Developer Super Evil Megacorp announced today that the South Korean team Phoenix Armada has won the first world championship for Vainglory, its mobile MOBA (multiplayer online battle arena) strategy game. The tournament featured a prize pool of $120,000, with most of it going to the winner.
MOBAs are some of the most popular competitive games in the $493 million esports business, but it’s mostly known for PC hits like League of Legends and Dota 2. Vainglory shows that mobile players are also eager for team-based competition. According to App Annie, Vainglory is the No. 618 ranked game on the Apple App Store in the U.S., while it’s ranked No. 225 in South Korea.
Mobile esports are already taking off in territories like China, where 24 percent of the top Android games are competitive, according to Newzoo. That amount of popularity for mobile esports could spread to other territories, including the U.S., where some scoff at the idea of a mobile title like Vainglory being as serious a competitive game as something like Dota 2. However, having a major tournament with a six-figure prize pot in a venue like the Chinese Theater shows how popular Super Evil Megacorp’s Vainglory is becoming.
The championship took place at the TCL Chinese Theater in Hollywood, where Phoenix Armada beat America’s Team SoloMid in the finals, going 4-2 in a best-of-seven series. The championship event hosted 12 teams from North America, Europe, Asia and South America.
The Chinese Theater will have imprint display honoring Phoenix Armada’s victory starting in the first quarter of 2017. It’s not quite a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, but it’s a start.