The Vainglory World Championships officially kicked off today with the Group Stage matches. Heading into the competition, the storyline was as much about the individual teams competing in the Championships as they are about the country/region they are representing. Being the first World Championships, it also marks the first time that many of top teams from different regions have the opportunity to compete against each other. Fans and players from each region took pride in their representatives, with the confidence that a win from teams representing their region will also translate to their region’s overall superiority. With 3 teams representing North America (NA) and European Union (EU) respectively, many were hoping that these Championships will settle the age long debate of whether one region is clearly better than the other. Little did anyone expect, the debate would already be settled after the first day of competition!
Top Performers: Phoenix Armada, Hammers Velocity, Gankstars Sirius
Going up against the toughest teams in the world, these 3 teams were still able to go undefeated (4-0) during the first day of competition. Phoenix Armada came into the tournament as the favorites, and did not disappoint with convincing wins against Team Secret and regional rivals Team DetonatioN (now with Vivianne). Meanwhile, Gankstars Sirius continued their momentum from the Evil Eight Split 2 with victories against Snow Avalanche and Infamous Legion. And while some casted doubts on how 2016 NA Spring Champions Hammers Velocity would perform in these Championships, the young trio of Zio, Aloh4 and Vains quickly casted these doubts aside with dominant victories against Hunters from China and Red Canids from South America. Along with Team SoloMid, all three NA teams were able to secure the first seed in their respective groups.
Biggest Disappointment: EU teams (Team Secret, Gankstars Cerebus, Snow Avalanche)
In what is probably the biggest shocker in Day 1, all three EU representatives failed to advance to the quarterfinals. Each of the 3 teams fought hard in their respective groups, but ultimately came up short. EU Summer Champions Snow Avalanche came in as the underdogs in the region, but were unable to pull off any upsets against Gankstars Sirius and Infamous Legion. And while Gankstars Sirius had a successful Day 1, their EU sister team Gankstars Cerebus failed to advance to the quarters after a tough 2-0 loss to Team SoloMid. Playing in the final match of the day, Team Secret was the final hope for EU, and fought to a best-of-5 tiebreaker against Japan’s Team DetonatioN (the only tiebreaker of the tournament!). While Team Secret looked solid early with strong play from KValafar, questionable drafts and solid consistent play from Team DetonatioN down the stretch spelled the end for Team Secret’s run at the Worlds.
The 8 quarterfinalists will compete in a best-of-3 single elimination on Saturday for a chance to advance to the semi-finals on Sunday. Saturday’s matches are as follows:
Phoenix Armada (Group A #1 seed) v.s. Hunters (Group D #2 seed)
Team DetonatioN (Group A #2 seed) v.s. Hammers Velocity (Group D #1 seed)
Team SoloMid (Group B #1 seed) v.s. Infamous Legion (Group C #2 seed)
Team Hack (Group B #2 seed) v.s. Gankstars Sirius (Group C #1 seed)