Hello everyone! This is going to be a complete article containing all the information you need to know about one of the most hyped games in the mobile industry as of late. I’m talking about King of Glory, a multiplayer online battle arena (let’s refer to the genre as MOBA from now on) published by Tencent Games – Yes, you’ve read it right, it’s the same company that published League of Legends (and owns the company Riot), one of the biggest esports in the market nowadays. With that hype, King of Glory betting odds has also started to appear at the biggest online sportsbooks.
The mobile MOBA scene has been growing very rapidly in the last couple years, and this is due to the fact that smartphones and tablets are becoming increasingly more powerful in terms of processing, being able to handle complex games with good graphics. Another point that contributes to this growth is that the length of matches is much shorter, so you can squeeze a battle or two (or even more!) during your regular day to day routine without having to worry about the amount of time spent playing.
About King of Glory
It was released on November 26th, 2015, developed by Timi Studio Group and published by Tencent to iOs and Android smartphones. It was an instant success, with reports from last July showing that the application has 80 million daily active gamers, and over 200 million monthly players, making it one of the most played mobile games ever. It is also the most popular (most downloaded) free app for both iOS and Android in the world, and the top grossing mobile game worldwide.
Due to this insane popularity and success, Tencent and Nintendo have partnered up to bring the KOG to the Nintendo Switch (Nintendo’s latest gaming product). The date of release for the client is yet to be announced.
Right now the game isn’t available to the entire world – to sign up and play you need either a Tencent QQ or WeChat account, which are only eligible for Chinese citizens – but since KOG is a massive hit, it is to be expected that at least a similar version will reach the western audiences (and the rest of Asia) in the near future.
The game is already being viewed as an Electronic Sport in China, with tournaments starting to pop up and the best players taking the process more seriously, creating competitive clans, training many hours per day and attracting the sponsor’s eyes. King of Glory betting market already has options for the people interested in gambling in some of the tournaments, and we’ll cover the types of bets with some tips in the next section of the article.
Types of bets for King of Glory matches
Many sites are already offering bets for KOG events – below you’ll find a list of the ones you’ll most commonly find and a brief explanation as to how they work:
Since most matchups are decided in Best of 3’s, you can bet on the correct score for the series: 2-0, 2-1, 0-2 and 1-2. There are 4 possible outcomes and each one has different odds should you choose to take. Since this is a riskier option (you win on 1 outcome and lose on 3), the odds for this type of bet are usually higher, giving you a better return in case you win.
Winner of Map 1
Here you choose which team is going to win the first map of the series. There are only 2 possible outcomes (win or loss), making this type of bet more conservative and with lower odds to reflect that fact. This is very profitable when you know both squad’s playstyle and strategy very well, as some crews have the tendency of starting out a series in full force while some others grow and improve the longer the series goes.
Winner of Map 2/3
This bet is similar to the one above, the only difference is the match number. If the series ends with a 2-0, the Winner of Map 3 event is canceled and the money is refunded to everyone who had issued a bet.
First Blood in Map 1
In this option, you can bet on which team gets the first kill of the match. There are 2 outcomes – either Team A or B gets the kill since it’s impossible for a game to end without a single casualty. Usually, squads with more aggressive strategies and faster tempo get more first bloods, so in order to make good picks here, you need at least a general understanding of how each crew plays. Another recommendation is to wait until the champions have been picked so you can gauge which roster is probably going to be on the offensive.
First Blood in Map 2/3
Same as above. If the series ends with a 2-0 the First Blood in Map 3 event is canceled and everyone is refunded.
First turret in Map 1
This type of bet is about who destroys one of the enemy’s turret first – This one also has only 2 outcomes. For this one I recommend the same analysis as the First Blood – wait for the teams to pick their lineups and bet accordingly – it can be pretty clear from the champion picks which squad is going to try to push and pressure for an early game lead and objective (turrets) advantage.
First turret in Map 2/3
Same as above. The map 3 option is canceled if the series doesn’t go the distance, and all balances are refunded.
In the future, we might write a more in-depth guide with tips on each of these King of Glory bet types, but this list should be enough for you to get started on getting to know the game and its gambling market a little better.
Competitive match rules
To ensure fair competition to both sides, the recent King of Glory events set a few set of rules that everyone has to follow. You can read about some of them (and the reasoning behind each one) below:
Players have to compete using their smartphones or tablets. Most guys choose tablets because of the bigger screen and higher processing power. It is illegal to play on a PC (through an Android or iOS emulator) or using any kind of peripherals like keyboard or mice to control your champion – it all has to be done using the tablet’s touchscreen. This is to ensure that all gamers are competing on the same level with the same resources available to them.
Each squad has 5 players, and for each match, each team has to draft 5 champions to play with. The picks are alternated in the draft phase to prevent one crew from picking all the best champions in the current metagame. This also adds a layer of strategy and mind games before the match even starts, with both teams trying to get the best line up possible to counter their opponent.
