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Published: Aug 1, 2016 - Last Updated: May 28, 2024

vaingloryVainglory is a fairly new multiplayer online battle arena (MOBA) created by Super Evil Megacorp (SEM) and played on mobile devices.

SEM received help from former Blizzard and Riot Games developers to create this successful MOBA with fairly simplistic rules and balanced, competitive gameplay.

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How to play Vainglory

With graphics and gameplay that rival PC and console games, Vainglory has proven itself the most popular mobile esport – and it’s only gaining in popularity. The experience of playing Vainglory is similar to that of another popular esport, League of Legends (LoL). The biggest difference is that instead of playing on a computer, you instead play on an Apple or Android touchscreen device.

Vainglory’s rules are simple: two teams fight each other, each attempting to take out the other’s turrets and ultimately destroy the giant crystal hidden deep inside the enemy base. The crystal is filled with a mystical substance called “vain.”

Miniature goals exist throughout the road to the enemy base; these goals start within the first four minutes of the game. These goals include taking control of at least two of the minion mines that open up. Controlling minion mines gives your own minions extra power.

There is also a gold mine that must be defended and which allows you to continue buying new abilities and item upgrades over the course of a match.

In competitive matches, Vainglory teams are made up of three players each. Each player chooses one of the 25 available heroes, and they choose upgrades for their heroes over the course of a match. Each hero has a background story which gives some insight into the hero’s strengths and weaknesses, but knowledge of the lore isn’t necessary for gameplay.

Here are some commonly used Vainglory heroes:

Image credit: Vainglory

How Vainglory is different from other MOBAs

SEM did its best to create a different kind of video game. Vainglory can only be played on a mobile device whether it’s a phone or a tablet.

It’s almost unbelievable for a mobile game to be this detailed. Vainglory has truly revolutionized the mobile esports world. Being able to play a fully featured MOBA on a mobile device and not having to buy a super powerful gaming PC to be competitive has allowed this game to blow up at an enormous rate.


Currently, Vainglory can only be played on and Android or Apple phone or tablet. There are ways to use an Android emulator to play the game on PC however, the game is strictly played on tablets during competitive Esports matches.

Vainglory wagering

Many of the most popular gambling websites offer Vainglory odds. Generally speaking, only traditional wagering options are available.

To the best of our knowledge, fantasy esports sites like AlphaDraft have not yet introduced fantasy Vainglory. Where it’s legal, betting on Vainglory for real money can be done at Betway and Ladbrokes.

Tournaments and prize pools

Vainglory was specifically developed to be a competitive esport. However, there are still open calls for any team wanting to compete in tournaments. Vainglory League offers the VGL Challenger Series that spans North America, Europe, and South America. The Vainglory League is a 32-team single elimination tournament.

Redbull has also gotten in on the Vainglory action. In March 2016 it hosted the Vainglory Winter Championship. This tournament was a North American event that lasted for three days and had a prize pool of $25,000.

As the popularity of Vainglory rises, tournaments and prize pools are sure to increase accordingly.

Gaining an edge with Vainglory wagering

As is the case with all esports, the key to beating the bookies when betting on Vainglory is becoming an expert in the game. The simplest way to do that is by starting off actually playing – and Vainglory is one of the cheapest games to start playing.

All you need is an iOS or Android device – which you probably already have. That’s it. The game itself is free unless you choose to buy in-app purchases.

Another extremely important way to familiarize yourself with Vainglory teams and players is by following streams on Twitch. It’s a big advantage if you know which teams are currently playing well and which are in a slump.

Finally, there are some tips that hold true for most esports – don’t get attached to your favorite teams. When a team is very popular, it results in many bettors putting money on them, and the bookies adjust the odds to reduce their risk. Oftentimes that means you can earn money by betting against fan favorite teams.

Matt Kaufman

Since: December 5, 2015

See all articles from this author