In the world of MOBAs, Super Evil Megacorp’s mobile offering, Vainglory, is hardly a big fish. If League of Legends is a majestic humpback whale, and Dota 2 is an apex predator like the Great White Shark, Vainglory is probably a sea bass, proportionally. It doesn’t have a huge viewership or player base, but it’s doing just fine, and doesn’t seem to be in any danger of extinction more than two years from release.
In fact, Vainglory has had its best week in a long time as far as the esports scene is concerned. Over the last week, Echo Fox, Immortals and Rogue have all picked up Vainglory teams. Now, Fnatic and NRG will be joining them, bringing up the list of major esports organizations getting involved to five.
Super Evil Megacorp is predictably thrilled about this news. “These are some of the most diverse and high-profile teams in all of esports,” said Kristian Segerstrale, their CEO, in a statement to the press. “To have them not only recognize Vainglory’s growth over the past year, but also create their first-ever teams dedicated to a mobile game, means the competition in the 2017 season is going to be more fierce than ever before. These teams are owned and operated by some of the most respected names in sports and entertainment, and there’s tremendous opportunity for everyone involved to usher in the next defining moments of esports.”
Why now, though? Vainglory was originally released in 2014; what is it about the game that’s recently appealed to organizations like Fnatic, two years later? Well, one answer might actually be Vainglory‘s staying power. While games like Overwatch released with the clear intention of forcing itself into esport-status from the get-go, that’s not a great way to build a passionate competitive community.
Vainglory’s following isn’t as big as the major MOBAs, Super Evil Megacorps’ attention to its community keeps them coming back, and two years of a stable player base is the proof of that. It’s not hard to see why big organizations might see an opportunity in a game with Vainglory’s staying power, apex ocean predator or not.