Vainglory Arena 8 Post-Preseason Contemplations
All eyes look to the East Asian professional scene, home of the 2016 world champions, Team Phoenix. The OGN (OnGameNet) hosted two weekends of the Arena 8 2017 preseason tournament with a $8,000 prize pool. Team Phoenix once again rose to the top. However, the competition was fierce as many players stepped up into the spotlight to give Team Phoenix and the rest of the world a new challenge. Before we jump into the coming Spring Season of Vainglory 8 play, let’s reflect on what the best region in the world has been up to.
Here is a look at the bracket of the Arena 8 Preseason:
Unfortunately Team Typhoon and Appetizer have been relegated from Arena 8 play for the first season. Detonation Gaming took a convincing seat at third place as they went 2-0 against Korean team ACE Red. The Korean team from the 2016 World Tournament, Hack, escaped relegation as they struggled to keep up with the top teams of this tournament. The departure of Lee “SensePlay” Gang-hyun, was apparent in their lack of control in the Captain position.
Top 3 Teams of the Arena 8
Carry/Laner: druid KDA- 4.16 CS/m- 10.48 Gold/m- 592.96
Jungler: Mango KDA-3.43 CS/m- 3.31 Gold/m- 357
Captain: Willy KDA- 3.5 Gold/m- 336.67
Team Phoenix once again rises to the top while only losing two games the entire tournament. In my opinion, Hoong “Willy” Seo-jun was the the tournament’s MVP. He showed the most hero diversity with success. He topped all players with 3 perfect games while holding the best KDA among all captains. The biggest advantage for Team Phoenix was Kestrel. She was a very strong flex pick that both Jeong “Mango” Eu-taek and Ahn “druid” Hyun-joon could play efficiently at a high level. Opposing teams were never able to guess where Kestrel was going. Phoenix used that to their advantage sending her wherever she had the best match-up. They also had the best bans, as they targeted the best players of the opposing team. The META for the entire tournament reflected a double ranged composition. Team Phoenix displayed the best positioning as they danced around Willy to win team fight after team fight.
Carry/Laner: StriVE KDA- 4.5 CS/m- 11.07 Gold/m- 616
Jungler: TenaciTy KDA- 3.33 CS/m- 2.88 Gold/m- 364.5
Captain: pQq KDA- 2.58 Gold/m- 350.91
Move over druid, StriVE has taken over as the “King of Farm”. He also held the tournament’s highest KDA, creep score per minute and gold per minute. He has been the only other player in the world that can match druid creep for creep. In the 4 game face-off, StriVE had 3 more farm per game against the world’s best laner. StriVE, a fantastic Skye player that warranted bans while playing against Team Phoenix. Lee “pQq” Jae-Sung, former teammate of druid and Mango, is the Captain of New Challenge EA. Of all the captains, he has mastered his rotations to gain the most ambient gold. One of the best Ardans in the EA scene. His protect the carry style play granted StriVE with the lowest death count per game. TenaciTy is a very strong jungler, but also plays a part in protecting StriVE and feeding him the JG minions. While his numbers aren’t visually as strong, his impact allows his team to have the highest gold per minute while closing out games faster than anyone else. This is the team to watch and it is frightening to have another team in the same caliber as Team Phoenix.
Carry/Laner: ViViRoyaL KDA- 3.0 CS/m- 7.03 Gold/m- 401.82
Jungler: tatuki217 KDA- 4.18 CS/m- 4.07 Gold/m- 322.2
Captain:ViViQIZ KDA- 2.23 Gold/m- 301.39
The only Japanese team in the Semi-finals takes a convincing third place. Aside from New Challenge, they were the only team to take a win from Team Phoenix. DetonatioN Gaming is home to Japan’s best jungler, Kojima “tatuki217” Tatsuki. In a tournament with 24 games, Sam was either picked or banned 21 times. Tatuki217 carried his team with a 100% win rate as Samuel and a staggering 9.3 KDA but once Team Phoenix targeted tatuki217 in the ban phase, DetonatioN fell behind. Tatuki217 and DetonantioN Gaming is definitely a team to watch. Their team fighting was phenomenal at times but fell flat to Team Phoenix, in part to the gold differential lead that Phoenix controlled in all games.
What do the Korean teams do so much differently than other teams across the world? It is their gold management and lane manipulation. After the laning phase, ALL farm is given to the Carry almost exclusively. this is why both StriVE and druid can maintain such high amounts of CS. They follow the simple formula of, feed the Carry and protect them. In terms of necessity, the gold distribution prioritizes carries, then junglers and finally captains. Assigning who gets the ambient gold is of utmost importance for these Korean powerhouses. Captains need only about 6k gold to be efficient while 4 item build carries need over 10k to reach a full build. Junglers only need about 7-8k to be effective.
In the first split of the Vainglory Invitational Series (VIS), North American teams Team Solo Mid, Cloud 9, Hammers Velocity and Gankstars Sirius have shown some awareness of this gold filtering method. Needless to say these are the teams that placed in the top 4. Patch 2.1 will offer much more hero diversity and though it will change the META for the Arena 8 teams, they are still the teams to beat. As we delve further into the season, the different regions will flesh out their own METAs and strategies. Stay tuned as I cover the professional scene of Vainglory.
*Who am I? I am Don “Dezey” Tran, active member in the Vainglory community. I am also a content creator for Vainglory on YouTube. Catch me on http://www.youtube.com/dondezeyteachesvg