Game Centered: Vainglory, YouTube Gaming, and eSports on iOS

Game Centered features roundups and reviews of the best in iOS games and gaming related news. Among the App Store’s myriad games, it’s all too easy to overlook some of the great new releases. Each installment of Game Centered takes a closer look at a select few  iOS games that are worthy of special recognition. This week we'll be taking a look at Vainglory's eSports premiery, as well as the newcomer and challenger to the game streaming throne currently occupied by Twitch; YouTube Gaming.

Vainglory is the "pinnacle of awesome" when it comes to eSports

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I'm not a sports reporter, but the iOS game Vainglory (free) has me wanting to be. As a mobile-exclusive eSport, and the first MOBA on mobile to truly deliver superior player experience and gameplay, Vainglory has been rapidly gaining popularity, particularly in the core gaming community.

 On Vainglory, YouTube Gaming and the Emergence of eSports on iOS.

Each competition series that has formed around this game (of which there have been many) has seen higher and higher levels of intense competition, with ever-increasing cash prize awards and international spectators tuning in by the thousands to view the globally broadcast matches. Most interestingly,Vainglory is a free-to-play game. Yes, you can use real world money to unlock optional "skins," but a skin only changes your heroes' appearance, not their abilities. Other than the skins, everything else in the game is either free or attainable by playing and earning in game "Glory" credits, which can be used to unlock the various heroes who may not be part of the weekly free rotation.

As a huge fan of this game, I've barely been able to keep up with all of the pro-level completions taking place around the world. I try and tune in for all of the finals action (the recent Vainglory World Invitationals in South Korea were off the hook!) and its well worth it to watch this game being played by the pros as it gives the rest of us some insight into how we can up our games.

Recently Vainglory secured a whopping $26 million dollars in funding, which will certainly go a long way in supporting the SEMC team behind the game in building the Vainglory community for the long haul. SEMC has a vision for this game that could easily make this one of the hottest competitive eSports within the next 5–10 years. Vainglory is a prime example that the multibillion-dollar eSport industry is definitely not exclusive to PCs or consoles.

Vainglory has also just this week unveiled the exciting news that it will be implementing a seasonal competitive series with Winter Season running from January to March, Spring Season from April until June, Summer Season from July through September and Autumn Season which gets underway this October and will run until the end of the year. 

YouTube Debuts a Dedicated Game Streaming App

 On Vainglory, YouTube Gaming and the Emergence of eSports on iOS.
As further evidence of the rise of eSports and its emergence on mobile, YouTube, aka Google, aka Alphabet, has just this week debuted its new game streaming platform YouTube Gaming ), which is available as a free app in the Aop Store and as a BETA on desktop. This puts YouTube in direct competition with Amazon's game-streaming-powerhouse Twitch, as well as with many other lessor known game streaming services like Mobcrush and Kamcord.

I'll be giving a more thorough review of the YouTube gaming app at a later date, but the bottom line is that other than have a pre-existing customer base and an built-in way to monetize a personal channel via YouTube viewers, the YouTube Gaming app doesn't have much that differentiates itself from other services. More significantly, none of the above mentioned services support game broadcasting (live transmission of whatever game you are playing) from mobile devices, at least not yet. The word is that all of these services will support broadcasting in the near future, perhaps as soon as the release of iOS 9. This will be a real game changer when both streaming and broadcasting of iOS games is supported.

 On Vainglory, YouTube Gaming and the Emergence of eSports on iOS.

It will certainly be interesting to see which game streaming platform(s) emerges as dominant, which I imagine will have much to do with the simplicity and ease of the User Interface. As it stands right now, YouTube will have to convince me of the superiority of their app, as other apps like Mobcrush, being built from the ground up for mobile, seem to already be better designed and more supportive of mobile streaming and broadcasting in general.

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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