Knowledge Base

The Current State of Vainglory Game

There is no doubt that Vainglory is the mobile game that redefined MOBAs. It is the underdog of portable MOBA games if you side it with Mobile Legends and Arena of Valor. Debuted in 2014 by Super Evil Megacorp as part of the launch titles along with the iPhone 8, Vainglory was well-received with gorgeous graphics.

It’s an interesting take in the 3v3 formula and tactical gameplay unlike what was found in DotA 2 and League of Legends. It got its Android release a year later, and things were doing quite well for the company. However, popularity soon tanked in 2019. Now, long-time fans are wondering if it is still a relevant game or not. Where did they go wrong? Is it still playable? Let’s find out together.


Vainglory Gameplay


The Vainglorious Peak

While Vainglory maintained a good status from 2014 to 2016, it was in its peak form in 2017. With newer heroes, a better matchmaking system, tons of guilds to participate in, Vainglory was everything right where DotA 2 and LoL were wrong. It was, at the time, the biggest threat against Mobile Legends.

Altogether, it earned a good 2 million daily players worldwide, mostly popular in South East Asia and many parts in America. It was played frequently for plenty of great reasons: amazing graphics that are even better than League of Legends, an ORIGINAL (yes, original indeed) MOBA system, unique heroes that felt more identical than ripped off from past games, and superb controls.

What made the game stand out the most was its simple yet innovative controls that made MOBA gaming feel just right on the mobile platform. Forget joystick controls – Vainglory made the game more ideal with its touch controls. Not only does it feel convenient, but it also requires a good amount of skill.
For a time, it was a game that proved everybody that even mobile games require skills. Even more so than, dare we say, Mobile Legends.

The Slow Plateau

In late 2017, Super Evil MegaCorp began thinking bigger. They became more ambitious and had lots of plans to keep on becoming the pioneer of tactical mobile gaming. In December 2017, during the esports world tournament in Singapore, they announced the much-awaited 5v5 game mode. While this was quite hyped, it did divide the player base.

Many were concerned that the 5v5 formula will not work on the current state of VG heroes because it would make the game imbalanced. It turns out, they were right. In February 2018, they officially launched the 5v5 map. It was honestly a gorgeous looking map – even better than League’s Summoner’s Rift or anything that ML and AOV have to offer.

However, looks should not have been the main selling point in the game. At this point, Vainglory was going strong. They even made advertisements that they were the better mobile MOBA game as it provides HD graphics. A smooth engine that was optimized for phones, 120 fps that no other mobile MOBA game can do, and their biggest selling point: the tactical touch controls.


Vainglory Match


You can tell that they were directly aiming at ML and AOV. Sadly, this would be the moment when Vainglory is slowly declining. It all started with the complete overhaul of the skin earning system. If before you could grind for the skins, now you have to rely on a gacha system that was so broken and heavily favouring whale players.

It disappointed a huge portion of the community, leaving them feeling fooled and betrayed. In April 2018, they announced that they would include joystick controls – something that alienated the fans for the devs to welcome newcomers. It was also at this moment when analysts saw how imbalanced the game due to the current state of the heroes who were originally made for 3v3 only.

In mid-2018, plenty of balance issues were addressed. However, this added more fuel to the fire as they implemented the same changes on the 3v3 map. The new heroes were in no form of balance either. Suddenly, the original heroes were obsolete, and some roles became non-existent. It was so broken; you can even win the game without any support.

In the 4th quarter of 2018, player activity began sinking. To counter such measures, Super Evil MegaCorp announced that the game would become cross-platform and available on PC and Switch. Unfortunately, this led to more chaos as the PC and Switch versions were poorly improve.

The Fall from Glory

As soon as 2019 started, Vainglory began into a downward spiral. Earlier that year, Super Evil MegaCorp announced that it would give up the game and transfer it to a new publisher called Rogue Games. They even considered making NetEase the new developer. This point angered the community, even more, losing another chunk of the population.

It turns out; Rogue Games never did anything to save the game. There were barely any changes and major buffs and nerfed throughout the year and even had lesser debut heroes. Most of which feel like rip-offs from other shows or games unlike how Super Evil did with their more original character designs.


Vainglory Battlefight


In early 2020, Rogue Games abandoned the game without notice. Nobody saw it coming – not even Super Evil MegaCorp. Ultimately, it felt like a huge spit in the face for its loyal fanbase and the original publisher.

Now facing closure, Super Evil MegaCorp took off Vainglory away from Steam and Switch as well as finding a new company to save it. Will this be the end of Vainglory? We will never know. All we do know is that the game was a waste of untapped potential. If it still survived, it would have been the bigger threat to League of Legends Wild Rift rather than Mobile Legends.

But, who knows? Maybe next year, Vainglory will have a Hail Mary miracle. And if that time comes, get ready for more action battles in the arena and sustain all your power in playing the game.