Team Secret wins Vainglory European Winter Championship at the Gfinity Arena

Team Secret have been crowned the Vainglory European Winter champions after facing SNOW Tsunami in the final at London’s Gfinity Arena on Sunday.

Team Secret came into the tournament as returning champions of the Autumn Championship.

After a three-day tournament at the Gfinity Arena in London, Team Secret emerged as the best of the top eight European teams.

The finals were an exciting series of games with excellent play coming out of both teams. Team Secret proved their superiority by winning the best of five 3-0. The team is made up of the players KValafar, Mowglie and Scottish player Alessandro "Palmatoro" Palmarini.

Team Secret has secured $12,500 of the $25,000 prize pool, with second place SNOW Tsunami securing $5,000. It’s a pretty significant development in tablet and phone gaming to have such a large prize pool for an eSports tournament.

More than 700 competitive teams applied to compete in the Winter Season Championship to decide who would attend the event in London. The eight that made it featured players from the UK, France, Germany and Russia.

The teams were (listed in seeding order): SK Prometheus, Team Secret, G2.Kinguin, SNOW Tsunami, Rebirth of Empire, SNOW Avalanche, G2.Kinguin 2 and UK-based side Angry Pandas Black.

The first seed coming out of qualifiers was SK Prometheus. They had a surprisingly short tournament journey, being sent to loser's bracket by Rebirth of Empire on day one and knocked out of the tournament by G2 on day two.

In another surprise upset, G2.Kinguin 2 knocked out SNOW Avalanche.

The London event was hosted by Sam “DJSAMZ” Zimmerman, Andy “Vedius” Day, analyst Xinyi and Pocketgamer’s Ric Cowley.

The Winter Season 2016 NA Champions were crowned last week at the Red Bull eSports Studio, with Team SoloMid (TSM) taking the number one spot.

Vainglory, created by Super Evil Megacorp, is a MOBA designed from the ground up for touchscreens and has become the fastest growing mobile game on Twitch in under a year, with over 150 million minutes watched and more than $350,000 awarded in prizes in 2015.

Team Secret won the European Winter Championship at London's Gfinity Arena (photo credit: Joe Brady)

Team Secret won the European Winter Championship at London's Gfinity Arena (photo credit: Joe Brady)

Unlike other MOBAs, Vainglory can be played at a pro level by players aged 8+, so the audience that the game reaches is broader and also allows young people to compete as eSports athletes. One such athlete is the 13-year old Benedict “MrKcool” Ward from the UK who plays for Rebirth of Empire.

eSports News UK carried out an interview with MrKcool to find out what it's like to be a competitive eSports athlete at such a young age.

With the Spring season just two weeks away, the teams have a small amount of time to take a break before they are back at it again fighting for the Spring Championship title.

“This was the first touchscreen tournament in the UK and we couldn’t have asked for a better atmosphere,” said Kristian Segerstrale, COO and executive director at Super Evil Megacorp.

Check out eSports News UK in the coming week for our interview with Team Secret.

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