We’re fast approaching the start of the Vainglory Unified Spring Championships. Seven thrilling weeks of Vainglory8 competition will conclude in London as North American teams and European teams lock horns for the first time at the same regional championship.
London’s O2 will play host to the event, and the North American region is widely regarded to be the stronger of regions. Fnatic, the esports juggernaut now headquartered at Bunkr in Shoreditch represents the ‘home’ team for this tournament. The Fnatic VG team is comprised of Deniz “nettetoilette” Heinzelmann, Dennis “TetnoJJ” Klaus and Scotsman Alessandro “Palmatoro” Palmarini. We spoke to Alessandro this week to gauge just how the team’s feeling going into the huge tournament this weekend.
ESI: What does it mean to you to be representing Fnatic as the home side at VG8 in London this week?
Palmatoro: Representing Fnatic has been, and still is a huge honour going into this Championship. We don’t feel like we are much of a “home” team or at least have any advantages a home team would normally have in traditional sports. Maybe things may change when we start the actual competition.
ESI: There’s been a lot of talk about NA versus EU, with NA being tipped as the stronger region. How do you see it panning out at the O2?
Palmatoro: With the competitive scene in EU not being dominated by a single team anymore I feel the competition has toughened a lot. Teams are taking the game more seriously (this was the first season EU teams began scrimming regularly) and it’s pushing everyone in EU to get better as a whole.
“I don’t think it will take too long before mobile games like Vainglory can reach the same level as the top PC games”
It was possible for most teams in EU to finish on top during the past splits. I think this has helped EU as a whole, with every team knowing they could come first if they put that extra work in. For these reasons, I am pretty confident EU will have a much better showing against NA this time around.
ESI: How have you been preparing as a team ahead of the event?
Palmatoro: Unfortunately myself and my teammate, TetnoJJ, are in the middle of sitting our final exams for school. This has made finding the time for team practice quite hard. We were often playing solo or with other players and only had the occasional scrims. We are definitely not going into the event as prepared as we would like to, but we will be going all in on practice in these final days leading up to the championship.
“With the competitive scene in EU not being dominated by a single team anymore I feel the competition has toughened a lot.”
This is something we will change come next championship when we will be on a gap year and playing full time before going to University. We will have all the time we need to prepare and practice.
ESI: Who do you see as your biggest rivals going into the event?
Palmatoro: Undoubtedly our toughest opponent and most likely any team’s toughest opponent would be TSM. If we manage to secure the victory over Cyclone we will be the first team to face them on Day 2 of the championship.
ESI: Why do you think that Vainglory has grown so much in recent months?
Palmatoro: The publicity and professionalism that big esport organisations bring to the Vainglory scene have helped a lot I guess. Most of them may probably be joining the scene because of the fairly big and quickly growing tournament prize pools.
ESI: Do you feel like mobile esports will reach the levels of League of Legends, Dota 2 and CS:GO in the future? Why?
Palmatoro: With way more mobile devices out there capable of running Vainglory, than people with access to play PC games, I don’t think it will take too long before mobile games like Vainglory can reach the same level as the top PC games. Especially if it’s a game that feels just as good if not better to play on mobile compared to PC games.