On The Rise follows my journey up through the ranks in SEMCs mobile MOBA, Vainglory.
Join me after the jump for the first installment; a quick rundown of my first two months of learning the game, and where I’m at now.
MOBAs (Multiplayer Online Battle Arena) have always intrigued me. I never got properly into League of Legends, DotA2, or Heroes of the Storm, mainly because I never had a computer really capable of gaming on. My old MacBook was running out of steam during the days of World of Warcraft’s Wrath of the Lich King expansion. I’d kept an eye on it online, however, enjoying watching ESL matches in amongst FGC tourneys and StarCraft 2 matches.
When my Razer Phone arrived in Zimbabwe, it came with Arena of Valor and Vainglory both preinstalled. Interested in what the Razer Phone could do and with each game having support for the device’s 120hz display, I tried them both, but ultimately uninstalled AoV and stuck with Vainglory.
My reasoning was simple – Vainglory was designed for touch screen, not with joystick controls (though it does have them) and, most importantly, Vainglory was not, in any way, Pay 2 Win. Real money microtransactions exist, but they only affect the BRAWL modes (not ranked Standard) or allow for quicker purchases of the skins (which can be earned through in-game rewards). It also had both a 5v5 and it’s classic 3v3 mode.
My first forays were, as to be expected, confusing. With upwards of 40 heroes to learn, a while slew of items, buffs on the map etc, I sat down with a load of tutorial videos on YouTube and began to learn my craft.
I think it’s fair to say that I’m more a fan of the Captain/Support role. Supporting my team and enabling them to play better is a play-style I find considerably more enjoyable than straight up combat in the lanes (and I’m not great at Last Hitting minions for gold) nor am I particularly skilled as a Jungler/Assassin, as some of my poor, suffering teammates can attest.
Supplying vision across the map for the team, being able to heal my teammates, applying pressure on the enemy, and forcing engagements is much more my style. It’s why I used to play healers or crowd control/buff classes in MMORPGs.
I soon discovered a Guild based in South Africa and, by accident through an SEMC Twitter event, made contact with a player in Cape Town who began teaching me the ropes. I’m currently an Officer in that guild and pushing my way through Tier 5 (nearly T6 3v3). I’m mostly playing in the Solo Queue and it’s, honestly, a little rocky. I feel that my progress is very much based on whether or not my teammates are at all competent – which considering I’m still in the lower tiers, and am often grouped with brand new players, can be very dicey indeed, but I try to take each loss graciously (where possible) and look to what I can learn.
I’ve been lucky enough to have had a wonderful evening of coaching with ImPERium, a Vainglory shoutcaster and high level player, where we had each other in stitches whilst we smashed an enemy team to pieces with me playing as Phinn.
I’ve been lucky, so far, to find some great people in the community. Twitter has been a great laugh talking with these people and running the @Fortress_Vain account (where I roleplay as one of the heroes) – though it’s telling that the Fortress account gets more likes and follower engagement than my own Twitter!
This is where I am currently in Vainglory and, as I climb the ranks, I’ll continue to write about my experiences and goings on.
If you happen to play Vainglory yourself and are on the EU servers, come say hi. You’ll find me under CptBenzie.