Esports VainGlory International Premier League 2

VIPL 3rd Round Robin Preview

6x2_Match3_Preview (1)

Each team in the Vainglory International Premier League has played their first game. This Thursday, five of the top six teams who won their first match play again. Each of the match-ups will include one team from the Vainglory World Invitational, competing against a team from the qualifier tournament.

These matches will be taking place live, on OGN’s global channel at 5 AM PDT/2 PM CEST. Come watch as the top teams in the VIPL compete to determine the champions of the round robin stage, as only the top two teams of each group compete in the tournament bracket.

Here is the current bracket standings for the VIPL:

Group A Wins Losses Group B Wins Losses Group C Wins Losses
Invincible Armada 0 Gankstars 1 0 Hunters 1 0
pQq 0 Beyond 1 0 Raid 1 0
Unknown 0 1 Tiger-Phobia 0 HACK 0
Victorious 0  Vap 0 Wild 0

Teams competing this week are marked in red. With the majority of the top half of the bracket competing this week, expect to see some crazy games. Here are the match-ups for this week.

a new challenger faces the world champs

Pqq vs invincible armada

In last week’s matches, pQq ruthlessly defeated their opponents, finishing with more than double the gold of their counterparts. Druid, pQq’s laner, finished with 175 creep score in a 15-minute game. Normally, this kind of farming feat would earn someone MVP honors, but Druid was overshadowed by the expert play of the rest of his team, who finished the game deathless.

Between non-standard picks, genius-level mechanical ability, and always seeming to be on the same page, pQq are one of the favorites to win the VIPL. This week, Rain and Mauloa will need to be perfectly in sync to compete against the reigning world champions.

There is a bit of history between pQq and Invincible Armada. In May, pQq and Invincible Armada competed in an EA tournament, which pQq went on to win in dominating fashion. The aggression of Rain, pQq’s jungle carry, was suffocating. He would fearlessly X-Retsu into the enemy team, while activating his Atlas Pauldron, giving him five long seconds to decimate the opponent of his choosing.

Invincible Armada has historically played a methodical game, allowing themselves the opportunity to establish the game that they want. Invincible Armada doesn’t attempt to crush their opponents with double-digit kill leads, but rather they play a conservative game, farming until they feel they can win team fights.

One of the key strengths of Invincible Armada is their ability to defend and protect Sangho, their lane carry. When Sangho and Druid go to battle in the lane I expect to see sparks fly and one champion to emerge.

Based on past experiences and performances of these two teams, I’m inclined to give the slight edge to pQq in this match, but it will come down to how well Sangho can hold his own against Druid.

the crystal vs weapon showdown

Beyond vs Gankstars

 Gankstars are defined by the mechanical ability of IraqiZorro. Historically a dominant weapon carry, IraqiZorro showed a dominant performance in the first set of matches when Gankstars dispatched Tiger-Phobia seemingly effortlessly.

Beyond brings the opposite end of the spectrum with the best crystal carry in the VIPL, ForgottenWar. After his flawless transition from jungle Celeste to lane Skaarf I’m ready to see him play support Petal. ForgottenWar has yet to show an example of weakness in any of his matches on air.

Both of these teams won their first games, which means that this match will determine the top of Group B, and potentially a quarterfinal berth. I’ll be watching to see how Gankstars adapts to counter a double crystal comp, while also contemplating how Beyond adapts to the talented weapon team.

This game will be determined by pace; if Gankstars sets the early pace of the game they will take the win before the crystal comp of Beyond can scale. Conversely, if Beyond can survive the early aggression then they have the game. Gankstars has more experience under the spotlight, but my gut tells me that Beyond will win this climactic battle.

age before beauty

HACK vs Hunters

HACK played some impressive matches in the qualifier tournament, all with Vaga playing as jungle Krul, and Galaxy as support Celeste, something I had never seen before. Galaxy would rush a Fountain for jungle sustain, and would transition to a Shatterglass, creating a third carry if the game was able to go late enough.

Hunters never let games go late. They invade, they fight, they pressure, and they rotate as a team from the early stages of the game. If Queen is calling the shots, then this Chinese powerhouse has a good shot at stifling the growth of HACK.

HACK struggled in their first game when their support Celeste was banned. Rather than adapt their Krul/Celeste jungle tag-team, they instead completely changed their picks, and had a lackluster performance, dropping their first match to Raid. Despite rallying in the late game, their jungle Vox just didn’t have the income to be enough of an impact in the game.

I predict Hunters locking in Fortress if available to them, which would result in early power spikes that will snowball the gold and experience advantage in their favor. HACK needs to account for this early aggression with bans, picks, or playstyle changes.

when where why?

These matches will be played live on OGN’s global twitch stream this Thursday, August 27th, at 5 AM PDT/2 PM CEST. Be sure to tune in when most of the top teams in each group face off and start to determine the quarterfinal standings.


  • Reply
    Aug 25, 2015 7:28 pm

    Wow, predicting that both Invincible Armada and Gankstars will lose! Really enjoying the VIPL preview articles, but have a hard time seeing both of those teams lose given their Worlds experience and dominance so far. Would be exciting though to see some new teams emerge that can challenge the dominance, especially of IA. It’s a shame Divine Brothers are not participating… Loved StanSmith’s shownmanship! Also hoping Unknown can turn it around in their next couple matches given how well they played in the EU cup series.

    One question, why do people seem to ban against Cull rather than Iraqi usually? Is it just because Iraqi can just as easily do Ringo as Vox? Also surprised no one ever seems to ban Taka against IA; he seems to wreck even more face than Ringo.

    • Reply
      Aug 26, 2015 12:28 am

      I know that predicting against IA and Gank was probably too much! I see so much potential in this up-and-coming teams. To be fair, pQq consistently plays better than IA, and has won tournaments that both teams competed in. Gankstars is probably stronger than Beyond, but I’m not sure how much experience they have in the NA meta to know how to deal with double CP comps. Either way I’m stoked for these matches!

      With only a single ban, unless a player relies heavily on a single hero, it makes more sense to ban out a problematic champion.

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