Vainglory Premier League: Week 4 – NA Quarterfinals Roundup

After a controversial inauguration for its preseason, the newly christened Vainglory Premier League (VPL) is four weeks into the VPL Summer Open Tournament. On the line for each region, Europe (EU) and North America (NA) is a prize pool of $5,000; a rather modest prize pool compared to 2017’s Vainglory World Championship which had a prize pool of $180,000.

Quick summary of VPL quarterfinals:

Day One – After a less than stellar opening, Nova Esports regains their luster and defeats Vegetable Juice in a two game shutout. Vision Gaming advances to semifinals via forfeit from Jenners as they struggle to get their team together for the series.

Day Two – Team Feroxx triumphs over Hammers Esports, proving themselves the most dangerous underdogs in the region. Tribe Gaming annihilates Rampage Godss, allowing only 1 death and 2 turrets taken across the 2 games in the series.

Details: 

Day One, Nova Esports versus Vegetable Juice start their antagonism in the lobby. The casters, Humanist and FlashX refers to their toxic lobby chat as “spicy”. Both teams pick tank heroes, as the new heavy bruiser and captain flex hero dictates. Vegetable Juice looks strong with 3 kills at 3 minute 30 seconds into Game 1. Yet, by the end of the first game, Nova bounces back and with 24 – 13 kills, a 10K gold lead, and only 2 turrets allowed to be destroyed. They facilitated 8 kills for TheTruthOfLight as Baron and 9 kills for StartingAllOver as Lyra with 32 total assists from LoneDelphi as Fortress and Eeko as Lorelai.

Game two fairs better for Nova, but according to Humanist, “It was a good game from them. I wouldn’t say it was a great game.” They allow zero turrets taken by Vegetable Juice, but the kills are similar at 24 – 15 for Nova with a 9K gold lead. Delphi / crystal power (CP) Fortress gets himself a kill death assist ratio (KDA) of 7/0/11 and StartingAllOver / Celeste earns a KDA of 8/3/3.

Prior to the Vision Gaming versus Jenners (a former grudge matches from the North American Champions League) match up, Dezey, Vision coach and analyst, discusses how they’ll easily defeat Jenners. Unfortunately, the game so many fans look forward to is a no go. Munchables at the analyst desk announces that Jenners forfeits due their inability to gather their team for the match.

Day Two, Team Feroxx strikes against Hammers Esports. Team Feroxx fills its roster with well known Vainglory community players that made names for themselves in the VPL Preseason. LostBoyToph (former Vainglory championship pro) leads them as their head coach. He doesn’t play as ChamuYT subs in for him. Hammers has tons of veterans from early days of the 2015 VIPL (Vainglory Invitational Premier League) that include Mische and Arkaik. With them, VIS (Vainglory Invitational Series) Challenger league players illest, lev3l, and allypeterson ready themselves.

Game 1 in the series starts with TastyBacon surprise play-by-play (PBP) casting with FlashX doing color. Hammers taking a heavy lead. By 11:30, they get the first Ghost Wing buff uncontested. However, they rotate over to capture Black Claw and it’s stolen away from them by Feroxx. Three minutes later, Feroxx gets an ace, killing all five members of Nova in quick succession, earning them a 16 – 11 kill and 2K gold lead at 14:15. Just a few minutes later, Black Claw respawns and the ensuing team fight results in a 4 for 0 trade in favor of Feroxx. They continue to find the team fights they need and win them. By 20:58, Feroxx pull out the W, 20 – 21 kills and  7 – 4 turrets taken. Despite losing the early game, they hold on, turtle up and rip victory from Hammers.

Game 2, the analysts Munchables and Bacon explain that Feroxx has the gumption to survive the early game and win this series. Hammers win condition is to take over early game and shutdown Feroxx. Humanist returns casting PBP along with FlashX. Hammers draws first blood, illest / Skye killing PECO as he forgot to pop his healing flask. First turret of the game drops as well thanks to a top lane push for Hammers. However, second blood goes to Feroxx’s player, mosji and they take the Tier 1 bottom (bot) lane turret in return. At 10:50, their snowball continues and Feroxx captures the Ghost Wing, a great buff for objective damage and health regeneration. They capture Black Claw by 13:00 and this push down middle (mid) lane destroys an armory from Hammers. Final scores at 15:38, 12 – 3 kills, 7K gold lead with 5 – 2 turrets taken for Team Feroxx. They advance to the final four in the semifinals for next week.

The second series of Day 2, Tribe versus Rampage Godss, kicks off with a surprise. Chuck, formerly known as BestChuckNA of the former Team SoloMid (TSM) championship team, replaces DNZio on the Tribe Gaming roster. With this roster change, Tribe, 2017 Vainglory World Champions, assures us that they’re the number one seed in the tourney. At draft, all Tribe members hover Ozo as a possible troll poke at Humansit. By draft’s end, Tribe secures Churnwalker, Malene, Ardan, Lance and Vox; a tanky composition (comp) with two hard hitting mobile carries. Whereas, Rampage Godss grab Tony, Flicker, Celeste, Baron and Lyra.

Into Game 1, we see a change of pace compared to previous seasons of Vainglory pro play. Typically we see EU having a slower game pace, with NA getting high kills and more early game aggression. In this year’s VPL, we see the opposite. It isn’t until 6:20 that a Ghost Wing capture leads to 1.1K gold and 1 – 0 kill, first turret destroyed by Tribe. Triple and quadra kills at 7:25 and 11:00 respectively for OldSkool / Vox wow the crowd and inspire Humanist to squeal and shout. At 14:18, just three seconds shy of Humanist’s prediction, Tribe Gaming tomahawks into Rampage Godss, 19 – 0 kills, 1 turret shy of a perfect game.

Game 2, starts with first blood reversed taken by Rampage Godss. JDAGreen / Reza takes down MaxGreen / Lorelai in a fiery blaze. Yet, second blood goes over to Chuck / Samuel versus Grizz / Flicker, sniping him out with his long range area of effect (AOE) damage. By 4:50, Tribe continue to out rotate and out farm Rampage, growing their gold lead to 2.2K. Weal from Rampage takes an odd strategy of proxy farming behind the Tribe top lane turret. ILoveJoseph easily deals with him, using Bada Boom to smash Weal deep into the Tribe base. Tribe Gaming single handedly schools Rampage Godss at 11:52, 1 – 12 kills, 11K gold lead with only 1 turret lost to them. Tribe will go against Team Feroxx in the Week 5 semifinals. Analysts wonder if this will be and upset.

With the last games of the Vainglory Premier League Summer Open this weekend, the questions remains: Will Tribe Gaming continue it’s nearly uncontested dominance of cash tourneys, or will they be upset by one of these contenders: Team Feroxx, Nova Esports or Vision Gaming. $5,000 is on the line for each region. The large share of $3,000 goes to First Place. Based on their performance, Tribe still look to be the favorites, but Feroxx is the dark knight emerging from the cave. Keep an eye on them. Semifinal matches are scheduled for the final four teams on Saturday, 9/1 and finals on Sunday, 9/2/2018 via Vainglory on Twitch and YouTube.

Vainglory Premier League (VPL) is the esports league for the mobile MOBA (Multiplayer Online Battle Arena), Vainglory. In 2017, Vainglory’s Twitch channel had over 60,000 concurrent viewers during its live Worlds Tournament in Singapore. Vainglory is available for download on Android, iOS devices and for alpha on PC / Mac.

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