Here are the Vainglory Champions!
Since its release on November 2014 on iOS (and July 2015 on Android), the mobile game Vainglory has dominated the world’s mobile MOBA genre, amassing 1.5 million players just after it went out of beta testing.
Just as any MOBA, Vainglory is played in a field with two sides battling to demolish the opposition’s base. However, with only one lane and three players per team, a jungler, a laner, and a roamer, the game provides a very different experience from its big brothers. Two years after its release, Vainglory conducted numerous tournaments, the most prestigious being the Vainglory World Championships. There, the elite teams battle out to determine who is the best team in the world.
Let’s take a look at the World Champions of Vainglory.
Korean Team Phoenix acquired at the time the full roster of Invincible Armada, one of the well-known and dominant stacks at the time. The trio of team captain and laner An “druid” Hyeonjun, roamer Hong “Willy” Seojun and jungler Jeong “Mango” Eutaek were the most dominant in East Asia that time, winning the first season of Vainglory Premier League Korea, Vainglory International Premier League Season 3 and VGL Korea Summer 2016.
However, due to an absence of top NA and EU teams to compete in top international tournaments, Armada’s greatness was not yet recognized by many. Phoenix Armada won the 2016 Vainglory World Championships after besting Team Solo Mid’s Vainglory team on the best of 7 finals 4 games to 2, the closest game series they had in the entire tournament. Before the finals, not only did the South Korean trio of go undefeated in the group stage with a 4-0 record, but they swept Chinese team Hunters in the quarterfinals and went 3-1 against NA’s GankStars Sirius.
The Korean stack’s finish at the tournament cemented their banner as the first Vainglory World Champions, and extended Korea’s dominance in esports to the mobile MOBA scene.
Tribe Gaming’s World Championship-winning roster also came from another team stack: Immortals. The North American team acquired Mark “HotSauceUT” Harlan, Riley “DNZio” Haghian, Ray “ttigers” Han, Daniel “MaxGreen” Choi, and Alex “Xelciar” Matevosyan, who just toppled Team Solo Mid in the Unified finals and made a name to the Vainglory professional scene by placing second.
Tribe qualified for the tournament via wildcard pick. Being wildcard picks and newcomers to the pro scene, they were considered underdogs. Tribe did not falter on that note, and started making their names concrete by first defeating Rox Armada – the defending champions – early on in the group stages, signalling their early exit on the tournament.
Tribe pushed on, toppling teams along their way, until they reached finals, where they faced Korean powerhouse ACE Gaming. Though a formidable opponent, the Korean team did not stand a chance against the performance of the team, led by DNZio’s outstanding carry play. Tribe won the series 4-1, dropping only the third game of the series. They now lie alongside Phoenix Armada as Vainglory World Champions.
Both Phoenix Armada and Tribe’s championship roster came from another stack, Phoenix acquiring the Invincible Armada roster while the former Immortals roster played under Tribe’s banner.
Both of the teams underwent hours of training and strategy to grab their desired victory in the world stage, and placed their names on top of every Vainglory player there was.