In case one of the players disconnects (it can be due to faulty hardware or internet connection), the battle must be played on. There is a system in place where a bot takes command of the champion until the player can return to the match and keep playing. This is designed to stop abandoning issues and because there isn’t a viable and effective way to pause the game to wait for the player to reconnect.
In order to win the map, a squad has to destroy the opponents Nexus (the last structure inside the base). The number of kills, turrets destroyed, total networth are not taken into consideration to declare a winner. Even when a team is down on all accounts they may still be able to pull a comeback by destroying the enemy’s base faster.
Playing on someone else’s account or lending your account is illegal – this is called smurfing and if done in a competitive setting will result in the crew getting disqualified (and maybe banned for future events as well).
As the game is still new in the eSports scene, you can expect more rules to be added to improve the legitimacy and fairness of the matches as more tournaments and events add King of Glory to their schedule.
The eSports scene started to gain hype in 2016 around the time of the first season of King Pro League. The tournament started in September and lasted 3 months, being played in a live setting in front of a real (and big) audience, attracting a lot of attention to the game that already had many casual players at that point.
12 teams competed over these 3 months to decide which one was the best King of Glory roster in China (and consequently, the entire world). After many fierce battles, crazy upsets and magical comebacks, the players from the ASGARD Xiange organization were crowned the champions of the first King of Glory major event – and they won a huge prize for it too: roughly $250.000 USD (converted from China’s local currency). The other participating squads also earned a lot of money for their work.
In 2017 King Pro League already had its 2nd season that happened between March and July, and ended with a grand final between team AG and QGHappy, with QGHappy lifting the trophy after a demolishing 4-0 victory – The prize pool was the same as the previous season, $250.000 to be split between the QGHappy professionals.
King Pro League is the biggest tournament in the mobile MOBA scene currently. The last edition (the one QGHappy won) recorded a peak of almost 10 million simultaneous viewers (reminder: these numbers are reported by the Chinese streaming services themselves and are probably inflated in some way, so take this information with a grant of salt), with an average viewer count throughout the 3 month season of over 1 million simultaneous viewers.
The other big tournament going on in China right now is called King Champion Cup, and its first edition has just ended. It lasted roughly 1 month, starting on July 27th and ending on August 19th. The tournament was attended by 16 crews and the viewer numbers reported were also insanely big – almost 3 million simultaneous viewers for the finals between Team JC and RNG.M and an average audience of 988 thousand viewers tuned in.
It is to be expected that more events add King of Glory to their schedule in the upcoming months after seeing how successful these 2 series have been in 2016 and 2017. It is reported that more than 300 squads registered to play in the last King Pro League, and more are expected for the next season. The media coverage and live attendance that these events are getting is also a pretty big deal, making the game more interesting to the eyes of sponsors and investors. And this is only in China – once KOG is released to the western market, expect all these already high figures to be blown out of the water.
Best teams / organizations
With the game still being in its infancy compared to other sports, it’s still hard to qualify the rosters in any kind of rank. But we can take a look at the major events that already happened and check the teams who have shown strength by having deep runs and consistency by playing well in more than one major championship. Let’s try and list a few:
The winners of the first King Pro League event were the members of ASGARD Xiang, so they earn a spot among the best teams right now. With that said, they have failed to reach the top 4 in KPL’s season 2 and their performance wasn’t that great either in King Champion Cup 2017.
With a new KPL season coming closer, we will be able to quantify ASGARD’s skill a little bit better – if they get eliminated early again, they might be written down in history as a one-hit wonder crew, winning a major event and never accomplishing anything noteworthy afterward. But if they can showcase good performances and make a deep run, they’ll still be in contention for one of the best teams of King of Glory.
The second squad on our list was the champion of KPL’s second edition, in 2017. A more recent tournament victory certainly means they’re in better shape lately than ASGARD, especially considering that after only a few matches everyone realized that they were clearly one level above all the other squads in the competition.
And despite being the favorites throughout the entire season and everyone aiming to dethrone them, QGHappy destroyed opponent after opponent in very convincing ways. Even in the Grand Finals, they took down Team AG with a swift (and many saw it as easy) 4-0 victory in a best of 7.
They also did well in the other major event that happened this year, King Champion Cup, making their way into the semi-finals where they lost some very close battles against JC.
QGhappy has shown they’re a consistent team and that they’re ready to stay on the top of the scene, making deep runs and beating most of their competition in the major events. Everyone is excited to see them perform in the next King Pro League edition, and rightfully so.
AG is a squad that surprised everyone by reaching the finals of the 2nd King Pro League season. Even though they ended up losing pretty badly in the grand finals to QGHappy with a 0-4 score, their performances throughout the tournament have to be praised. They took down many favorites and were the true darkhorse of the event.
Following this great run, they also participated in the King Champion Cup, again showcasing some good matches and securing some victories against other top-tier teams. In this event, they failed to reach the Semi-Finals, but the players have shown they can compete at the top competitive level as the scene grows larger.
