Bo Daly is the Co-Founder and President at Super Evil Megacorp. It has been some year for Vainglory and, in turn, its California based developer. Ahead of the Vainglory Spring Championship on our turf in London, we caught up with Bo to gather some insight.
This will be the first of a Vainglory series ahead of the Championship. Keep an eye on ESI’s social channels as there’ll be chances to win three pairs of VIP tickets to the event (May 19-21).
Esports Insider: As a developer which is loved by the community of the players of its games, what advice would you give to a studio looking to create an esports title? Particularly a mobile esports title…
Bo: That’s a great question, to which the answer is quite simple, and also hard to achieve: build a great game. I don’t think you can build an esports title by setting out to ‘make an esport’. As a developer, your focus needs to be on building a great game that the player community will hopefully love, and eventually want to both play competitively.
“Our Chief Creative, Stephan “CaptainNeato” Sherman, has begun working on the design for 5v5 but we’re a while out from being able to say more”
Now, there are a few features that esports titles have in common – most importantly, they require skill and are hard to master. Players at any level need to enjoy the game, but to making it to the top requires dedication, which makes it interesting to watch the pros play. Esports titles are also fun to watch; developers shouldn’t forget about the spectator experience for their title.
Esports Insider: Why did you decide to bring the Spring Championships to London?
Bo: The main reason is that we have a great community here.
“I don’t think you can build an esports title by setting out to ‘make an esport'”
We held our Winter Championships here in 2016 and had a great turnout! Also, Fnatic is one of the more recent esports organisations to join the competitive Vainglory scene, and we’re excited that they are co-hosting the event with us, as the home team.
If you’re around, come join the fun in building six at the O2 May 19-21!
Esports Insider: How impressed (and or surprised) have you been with the calibre of teams entering rosters in Vainglory in the past six months?
Bo: We kicked off the Vainglory 8 structure in Spring last year (it was called Evil8 back then) and we’ve witnessed the level of play become significantly higher – the skill of the competitive players is incredible.
What Vainglory 8 allows is regular matches (every weekend) between the top teams. This means the teams are dedicating more and more time into playing Vainglory, and the level that these players have reached is quite amazing.
“Fnatic is one of the more recent esports organisations to join the competitive Vainglory scene, and we’re excited that they are co-hosting the event with us, as the home team”
We’re thrilled that established esports organisations, like Cloud9, Fnatic, TSM, and SK-Gaming have come in to bring the teams more stability and resources to be able to play full-time.
Esports Insider: Can you tell us any more information about the forthcoming 5v5 format?
Bo: Ha! One of the most frequently asked questions by our community right now! Honestly, we don’t have much to share yet, and will gladly spill the beans once we can. I can say that our Chief Creative, Stephan “CaptainNeato” Sherman, has begun working on the design for 5v5 but we’re a while out from being able to say more.
Esports Insider: What was the thinking behind the Home City Program? So far Fnatic have been confirmed as the London squad (hence our support)..has there been much interest in other locations?
Bo: First of all, I think regional affiliation is a big part of why traditional “stick and ball” sports have achieved such pervasive, mainstream popularity. It’s probably a necessary component of the success. And, while we’re certainly not there today, I think esports (especially on mobile) can and will surpass many traditional sports in terms of global popularity. So, in a sense, this is a very early, tentative step toward that future.
“I think regional affiliation is a big part of why traditional “stick and ball” sports have achieved such pervasive, mainstream popularity”
That said, the real near-term value of the Home City Program lies in the strength of community. Vainglory, as a game, is all about bringing people together to hang out and compete as a team, and Vainglory is at its best when a lot of players have an excuse to gather and play together. So, we think it’s really more about cities (and local fans) really adopting teams than it is about teams adopting home cities. We’ll see how that plays out, but I expect that we’ll see more of this in the future.
Esports Insider: Finally – predictions for this year’s Spring Championship finals?
Bo: This is always the hardest question! The level of play is so high that it’s becoming harder and harder to predict! I’m curious to see how EU does against NA, as our community tends to think NA is more OP. I’d be excited to see an NA vs EU team final match. Let’s see!
Thinking about attending the Vainglory Unified Spring Championship in London on the 19th May weekend? Use the code ESPORTSINSIDER for a 20% discount