The Gythian Catalogue Issue 2 (Breaking into the Competitive Vainglory scene)


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Originally posted in the OG Vainglory Forums by @Vincitoria on 28 April 2017
Archived by @Mysteerious on 13 February 2018

Hello everyone!

This catalogue is a special edition which focuses on “Breaking into the competitive scene of Vainglory!”

Short history of the competitive Vainglory scene

2015 gave birth to Vainglory’s competitive scene as we know it now. It started from small 1v1/2v2 tourneys between teams, to leagues such as the League of extraordinary vainglorians which was one of the first big Vainglory competitions. With the addition of spectator mode, things grew larger to bracketed tournaments hosted by entities such as the ESL and VGL, then eventually live competitions hosted by SEMC and OGN.

Since the competitive scene was fresh then, it was easy to get in while everything was just growing. Many of the faces you see playing now are in fact long time players of the game. There was also a lot less work needed to become a competitive player, less strategies to learn through and through, no drafting phase and less games to win in live competitions.

Over the years, the player base has grown, the game has added many new heroes, new/updated mechanics, drafting and more ways to play.

What does this mean for players wanting to join the Competitive scene?

Today, it’s really tough for good, even great players, who weren’t there already, to break into the upper echelons of competitive play. A lot of the players there now are seasoned veterans with years of experience under their belts, being able to stand up to them on the fold is quite daunting and realistically very few teams and players are capable of doing so.

Many teams and players who try to accomplish this feat often struggle or fall into traps along their journey to the top. This issue of the Gythian Catalogue is aimed at lending aid to the players and teams who are struggling to spread their wings and make their mark in the scene.

Acquiring the tools for dominance

In order to contest proffessional players, ideally you would want to be in tip top fighting shape yourself. Your wifi and hardware have to be reliable, a lag spike or crash could spell the end against opponents who typically capitalize on the enemy team’s deficits, and there are no shortage of those type of players at the top.

Familiarizing yourself with the strategies commonly utilized by teams that are finding success at the highest level of play would also be advantageous to you, they say knowing is half the battle and having some idea of how your opponents at least think, or act, makes it easier for you and your team to strategize against them, increasing your chances of victory. Once you’re comfortable enough with how things work at a higher level, you can start posing questions of your own, “Why did this player opt for this item at this specific time rather than the standard choice?” start looking to gain a deeper understanding of their game and the game itself, this is the first step in becoming the best player you can be.

Establishing healthy habits and mindsets, avoiding the common traps that halt progression

pps

Each issue, we’ll look across the competitive scene and ask a proffessional player for their opinions on this week’s theme. This issue’s spotlight features:

foojee

About:

FooJee is, and has been a figure the vainglory community has looked up to ever since his days back in Nemesis Amakhono. Older players will tell you stories about FooJee’s Ringo and Glaive play back before the days of Vox, it was natural to expect a dominant performance from him if he was on one of these weapon carries. Not only was he renown for making plays in game, he was also one of the only streamers of high elo vainglory gameplay, and became one of the first vainglory dedicated streamers to become partnered on twitch. He has also been on the Evil 8 analyst desk and was well received by the community for his insight on the game. He currently plays under the newly acquired banner of Echo Fox.

Twitter: @theFooJee

Achievements:

  • One of the first Vainglory dedicated streamers to become partnered on twitch!
  • Winner of two “Best Hero NA 2015” competitions! (Ringo and Celeste)
  • Winner of the 2016 annual “Best beards of vainglory” poll, earning a spectacular 56% of the vote, 26% more than the runner up (PlayoffBeard)

Iconic play

When all hope was lost, FooJee channeled the spirit of the dragon of the west and sacrifices himself for a 1v3 Ace on Liberation X

We asked FooJee

  1. What are some of the habits that you or your past/present teammates have developed that you believe have made a positive impact on your performance?

FooJee said: ↑
This answer could span pages, but I’ll mention just a few things that help me work on my performance.

To start - staying healthy and active when not playing is important. Exercise, diet and nutrients are all part of keeping the mind and body sharp. Just b/c it’s not as much of a physical activity defined by muscular involvement doesn’t mean you should slack here. This is also true for keeping a strong sleep schedule. Any sleep deprivation will absolutely crush your response times, clarity of thought, and emotional fortitude when playing at a deficit or in a long drawn out series.

