Vainglory, a fantasy-themed multiplayer online battle arena (MOBA) mobile game developed by Super Evil Megacorp, has been in the market for more than three years. Over that time, the game has achieved a higher profile and more and more embraced it’s potential for eSports.
Super Evil Megacorp and a partner in eSports, gaming hardware and accessories giant Razer, recently turned up together in San Francisco. In the heart of the tech hub, the two companies talked about (and as importantly, showed off) Vainglory’s new 5v5 competitive gaming-friendly mode, and to tout their future plans together.
Held at a popular San Francisco venue for game competitions and showcases, the spacious Folsom Street Foundry, the event featured a peanut butter-and-chocolate’ing of Razer and Vainglory experiences thoughout the venue. Strobes and neon lights lit up the space, as would be appropriate for a festive atmosphere such as this one. But, unlike many parties, this one didn’t seem so loud that you couldn’t hear people in the vicinity or the speakers on stage.
While Razer bags were being handed out near the door, Super Evil Megacorp and Vainglory apparel and other swag was hawked from a pop-up merch corner, for fans now helpfully equipped with bags. A nearby photo booth gsaw a healthy amount of traffic too. At numerous stations, the much-anticipated Razer Phone, a new Android phone aimed at gamers, was shown with Vainglory installed.
Past the demo stations, floor seating and the stage, where presentations and the MOBA’s 5v5 multiplayer experience was live demoed over the course of a few evening hours, the taco and slider station was set up. In the furthest back of the packed venue, was the VIP, staff and press area on the mezzanine level.
The program began with a behind-the-scenes retrospectives at Super Evil Megacorp and the development of Vainglory over the years, then switched to a stream of news and announcements, before the 5v5 pro demo matches began in earnest.
The reason for the fan extravaganza was to promote the long-awaited 5v5 multiplayer play, with three lanes, in the form of the Sovereign’s Rise map. 5v5 play is generally accepted as the standard number of players and game layout in PC MOBA game matches. Prior to that, Vainglory was a 3v3 game, with one lane, which, while meeting the technological capabilities of smartphones at the time and making the game accessible to more casual gamers, it limited the possibilities for eSports.
Beyond that, the event was meant to showcase Vainglory game updates and Super Evil Megacorp’s partnerships.
ESP Gaming is a shiny shiny, newer production entrant to the eSports and competitive gaming space, based in Las Vegas, Nevada. Only a few months later, they’ve landed a partner in Super Evil Megacorp, with Vainglory as their flagship production title for mobile eSports.
Pulling from the top league of Vainglory Esports, which has been reintroduced as the Vainglory Premiere League, the new top-tier rank of Vainglory gaming will be based from Las Vegas as well.
Razer shared the stage with Vainglory, so it’s no surprise the event became a platform to showcase the Razer Phone as a high-level platform to show off the more demanding 5v5 gaming experience. The event was a means to show off the pairing of Vainglory with Razer hardware, with their smartphone at the forefront.
As a not-insignificant aside, I had a little time to try out Vainglory 5v5 with the AI on, on a Razer Phone. The smartphone’s brilliant screen made the first and strongest impression. At 5’7″ and sharpened by a 120Hz screen refresh rate, the new map on Vainglory was (pardon the expression) a glory to behold. There was no hiccuping, no screen tearing, no control issues navigating my heroes down their lanes — a testament to the hardware and the game itself. Screen aside, it doesn’t hurt the phone is powered by a current top-of-the-line Qualcomm 835 Snapdragon processor and 8GB RAM. Personally speaking, I’m pleased to say the Razer Phone, based on my brief experience with it, is a large aluminum phone with a pleasant heft that fit very comfortably in the palm of my hand. The phone would likely be easy on the eyes and in the hands over the course of several hours, while playing games, watching video or the like.
I cannot attest to the sound, battery life or other functionalities, but from what I did see, the Razer Phone feels like it could be a solid match for gaming.
Of course, the event would not have happened without the new 5v5 Sovereign’s Rise map, which was what was played by attendees, press and pro gamers alike. Aside from the new 5v5 format and three lanes, features includes line-of-sight fog of war, macro system, freed up camera, new strategies, more accurate controls and more.
Soundwise, Joris de Man, composer behind Horizon Zero Dawn and the Killzone games, composed the track for the 5v5 track.
For those who want to feel like they were there, check out the recorded official event livestream video on YouTube.
In the meantime, check out Super Evil MegaCorp’s Vainglory if you want to know more about the game ad it’s most recent updates.