design and administration services as well as iPhone and iPad repairs. When not at his work desk, Dig loves spending time with family and enjoying the wonders of nature. You can follow him on Twitter @idoctech