In early 2018, Riot Games officially announced the separation of Vietnam from the Garena Premier League, instead promoting it to an independent region. From that moment on, many began to view this state as a new rising esports star, and, simultaneously, as a very promising market in the world of esports.
Despite the sudden good news, the Vietnamese esports players have actually pursued this goal of theirs for a long time. Since 2013, they have opposed the other representatives of Southeast Asia, attempting to take the spotlight for themselves. However, for quite a long time these players appeared to be somehow lacking – and it was only in 2017 that they were able to show a real level of play.
For the most part, the fame for their country was earned by representatives of GIGABYTE Marines. At first, this team defeated all the participants of the preliminary stage of the Mid-Season Invitational, for which it obtained a spot in the main stage – and then caused some fan anxiousness during the World Championship. By the way, for its successful MSI performance the team has earned for GPL an additional seed at the World .
At Worlds Championship 2017, the Vietnamese again surprised the entire planet, almost making it out of Group B. The guys fell one victory short during tiebreaker replay matches among their quartet, which housed mighty teams from Korea, North America and Europe. Because of the loss in the decisive match, the Marines left the competition, but forever inscribed their name in the history of Southeast Asia gaming performances.
Riot Games did not disregard such results, and in 2018 the country received its own full-fledged league called the Vietnam Championship Series with its own offline arena, despite being merely one of smaller parts of GPL a year ago. As a result, the interest state's residents took in the game grew even more, and throughout the year whole Vietnam closely followed the main regional championships in the eastern part of the globe.
League of Legends now occupied the top views on a stable basis, along with its own VCS, Korean LCK, Chinese LPL and Western LCS. This meant that almost all the players' attention was focused on the League of Legends, with the rest of the esports disciplines finding themselves in a tight spot. In addition, this situation was the final nail in the coffin of the supposed emergence of Dota 2 community, which failed to show any significant growth or development to date.
It can be said that Riot's creation was rivaled in full only by Arena of Valor, which many people refer to as the mobile version of LoL. The smartphone game has not only succeeded in creating an attractive image, but also managed to put significant pressure upon the market leader's positions. The regional championship on this MOBA gathered peak numbers of more than 120 thousand spectators during the month that coincided with the final part of Worlds 2018. As you can see, the Vietnamese are heavily involved in mobile gaming.
The last year's newcomer PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds also wasn't set aside. Brendan Greene’s battle royale earned a major part of audience's sympathies. Gamers of this country did not deny themselves the pleasure of watching major tournaments and local events. Most of the attention went to the international championships, which featured the best teams from all regions. Then, as expected, their very own tournaments were hosted for the players from Vietnam and nearby states alike.
Looking at the current situation, it is safe to say that the Asian market is much more different from the European one than it would seem at the first glance. In particular, Vietnamese players spend more time on the broadcast of mobile games. This means that Vietnam has an impressive chance of making an early escalation into mobile gaming, which in the future will certainly become one of main pillars of the esports industry.
If you want to delve deeper into this topic, note that we have already discussed the future of esports on smartphones. In these articles, our authors spoke in detail about its prospects and trends in development. You can get acquainted with the full list of materials on this subject on a special page.