Since Vainglory’s earliest days of development — when there was nothing but a few red tiny circles battling counterparts in blue — there has been a dream: that one day those dots would be epic heroes, and those heroes would be played by MOBA pros under the lights and on the biggest stage, with tens of thousands in attendance cheering them on. It was a dream so large and fanciful that we pushed it aside, content to focus on the massive work required to build an engine from scratch, create a true core game for touch screens and crunch as hard as possible to add as many features and heroes as we could. As far as eSports was concerned, we trusted that our player community would tell us when we were ready … but fully expected that to take years.
Then something happened: Players started streaming 2v2 tournaments using the extra player as a makeshift spectator camera. More and more popped up until we were forced to reshuffle our product roadmap with Spectator Mode at the top. Our players wanted competitive, spectated play, and they weren’t going to wait. So, we pulled all-nighters for PAX East and unveiled spectator on the Twitch main stage, with stars like MsVixen and Prod1gyX teaming up with Vainglorious-tier talent like ShinKaigan and Gibbs. When 10,000+ Twitch viewers showed up to watch a single match, something clicked into place. The time had already come.
It’s thanks to the incredible passion, dedication and instance of our players that today we announce our partnership with the world’s largest independent eSports brand, ESL, and announce the first-ever official Vainglory Cup Series. It’s a humbling milestone, and while we’re still a far cry from filling Staples Center, it’s the beginning of Vainglory’s next chapter — one we can’t wait to share with our players. This officially sanctioned online tournament begins May 13 across Europe, with the top two teams competing in the finals on June 14 for a cash prize and NVIDIA SHIELD tablets. The EU Cup Series will be hosted by professional ESL caster Jason Kaplan alongside well-known Vainglory players DonJon and Blueberryz, the casters of the community-created VaingloryLeague.com site and stream.
The Vainglory Cup Series allows teams to collect points during nine qualifier cups on the way to the online finals. The top eight teams after the qualifier cup phase will advance to the elimination rounds. The top two teams will compete on June 14 to crown a champion.
Teams from anywhere in the world may enter, but all matches will be played on EU servers. To sign up for the qualifier cup or get more details, visit: http://play.eslgaming.com/vainglory/europe.
We can’t wait to see all the incredibly talented teams out there bring their best and battle for piece of Vainglory history. One team will become the first-ever official Vainglory champions — a feat that will forever be unmatched.