Until recently, participation in the competitive world of e-sports required access to a PC. But Vainglory, a breakthrough multiplayer battle arena game, expands the events to iOS and Android devices—and positions developer Super Evil Megacorp at the forefront of a soaring industry. To create the two-year-old game, Super Evil Megacorp built its own mobile engine, which allowed it to add console-grade features to the app: Touch-screen users see complex graphics and visual effects, with all the depth and control of traditional e-sports.
Last year, Vainglory tripled its active player community on Android, and nearly 100,000 concurrent viewers watched the championship tournament. With 5G mobile networks likely to make 4K video streaming a reality this year, Super Evil Megacorp CEO Kristian Segerstrale plans to use the company’s latest round of funding—$19 million, for a total of $63 million—to attract even more viewers and players. “We are at the very beginning,” he says, “of what ultimately is a revolution in game-play culture on mobile.”