Royal Never Give up
If you follow League of Legends (The game that inspired a big part of King of Glory’s gameplay), you have already heard of the organization Royal Never Give Up. It is a very well known and established as one of the big Chinese powerhouses in the LoL scene, with great infrastructure and management.
With the rise of King of Glory and the mobile electronic sports scene, the organization created a subdivision called RNG.M (the end stands for mobile) and hired some very promising talents to play for them. As a company with lots of sponsors such as Logitech, Panda TV, Omen, it is expected that RNG.M will rapidly climb to the top tier of KOG squads. So far they have already achieved a good result in the latest King Champion Cup, reaching the finals against JC – let’s see if they can keep improving their performances in the upcoming events.
JC is the crew that played the grand finals of KCC 2017 against Royal Never Give Up – it is a team with much less sponsorship money and infrastructure, so reaching the finals is already a huge success to the organization and proves they’re worth of a spot on this list among the best players on the scene currently.
Another thing that credits JC as to one of the best is that they are the squad that defeated QGHappy, the team that destroyed everyone and lifted KPL’s trophy just a couple months ago. They were the favorites in the last event as well but JC put a stop to their run, beating them in two series to reach the grand finals.
We have to keep our eyes out for JC and how they will perform in the upcoming events to rightfully rank them among the other orgs – but for now, they’re firmly in the top 5. Since the competitive market for the game is still relatively new, things could (and probably will) change very quickly, with new professionals and sponsors joining the scene every single day by the thousands.
What’s in store for King of Glory in the future?
Before we head on, let’s do a quick recap. We’ve discussed and analyzed the game, the betting market that is starting to grow around it, the biggest events among the ones already held and the teams who had the best performances in these championships. Based on this, we can safely say that we have a firm understanding of the past and present – and now it’s time to extrapolate on what the future holds for the biggest mobile game in the world.
As we’ve pointed out in the introduction, KOG already has over 80 million daily active players – That’s more people than many large European countries! Even though the number is already insanely high, there is still room for a lot of growth, as it is estimated that the number of smartphone gamers in China rovers around the 400 million mark.
All of this means that King of Glory can feasibly double, triple or increase even more its number of players in the very near future, resulting in more media hype around the scene, more sponsors and most importantly more high skilled players practicing daily against each other taking their skills to the next level.
One of the top priorities of Tencent right now is to publish the game to a wider audience to attract more players and generate more revenue. They have already started expanding to the nearest Asian countries partnering up with local companies such as Garena in Taiwan.
The local Taiwanese gets the right to distribute and manage KOG in the country and in return, Tencent gets their share for holding the rights to the original game – it’s a win-win situation for both companies and the userbase, who gets to experiment the product outside of China. There are also plans to expand the game to South Korea, one of the most important countries with regards to electronic sports (eSports is mainstream in South Korea, and the country turned gaming into a real profession and career opportunity back when Starcraft: Brood War was in it’s prime).
Regarding the revenue aspect of the app, according to the gaming industry database CNG, King of Glory generated more than $800.000.000 USD in the first quarter of 2017 and is expected to reach the 3 billion USD mark before the end of the year. With a bright future ahead, some news pieces are predicting this sum to double in a couple years, maybe slightly more.
Outside of China, King of Glory has a few competitors in the mobile MOBA market (stay tuned for the next articles where we will also talk about those), such as Vainglory. Right now the focus is to expand into Asia, and only afterward push the game to the western audiences – we are going to have to wait and see how this plan works out.
There is a great number of players from western countries waiting for the opportunity to play KOG, but if Tencent takes too long to publish the product or partner with local companies to distribute it, these players might start playing Vainglory or one of the many other recent mobile MOBAs and not switch to King of Glory once it’s finally released.
There’s no way to predict what’s going to happen right now and everything surrounding this subject is speculation, so we won’t dive much deeper – we have to wait for official news from Tencent to know what they are up to and what their plans for the near future are.
Electronic Sports future
The future regarding eSports is very looking bright. The first and most important thing for an eSports scene to flourish is a healthy, large and increasing playerbase interested in the game and passionate about its success – and King of Glory has all of these attributes.
With already 2 major events with big prize pools in 2017 and some more planned, we can expect that coming years are going to be even more packed with two kinds of contests:
Major championships aimed at professional organizations, like new seasons of both King Pro League and King Champion Cup.
Minor and local events (or even online) for more casual and amateur players to have a taste of competition with similarly skilled opponents. These tournaments have a lot of engagement from the community and help build a great community for the game.
We are witnessing the start of a potentially great Electronic Sports title that can be the leading KOG in a market with a tendency shifting towards smartphones, mobile apps and more accessible games to everyone! It’s definitely a great moment in the gaming industry, and we have the pleasure to watch it all unfold before our eyes!
Thanks for reading the article – we sincerely hope you enjoyed it! Remember to bookmark it so you can check it later if you have any doubts about the game or its competitive scene (biggest tournaments and teams). You can also point newcomers wanting to learn more about the title to this text to help out!