Popular free-to-play mobile game Vainglory is getting a brand new 5V5 mode on February 13, 2018.
Developer Super Evil Megacorp announced the release date of the new mode during a pre-release party and livestream at the Folsom Street Foundry in San Francisco, CA. Heavy.com was invited to the event. The developer also announced key strategic partnerships to help grow their presence in eSports.
Here’s everything you need to know.
1. The New 5V5 Mode Will Redefine the Game
Vainglory began as a 3V3 game. Super Evil CEO Kristian Segerstrale explained during the livestream that beginning with 3V3 instead of 5V5 like other big MOBAs was due to the limitations of hardware on mobile phones and because it was less daunting for the more casual market on mobile at the time. But through 3V3, they were able watch and learn about the player base on their way to developing 5V5 such as optimal match times. Now that the hardware has finally caught up to 5V5, they’re able to debut the mode. Segerstrale said during the livestream that releasing 5V5 mode is almost like releasing an entirely different game.
“We built Vainglory with the firm belief that mobile audiences deserve game experiences every bit as amazing as players have on PC and console, and that remains our mission,” said Segerstrale in a press release sent to Heavy.com.
A brand new map was created for the new mode, and event attendees got a chance to see how the map looked in early renders. The new mode will also incorporate brand new music composed by Joris de Man, who is best known for his work on the Killzone franchise as well as Horizon Zero Dawn. They capped off the party with a professional match involving Vainglory World Championship MVP of 2017 DNZio and Team SoloMid player, coach, and manager Flash X.
Vainglory will charge forward into the eSports scene following a very successful World Championship in Singapore. Vainglory eSports will commence with its first season as the newly named Vainglory Premier League in June 2018 with a pre season in April 2018. According to a press release, the new season will restructure to a double-round-robin with midseason and end-of-season playoffs, along with a single relegation tournament and regional championships will qualify teams for the annual World Championship.
2. Super Evil Megacorp Is Partnering With ESP Gaming
During the livestream, it was announced that eSports production company ESP Gaming will make Vainglory its flagship production title for mobile eSports. They will be creating a brand new studio in Las Vegas where they will host Vainglory tournaments.
“We’re excited to work together with Super Evil Megacorp as the exclusive production partner for Vainglory Esports and bring our player-focused storytelling to fans of the world’s ultimate MOBA title on mobile,” said Jeff Liboon, President of ESP Gaming. “We are leveraging decades of live sports and gaming expertise to create the best esports content for one of the most passionate fan bases in all of gaming.”
ESP Gaming involves professionals behind coverage of the Olympics, X Games, NFL, and World Series of Poker, according to a press release. According to the list of clients on their website, they’re also partnered with Hearthstone, Summoner War, Fruit Ninja, and many more. The company also offers ESP Labs as an eSports investment arm for securing funding for games, platforms, and products, according to a press release.
3. Super Evil Is Also Working With Razer
The other strategic partnership Super Evil announced was with gaming hardware developer Razer. The partnership is meant to optimize Vainglory with Razer hardware including the Razer Phone. With the Razer Phone, the game runs at 120 frames per second with three million polygons and 200+ fully animated moving actors according to a press release.
“Super Evil and Razer share a common belief that gaming is coming to mobile fast and hard,” said Tom Moss, GM and SVP of Mobile at Razer, in a press release. “Vainglory’s fast-paced gameplay, required precision, and stunning graphics truly shine on the Razer Phone, and core gamers no longer need to sacrifice anything when playing on a mobile device.”
Razer is hosting a 5V5 tournament at the RazerStore at 865 Market Street, San Francisco, CA from 1 p.m. PST / 4 p.m. EST to 4 p.m. PST / 7 p.m. EST.
4. Super Evil Megacorp Formed in 2012 By Industry Veterans
According to an article from Polygon, Super Evil was formed in February 2012 by veteran game developers at Rockstar, Riot Games, Insomniac Games, Blizzard, and more. They got to work on the game shortly afterwards. According to the publication, Segerstrale was the co-founder of Playfish, which developed social games for publisher Electronic Arts.
Super Evil Co-founder Bo Dlay told the publication that while Vainglory was designed to be “unapologetically core,” they decided to design for tablets because they thought that they were both inherently personal and inherently social which is perfect for multiplayer. “In a way, we are reinventing the LAN party — everyone has their own device but they can be physically in the same space and having the same experience together,” he said.
5. Vainglory Was Revealed During the iPhone 6 Announcement
Apple chose to use Vainglory and that game only during its September 2014 announcement event for the iPhone 6 in order to show off iOS 8’s graphics API known as Metal. The game was launched a few months after that.
An Android port was announced at GDC 2015 and released in July 2015.
Stay tuned for a special hands-on preview article including interviews with Segerstrale and top Vainglory players Chief Pat, FlashX, and DMZio. In the meantime, be sure to check out our other eSports coverage on Heavy.com.