Woooooo! Fun week! That about covers it, right?
Team SoloMid Acquires Alliance
There’s a very slim chance you haven’t already heard about this, but VIPL 2 champs Alliance have been acquired by eSports titan Team SoloMid. Just in case the significance is lost on you, TSM is widely considered one of the top organizations in North America. They boast a multiple championship team in League of Legends, as well as top players in Hearthstone, Super Smash Bros and Call of Duty, among others. Gadianton does a great job of illustrating this in his Redbull article. Long story short, professional eSports has definitely taken notice of Vainglory here in the states.
For a guild to grow from a group of players to a real organization, they primarily need money. We’ve seen a couple sponsorships help out huge, with Mobcrush sending GankStars and Alliance to VIPL, and now it’s becoming commonplace. Halcyon Hammers have some serious PR going on with recent announcements that Steel Series and Gameworks will be backing their guild. GankStars have also proclaimed on Twitter this week they are teaming up with GoCubes. I’ve always wanted my morning pick me up to resemble hardtack, so this is right up my pirate alley.
Draft For Hotness and Above
A surprise roll out this week of Draft mode for all Hotness players and above has moved SEMC’s plan for total draft domination forward another step. Any ranked match for players of at least Hotness Bronze will now automatically revert to draft mode. PlayoffBeard promised stricter penalties for dodging ranked matches to help encourage players to adjust to the new mode rather than dodging until they get a favorable draft. He didn’t go into specifics, but the common report is a first timeout of at least 15 minutes for dodging. Practice drafting with our draft simulator!
Blackfeather Bug Hotfix
This turret diving monster isn’t going away anything soon, I guess. Coming off the heels of a sensible balancing change in update 1.15, it was discovered that Blackfeather had guaranteed critical strikes on Rose Offensive. This of course lead to ranked abuse and dogs and cats living together until it was hot fixed on March 8th. Now he just crits a normal amount, which is still more than enough to make you look a damn fool when he dives into your team and gets all stabby.
A handful of days after the infamous Taka Card bug was hot fixed, SEMC released a statement about how they planned to set things right. Quick recap, practice games were dropping Taka Night Shadow Cards after every game, allowing players to collect hundreds of the very valuable cards. This allowed not only virtually free unlocks of the limited Taka skin, but players could dust the spares down into essence and probably get a handful of other skins too. SEMC has removed all ill gotten gains from accounts and dished out bonuses to those who have played fair, included up to a 1200 ICE bonus to players that bought the skin or cards, and two extra Night Shadow cards if you grabbed at least one card legitimately from the three wins event. What’s more, anyone who complains about how this justice was served will be forced to explain Vainglory to their grandparents, until they get it.
The first day of Live Finals coincided with the announcement of GankStars Academy by the premier guild. GankStars recruited content creators a few months ago and put those video and audio artists to work on a new YouTube series that helps players learn high level tactics like “hyper leveling” and “lane rotation”.
Alternating Current Podcast
I had the pleasure to sit down with T-Dog on his new Vainglory podcast “Alternating Current” to discuss VGL and the new update. The information might be a little dated today, but T-Dog has a great host quality about him and I think he’s going to put out some great content going forward. Also it’s worth a watch to see my big face at a very unflattering angle. I learned a lot about Skype camera positioning.
Winter 2016 NA Championships Conclude
According to the in-game death timer, Winter Season will be over on March 30th. That’s how much time you have for that personal success trophy and to get your guild fame up as high as possible. We’re all rooting for you. Yes, you, you Reddit screen shot braggers and VG live finals gear swaggers.