Today, on the eve of the first-ever Vainglory World Championship, we are announcing four new exciting developments:
- The launch of the Vainglory Esports Franchise Program in 2017
- The launch of our 2.0 update and winter 2017 season on December 14
- The launch of our developer API
- A team composition tweak at Super Evil Megacorp
But first a look back for a little context.
The end of 2016 sees Vainglory in a fantastic position. Following the path forged by gaming on other platforms over the past decade, mobile gaming is in the middle of a shift from short session stand-alone gaming toward deep, shared experiences. Vainglory is at the forefront of that revolution, becoming the standard bearer for an emerging genre.
In the past 12 months we’ve more than tripled our active player community on Android. Play on mobile phones in particular has exploded after our phone optimizations. We’re also on course to more than triple our esports views to 450 million minutes watched in 2016. We’re helping build a whole new culture of playing together on mobile. We’re excited about how much faster it is happening than the equivalent culture shift in PC gaming 10+ years ago. And that it’s happening on a massive scale on 3Bn+ touchscreens around the world.
Launching our Esports Franchise Program in 2017
At the start of 2016, Vainglory esports was a set of community volunteers organizing tournaments. At the end of 2016, it’s an international multi-tiered network of professional and community tournaments, teams and organizers. Competitive Vainglory is everywhere, from college leagues to amateur tournaments to the top-level Evil Eight competition featuring multi-esports organizations such as TSM, Cloud9, G2 Esports, Mousesports, SK Gaming, Team Secret and more.
For signs of the exceptional health of Vainglory’s esports scene, look no further than Team SoloMid. The successful professional team won both the 2016 Winter Live Championship and the 2016 Summer Live Championship. Now, this trio of full-time pro players has moved into a Las Vegas team house where they can further expand their regimen beyond their 8-10 hour/day practice schedule. Living and playing together allows them to maintain the “bootcamp” atmosphere that has been so successful for them in past domestic and international competitions. Their parents have been “remarkably supportive,” according to team captain FlashX, and this level of commitment — sure to be soon replicated by other top-flight organizations — shows how far the Vainglory professional scene has come in a remarkably short period of time.
Moving into 2017, we’re excited to announce the next big step in our esports program: our Franchise Program for professional teams. The program deepens our partnership with the professional team and player community to build a healthy, growing competitive ecosystem. We’re looking to share the esports revenue they help to create as well as assist in digital and physical merchandise sales. Franchise holders will not automatically earn a spot in the top competition. They still need to qualify and perform like everyone else. But we expect the close collaboration to help level up esports across the board. The first eight franchise holders and more details will be announced in early 2017 ahead of the start of Spring season.
Vainglory Update 2.0 Drops on Dec 14 and Will be our Biggest Update Yet
Compared to a year ago, Vainglory is almost unrecognizable. Update 2.0 makes milestone improvements to Vainglory’s out-of-game, social and competitive experiences — addressing players’ most-requested features and adding new dimensions to the gameplay itself.
Update 2.0 introduces a revised hero overview screen and new education tools on roles and responsibilities in the game to help teach the game to new players. For veterans, there are multiple new items and revamped jungle objectives designed to further expand tactical choice and diversity, while deliberately creating more opportunities for epic comebacks from teams that falter early in a match.
New guild discovery and administration tools are expected to dramatically increase Vainglory’s social guild participation, helping friends play together all over the world.
To help players collect all skins and heroes more easily, we’re launching a brand new Mystery Chest containing literally everything a player could want, with a better than 1-in-3 chance of unlocking a random hero or skin from Vainglory’s entire content catalog.
All this comes in one update, following a 2016 year where Vainglory added a deep tutorial, quests, practice vs bots, casual play modes, progression systems, direct-from-device video streaming, replays, doubled its hero roster and more.
Developer API Coming in 2017
In another move showing how the boundaries between PC and mobile gaming are blurring, we are announcing our Developer API that allows for access to player statistics, match results and in-depth item and hero metrics relevant to dedicated players, professional teams and third-party sites & providers alike. Launching in early 2017, the Vainglory Developer API will open up opportunities for players to contribute to the Vainglory experience in new and profound ways. Sign up to receive more information now at http://developer.vainglorygame.com
Team Composition Tweak at Super Evil Megacorp
As we grow, we are evolving some team roles. Moving into 2017, founding CEO Bo “Nansen” Daly will take on a new post as President and Chief Business Officer, and current COO Kristian “EdTheShred” Segerstrale will step in as CEO. These shifts are designed to help the company deepen its partnerships around the world, as well as help the company grow faster across the board. Nansen remains a Koshka main and EdTheShred still struggles to hold onto his PoA status as a Roam main.
As ever, thanks to all our players for their support during an incredible year — and make sure you tune into the World Championship this weekend on http://twitch.tv/vainglory. And remember to check out the Update 2.0 releasing December 14, then teach your friends and family to play over the holidays. There’s never been a more exciting time to enter the Fold!