The ability to make immediate change by reflecting on gameplay missteps and staying humble through the process is another important behavior. You don’t grow if you think only quantity of play makes a difference - its a combination of investing a lot of time in practice, but also making sure it’s purposeful and goal-laden. As I have attempted to grow as a player, it’s been critical to observe these points as I correct negative behaviors, memorize positive ones, and push myself over what might be considered a “peak.”

If you treat every practice session, every scrimmage, every solo q match as an opportunity to execute at your best… you will generate better and better results. Logging on to just play and have fun is a good way to unwind, but this should be the least amount of your time spent. Instead, log in and prepare your goals for the day - if you achieve them, mark it down and keep a record of what you have accomplished. If you failed, add another rung to the ladder for the next day to help you close the gap on your original goal.

  1. What attitude should players have towards lengthy practice sessions, scrimmages as well as the actual tournament matches?

FooJee said: ↑
Stay profoundly positive. Optimism is your friend when attempting to play your best and increases your chances at winning. If you make a mistake (or your teammate does) and you dwell on it & argue over it you are wasting valuable time to talk about what to do next. What’s done is done and you cannot change it, but you can focus on the upcoming minutes by attempting to create advantages b/c you truly believe you can still win. When in the lead it’s easy to remain happy and energized, the biggest threat here being apathy towards your opponent’s ability to create opportunity. So it’s a balance of staying emotionally charged towards your victory and never slipping in your resolve, whether playing ahead or behind.

However! This shouldn’t be confused with being overly nice or emotionally tender - I don’t believe professional competitors have much room for this, especially in-game during a scrim or tournament. You want to demand excellence and you want to your teammates to expect nothing less from you either… so when someone is slacking, being lazy, or careles, they should be called out and metaphorically “slapped” back into reality. The way you do this is important though - you don’t degrade or belittle each other, that’s a waste of time and honestly a terrible show of character. Focus on the objectives, stay logical, and keep a tough skin. If you make a mistake, own it. If you see a mistake, recognize it then move on. It’s good to have a disagreement after the game, to get angry when something goes wrong, to demand respect for your time and effort being committed to your craft. This shows passion and a genuine care for what you do - but this energy needs to be channeled into solutions and resolution. Find the intensity to never be okay with mediocrity, but don’t be an .

  1. What common misconceptions do many people have about what it takes to be a pro vainglory player?

FooJee said: ↑
There are probably quite a few, but I’ll just stick to two popular ones.

First off, & perhaps the most common misconception is that you have to start at the top immediately. This just isn’t true - patience and persistence is the key to finding yourself in the right place at the right time. It takes time and dedication to reach the pro scene and since most will not make it it’s up to you to find ways to stand out. The best practice is getting on a team and joining any (all) competitions for exposure, even non SEMC sanctioned. There isn’t a “quick-skip” way to find yourself with a major organization, it needs to be earned through gameplay and respect of your peers. Do your best to have a positive influence on those you team with or those you find in solo queue. People remember players that go above and beyond in-game and getting recognized / having players that want to team up is solid first step in going pro. Remember that there aren’t any recruiters only performance and word of mouth, so even if you have skill - you must also have the right attitude and influence. It’s building a resume brick by brick, most of the top players in North American Vainglory have been playing the game for at least 1.5+ years.

Bonus Question: Can some of the success you’ve had as both a player and an analyst be attributed to your magnificent beard?

FooJee said: ↑
My beard often represents my state of mind - I go through a lot of personal changes in my life and I tend to couple these with either growing a beard or being clean shaven. There isn’t particularly a rule for how I approach this, but when I have one or the other - and changes are coming, I tend to grow or shave to help represent a physical form to my mental shift.

comspot

In addition to the Pro player spotlight, each issue we’ll search we’ll examine a member of the VG community and ask them questions related to the issue’s topic. This issue we’ll look at:

About:

Pwnt has been a contributing member of the Vainglory community for years. Most people know him as the founder of Gankstars, an esports organisation that first made its mark in Vainglory. What started with a simple forum thread, Gankstars went from a small group of friends looking to team up to an esports organisation that competes at the highest level in multiple games. In addition to founding this organisation, how to has also led projects to benefit the community such as The Vainglory Collective and Gankstars Academy.

Twitter: @PwntByUkranian

Achievements:

  • Founded Gankstars and with the help of his co-owners and guild mates, turned it into what it is today.
  • Thanks to Pwnt, Gankstars was one of the first homegrown Vainglory organizations to be registered as an esports entity
    -Number of people Pwnt as a Ukranian: 3607

Getting involved with the competitive community, making connections and spending time with like minded individuals

We asked Pwnt:

  1. What are some great places for people to hang out where they’d be able to meet many people who share the same competitive interests/willingness to get serious about the game?

