Vainglory’s competitive scene will look to take things to the next level with the introduction of the “Evil Eight” competitive structure for the Summer Season. To learn more about what Super Evil MegaCorp has in store with Evil Eight and the overall competitive scene, we sat down with SEMC’s Marketing and Comms Director Heini Vesander (a.k.a. EvilFinn) during her recent visit to Vancouver.
MoEsport: We’ve been seeing a lot of experimentation with the Vainglory competitive scene. This summer, we are seeing something new and interesting with the new Evil Eight format. Is the Evil Eight something that we can expect to see every season moving forward, or is there still a lot of experimentation going on?
EvilFinn: Probably a little bit of both. Experiment should probably never die and we should keep exploring, as it’s pretty common in our industry. This is already Vainglory’s third season, and the third year that we have been running a season structure with events at the end of each season. We have learned a lot along the way, and currently we’re in a happy place with the Summer Season.
We’ve partnered with Twitch running Evil Eight on the weekends, and the community layer in the weekdays. I think it’s a very clear format that’s easy to understand, and we’ll be continuing to build on that. But this will be the first time we’re running a season with this structure, so we’ll keep learning, take notes, and at the end of the season we’ll evaluate how everything went.
We’re very excited about this – overall the competitive scene has grown much faster than we have ever anticipated, and it’s all thanks to the community. VGL (Vaingloryleague) started organizing tournaments when we haven’t even launched the game; we were only in alpha/beta and only in Singapore, and they were already organizing tournaments, so we’re very excited to continue with the community layer of the competitive scene as we look to formalize the structure in the future.
MoEsport: Speaking of the Evil Eight, can you tell us a little more about this Evil Eight structure?
(For the Evil Eight Format) eight teams will be competing every weekend for points. In the middle of the season, the three teams with the lowest points will play the top three from the community layer, giving a chance for the community teams to get into the Evil Eight. The Evil Eight then will become the finalist for the season, and we will see them play live at the Championships in September. It’s going to be interesting!
MoEsport: A lot of top eSports teams are starting to enter the Vainglory competitive scene like Team Secret and Team SoloMid (TSM), but we are also seeing a lot of community players that play their way up into the competitive scene. Do you have any advice for the casual players out there that may want to one day play their way up to the Evil Eight?
EvilFinn: Absolutely. What I like about our eSports scene is that it is very accessible. If you are an aspiring competitive player, the easiest way is to start a team or join a team, and sign up for the season qualifiers. The community layer currently is VIS (Vainglory Invitational Series) and VGL, and you can go to vaingloryesports.com to find out more about that, sign up and compete. Other advice? Keep playing and keep training! Vainglory’s a real sport; it comes down to both having the skill, but also the dedication. In addition to the official competitive structure, there’s a whole other layer of community tournaments that you can participate in.
MoEsport: It’s cool to see that there’s really only a thin line between the community teams and top eSports teams. The top eSports teams are expanding into Vainglory. We have seen Team Secret dominate the EU scene, and TSM has been doing quite well in North America. I’m guessing that this is a trend that we can expect to see more and more of?
EvilFinn: It’s been interesting to see a lot of the pro teams join. We have SK Gaming, mouseesports, Team Secret, G2 eSports in Europe. In North America, TSM is the biggest name; but actually Hammers eSports, which is a community born organization, are the current NA champions. Another home grown organization – Gankstars – have been extremely successful. They have been competing more in VIPL (Vainglory International Premier League) which runs in Korea, and have become big celebrities there! Gankstars also have a team in the EU. We’ve been excited to see not only the big eSports brands make it, but also have the community born organizations really show that Vainglory is a sport in its own right.
MoEsport: Speaking of the Korean teams – Evil Eight is currently only set for NA and EU. Are there any special plans for expanding that format to the rest of the world?
EvilFinn: That actually goes back to our earlier discussion about experimentation. We definitely want to figure our how we can have a similar structure of Evil Eight in those markets. But we are a small company and we’re still learning, so have patience with us and we’ll get there soon!
MoEsport: I (Wago) was down at E3 and had a taste of a global Vainglory competition: we had a team from Korea, China, and Germany compete with TSM in North America. Can we expect to see bigger World Championships in the coming future?
EvilFinn: The VIPL invitationals in Korea have been around for awhile, and teams from all around the world compete in that. E3’s invitational had G2 from Germany, Hunters from China, TSM from NA and Invincible Armada from Korea. The community loves to see these “battles between regions”, and that’s definitely something that we would like to see more of as well.