We’ve had a busy July over at the Lair. We’ve been delighted to see the rapid growth of Vainglory — both in player numbers and viewer numbers. We were thrilled to see the first broadcasts from the Vainglory World Invitationals with OGN, and the awesome reception for our new spectator system. And we’ve been overwhelmed by the continued support and help from our players around the world.
Today, we’re announcing three major news items that all mark important steps forward on our journey of growing the global Vainglory community and Super Evil Megacorp as a company.
1. Announcing the Vainglory International Premier League
Following on from the overwhelming success of the Vainglory World Invitationals in Korea, we’re today announcing a strategic partnership with OGN around the Vainglory International Premier League (IPL) starting August 16. The Vainglory IPL will be an elite competition featuring the best teams in the world, including teams from Korea, Europe, North America and China competing for a $70,000 prize pool. Cast by superstar casters including Christopher “Montecristo” Mykles and Brendan Valdes, this first season will be a six-week league, broadcast twice a week live on prime-time TV in Korea and streamed to millions around the globe. Confirmed international teams include Team Unknown (EU), Team Gankstars (North America) and Team Hunters (China), who are all moving to Korea to take part in the inaugural Vainglory IPL season together with the top Korean teams. Broadcast times will be announced soon.
OGN invented eSports as we know it today with StarCraft more than 10 years ago. We’re thrilled that they’re once again breaking new ground by throwing their full weight behind Vainglory and touch-screen eSports. OGN brings the same passion and craftsmanship for the eSports experience as we do at Super Evil. We’re very fortunate to get to work with their unique talent to create a competition and a broadcast format that we can share with the whole global Vainglory audience. In addition to the Vainglory IPL, we will continue to support local community-run leagues, tournaments and events all over the world. And while waiting for the Vainglory IPL to start, remember to tune into the epic Vainglory World Invitational Final between Team Invincible Armada (Korea) and Team Divine Brothers (Japan) on Thursday, Aug. 13, at 11:30 PM PDT / 08:30 CET Friday on the following official OGN Twitch channels:
- English-language broadcast: http://www.twitch.tv/ognglobal
- Korean-language broadcast: http://www.twitch.tv/ogn
- Japanese-lanaguge broadcast: http://ch.nicovideo.jp/e-sports-square/live
- Chinese-language broadcast: www.twitch.tv/ogncn
2. Announcing our China partnership with Giant Interactive
Our Chinese player community has grown rapidly — despite the game not being available there yet and not having a dedicated server in China. (Sorry for the 250ms+ lag!) We are very excited to announce that we are soon launching Vainglory in China with our partner Giant Interactive. Giant is one of the most respected core PC gaming companies in China, and we will work with them closely over the coming months to optimize the experience for Vainglory players in China. Vainglory (虚荣 in China) will have synchronized updates with other regions and will launch in a major way on iOS and Android later this year. We can’t wait to welcome the most populous country in the world to the Halcyon Fold!
3. Announcing the $26M round of investment into Super Evil Megacorp
We’re today also announcing a new $26M round of funding to help us continue to build incredible core gaming experiences on touch screens, and to pursue our dream of evolving Vainglory into what we hope will be the world’s first mass-market esport. While the $26M number is pretty cool, fundraising is actually mostly not about the money, contrary to what people think. Fundraising is about choosing amazing partners to help you grow as a company. We couldn’t be more excited about the new expanded international team around Super Evil.
In addition to our incredibly supportive existing investor team from Signia Ventures, General Catalyst, Raine Ventures, Initial Capital and CrossCut, this new round is led by Index Ventures (Supercell, Skype and others) and backed by Yuri Milner, Jim Breyer of Breyer Capital (early investor in Facebook and one of the most experienced American venture capitalists investing in China) and Korea Investment Partners (the largest and most highly regarded venture capital firm in Korea). Together, we now have a truly global team that gives us both the resources and the connections and expertise to grow our international reach to new heights.
Here’s what some of our new partners are saying:
“We have had phenomenal success previously backing excellent teams making innovative mobile and tablet games. SEMC clearly fulfill these criteria and are taking a bold and pioneering approach within the category. Index Ventures is delighted to have been chosen to support them on this journey.” — Ben Holmes, Index Ventures.
“Nine months ago, Vainglory was a bold experiment to perfect the MOBA genre for touch screens. Today it is emerging as a global competitive platform, with its own star athletes, a league broadcast on TV in Korea, and millions of players around the world playing the game for over an hour each day. Super Evil is proving that the future of esports is mobile, and that Vainglory is poised to become the next frontier." -- Adam Valkin, Managing Director at General Catalyst Partners
And finally - DOUBLE GLORY!!
We are still at the beginning of this journey, and our days are spent perfecting our upcoming updates instead of daydreaming about the future. But today is an important milestone not just for us but for touch screen eSports as a whole. And we’d all love to take the opportunity to extend a huge “thank you” to all the players, broadcasters and YouTubers for helping us get this far!
To celebrate and say thank you we're announcing TWO ADDITIONAL DOUBLE GLORY WEEKENDS - namely August 14-16 and August 21-23!
We can’t wait to show you all what we have planned and to keep working with all of you to build out the Vainglory community, one match at a time.
Kristian “EdTheShred” Segerstrale