Esports VainGlory International Premier League

VIPL2 Round Two Preview Spotlight: Ardent vs SK Gaming

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On Saturday, December 5th at 8PM PST, the second round of the VIPL2 group stage begins with DMG facing WILD, Ardent against SK Gaming and WEV versus Universal Civils. Group B, lovingly called the “Group of Death” by SEMC, has a match between two regional powerhouses, Ardent Alliance (North America) and SK Odyssey (Europe). This is the match you won’t want to miss.

Draft, Master class

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VIPL2’s adoption of the draft / global ban system used in VGL (Vainglory League) has already made an impact. In the first round of VIPL2, we saw Hunters counter-pick Petal to shut down a triple melee composition by G2 Esports.

Two cerebral teams are meeting for the first time, making the draft the first move of this chess match. FlashX, player-coach and draft mastermind, will battle wits with MEDIC from SK Gaming. MEDIC had shown his drafting prowess in the VGL Qualifier Finals against G2 Kinguin, where impressive preparation gave them an upper hand in the ban and draft phase.


Ardent Alliance

MICSHE (Lane) – Skaarf
ShinKaigan (Jungle) – Glaive
FlashX (Roam) – Fortress

SK Odyssey

Bayu (Lane) – Rona
MEDIC (Jungle) – Koshka
ADZero (Roam) – Ardan

Brokenmyth’s suggested bans

Ardent Alliance could ban Rona. Bayu is one of the best Rona players in Europe and has been exploiting her strengths in the lane, already reaching Vainglorious tier in the 2015 Autumn Season. That being said, taking away Rona could leave Bayu with a limited hero pool on which Ardent could then capitalize.

SK Odyssey could ban Fortress. North America has a much more aggressive play style than Europe. One of the early aggression jungle duos seeing huge success in Update 1.11 is Fortress and Koshka. Targeting Fortress removes such a strong early-game snowball hero from the equation. They could ban Skaarf, but MICSHE is equally good with Celeste, making that ban not as effective.


ShinKaigan subbed for iLoveJoseph in the first Autumn VGL Qualifier in Vainglorious fashion – he played on airport wifi, mere minutes before his flight took off. That being said, prior to VIPL, this Ardent team has had little experience together and has since been working hard on building synergy. Will there be enough time for the team to come together as a focused, organized unit? Will ShinKaigan’s glasses stay on without him holding them?

Bayu, MEDIC, and ADZero were all members of R3DGaming, prior to the SK Gaming move. However, they were all on different teams. They too, have limited experience together as a unit. SK Odyssey also has the disadvantage of being in the same group as their regional rival, G2 Kinguin. I can imagine that this limits the amount of information sharing and practice between these two teams, while the two North American teams, Ardent and Gankstars, do not have this limitation. Will the lack of experience and regional camaraderie prove to be SK Odyssey’s downfall? Does ADZero wax his mustache?

If Ardent Alliance can dominate the pick/ban phase they can be a clear favorite for this game. However, if SK Odyssey can weather the early storm from Alliance, then they could be the clear winner down the stretch. Who will win? The teams will decide on Saturday Night! Stream starts on Saturday, December 12th at 8PM PST on OGN Global’s Twitch stream! Tune in and check it out!

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