December 17th was a great day, for along with the Worlds Finals, we were also treated with our first real look at the widely anticipated 5v5 mode to be added to our favourite mobile MOBA. Everything is bigger and better: the map, the minions, the krak- wait, is that a dragon? TWO DRAGONS? Where do I sign up?!
The new map, called Sovereign’s Rise, is ridiculously huge, making the classic single lane 3v3 mode we’ve come to know and love seem almost childlike in comparison. There’s a river running diagonally across the centre of the map, three lanes with three shiny golden turrets each, and an additional structure called an Armory in each lane located just before the vain crystal that can be destroyed to cripple the minions of their respective lanes. On top of all that, the vain crystal now fights back too!
To help move around, there’s also a new pair of boots that allows you to teleport to allied structures, saving time and enabling you to get to where you need to be quicker. Move speed is also increased when moving with the current of the river, making rotations much more interesting. There’s also two river shops so you won’t need to trek home for every purchase. Yet another major change with the 5v5 is the inclusion of the classic ‘Fog of War’, which reveals where your vision reaches, while darkening the areas you can’t see.
The rotations we’ve been used to in 3v3 were relatively simple: rotate from lane to jungle and vice versa. With 5v5, you now have three lanes to rotate to and from, along with a huge map-wide jungle. Rotational strategy is now a crucial part of the game, going from something pros would implement in their 3v3 games to a necessity in every game of 5v5.
There’s a new kind of minion for each team too, known as a ‘Captain’ minion. This strong, large minion is harder to take down than the usual fare, and now adds additional tactics to Saw’s single-minded lane pushing. The way you take out lane minions now affects how your minions push (at least, to a larger extent than it was possible in 3v3), and it makes it easier to stall the push, or get a big push forward, or implement some other tactic.
With huge maps comes huge jungles. Now that the jungle is spread throughout the map, as opposed to being limited to the bottom half as it was in 3v3, junglers can join the fray much more often, making coordination even more important. The twisted and varied routes you can take should also make chases much more enjoyable and strategic.
5v5 also has a new vision item called a Scout Cam that provides vision without getting popped easily like a scout trap. The only way to see and destroy a scout cam is to expose one with another scout cam. With such a huge map, vision is a necessity, and the addition of scout cams are going to completely change how vision works. Along with the normal exp/gold neutral minion camps, the jungle also has special minion camps that provide temporary buffs.
With ten heroes on the map, teamfights are much more hectic and colourful than ever. Every hero now has to keep an eye on all five enemy heroes in a 5v5 brawl, and Captains are going to need more focus than ever to keep their teammates alive. Heroes that are killed now sometimes drop buffs that can be picked up. The large jungle allows for ganks from all directions, making sure that a laner can never breathe easy, and emphasising vision now more than ever before. Teamfights with ten heroes are demanding, and there will be a lot more micro play involved, not to mention the macro play that takes place leading up to these fights. For these reasons, it’ll be really interesting to witness all the new strategies that crop up for 5v5, and how well competitive teams can execute them.
In the river, we have two terrifying dragons, Blackclaw and Ghostwing. These dragons work similarly to Kraken, as they both spawn at a specific time, need to be attacked and captured, and can be stolen by an opposing team should they land the last hit. Blackclaw is similar to Kraken, and when captured, flies to the center of the map, and pushes the middle lane, attacking the enemy’s turrets and minions. It attacks by breathing terrifying fire at a long range, and slashes turrets with its razor-sharp wings. When defeated, it flies away and respawns at the river after a certain amount of time.
Ghostwing, on the other hand, provides a different sort of advantage. Taking Ghostwing gives the entire team a temporary defensive buff, providing them with the upper hand for any teamfights to come. Having two major neutral objectives to take is interesting, as it can allow a single team to take both in the case that the enemy is incapacitated. For example, unleashing Blackclaw, and then taking Ghostwing while the enemy team is busy fending off the dangerous dragon, or taking Ghostwing before contesting Blackclaw to have the advantage in the ensuing 5v5 clash to capture the dragon. All in all, these two are a great addition, and will have lots of strategies revolving around capturing them, adding yet another element of macro play to the games.
So, excited for 5v5 yet? Early access will be available for those lucky Golden Ticket holders somewhere during early January, when Update 2.12 drops. 5v5 will be released to the general public in February, so get ready for Vainglory’s biggest update yet; I hope that you’re as hyped up for it as I am!
Edited by Clarryparry