PwntByUkrainian said: ↑
BAND chats and discord servers of some top teams and competitive players are a good place to hang out. Be nice, ask for games, but don’t be upset if you can’t find any. EZL tournament runs a nice Discord as well - look it up. Best way is to just grind soloQ or duoQ, add people who did well, and party up with them. Once you’re high-POA/low VG level, you’ll be noticed more, especially if you keep playing well and aren’t toxic. You have to be willing to lose a lot of games, and take it like a champ. It is great to join a guild that’s at least semi-serious about competitive play. GankStars, Ardent, Hammers, Synergy, etc. all have players of various ranks that can help you on your journey; however, joining may be hard - GankStars requires 5 existing members to recommend someone before they’re in, for example. Many people mistakenly think that it’s others’ job to see their greatness; no, it’s your job to demonstrate such greatness with video, screenshots, behavior, perseverance, etc.

  1. What are some ways prospective players could stand out to already established orgs and other professional players?

PwntByUkrainian said: ↑
I touched in that with the above. Another way is to make content; look no further than WoodWorking for a great example of a player who was noticed due to great attitude & content. The VG community is still pretty close-knit, so doing anything of value to others really puts you under a spotlight. As far as competitive, the best way to be noticed is to best top players or do quite well even if you lose. Trust me, when our players face a random team and don’t smash them in under 16 minutes, they notice. “So-and-so did very well, I wonder who that is?” After that, come to their streams and say hello, so your name gets imprinted in their memory. From there you may be invited into duoQ or such. Make positive, constructive remarks on social media. And finally - be coachable. Nobody wants to deal with self-centered, toxic players who think they’re the best simply because they have some mechanical skill; Vainglory is far past that stage.

Bonus Question: Is SEMC planning to release the SE Gankstar Gwen skin anytime soon?

PwntByUkrainian said: ↑
Haha, I don’t know if there are any such plans at the moment, but I certainly like where your head is at and agree that GankStar Gwen would be the perfect pun for a GS skin. One day…

Competitive Play of the Week!
potw

Utilizing the allied candied gold miner, CullTheMeek and Gabevizzle force an engage on Hunters, picking them off one by one in a skillful manor, when Queen tries to avoid the ace, IraqiZorro picks her off with a cross map solar storm that gets a direct hit on her.

Questions to the readers:

  1. What has been your most competitive match yet? Tell us about that match that forced you to play at your best in order to pull out the win.

TheFollowing said: ↑
Well in all honesty I don’t even remember the last time I’ve actually been able to play at 100 percent. That’s not me bragging about dominating players, but me stating that I’ve had moments where I’ve even surprised myself at what I could do. And it’s gets frustrating when I can only do that on few occasions. I guess I just have to practice more to have that be more frequent.

Walda said: ↑
Well, I have not been ranking recently, but a competitive match I remember was going against full Gankstars a couple months ago. I was solo (VG) ran into a guildmate (VG) and the third was unknown. I got a hero im not great at (Vox) but my guildmate got their main (Alpha.) The third wanted to roam. We actually won early and mid game, and could have won but I just suck at Vox. Their jungle felt impossible to beat and Iraqi outcsed me but atleast 5-10.

  1. Have you ever had any matches against a VG8/Top Challenger team? How was the experience?

ThreeBlindMice said: ↑
I played against FooJee and two of his Nemesis teammates, who I cannot recall the names of for the life of me, way back in late Winter/early Spring of 2015, and it is, to date, one of the closest games that I have ever been fortunate enough to play. My two teammates at the time were previously high Elo DOTA2 players, but were also just getting into the game. Nonetheless, they were excellent enough, and we had enough synergy right off the bat, to match FooJee’s squad(and infamous Ringo) almost step for step, especially as the late-game approached. Fights kept on going back and forth consistently, with one or two players dying on both sides, leaving us in a constant stalemate. Eventually, a critical mistake on our team ended up leading to FooJee’s team once again taking the lead and eventually taking the game with a two or three-turret, double infused, Kraken push. A really good game, for sure.

At this point in time, I’d like to extend a special thanks to @FooJee and @PwntByUkrainian for taking their time to answer the questions I had for them. I hope you all had a pleasant reading experience, and I also hope that those attempting to make it in the professional Vainglory circuit take something from this.

See you all next time!

Link to issue 1 on Roaming ----->