Vague: villains are important not just for CODM, but for all esports

Veteran Call of Duty Mobile player and 2022 World Champion Maiwand “Vague” Zai could probably tick the boxes of... Paolo | 9. February 2024

Veteran Call of Duty Mobile player and 2022 World Champion Maiwand “Vague” Zai could probably tick the boxes of an esports villain: really good at his game, has his own fanbase, had a few choice words for history, and was an essential part of the entire East vs West storyline that dominated the CODM scene from the 2022 to 2023 competitive season.

It is for this reason he believes such esports storylines are important to generate interest and hype among fans and enthusiasts.

In the YouTube documentary The Biggest Villain in Mobile Esports? made by content creator and global esports talent Alliana “BeefMami” Liongson, Vague speaks up on the impact of these events and how his “villain arc” rejuvenated interest in the Call of Duty: Mobile scene.

“I do think that having an antagonist in esports is a big thing for not only for CODM but for every other game out there and the reason being is because if you don’t have a person or a group that is seen as like “the enemy” or like the rivals or everything, I don’t think watching esports would be as exciting as it is. As time goes on, I hope that esports in general doesn’t go soft to a point where like, shooting bodies or teabagging is seen as something bad,” Vague said.

“West is best, east is ass” became the story brief of global competitive CODM for that year, as in 2023, Wolves and GodLike reversed Vague’s now-famous line, with GodLike players saying “East is best, west is ass” and spray-painting his team’s logo for full measure. 

For context (in a TLDR version), Luminosity Gaming absorbed players from the Tribe Gaming roster, including Vague, to form a “superteam” that would have brought the banner of the West as the most dominant CODM team in the region, and was favored by many to take home the World title for a second straight year. However, it was a perennial cellar dweller, GodLike from India, who made a great Cinderella run and shockingly eliminated LG out of contention in the semifinals, leading to the all-East finals between GodLike and Wolves from China. 

Speaking about the immediate impact of these events on his personal life and career, Vague told BeefMami, “I’m not trying to sound like a freak but that event (2023 WC) was actually the first event or like, serious major that I lost. Everything before that, I’d constantly win, “the latter referencing him and his team’s wins to qualify for Worlds.

“Whenever you have that kind of profile, especially like the other players on your team like Marshy, Tec(tonic), Envy, Washy, whatever, losing isn’t really a feeling that I got to experience up until that day.”

He adds, “I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t pissed or upset after the loss we had up against GodLike. I feel like in order to be a true competitor, a loss like that would obviously cause some sort of feelings, especially if you’re super passionate about the game and always winning.”


Vague also says it was not just GodLike who he talked trash about, as he also said some things about the Wolves, who are the reigning World Champions.

“I didn’t just target the [expletive] teams in the region or the teams that I personally think were under me. I also targeted the teams that were even better or the best teams in the world. One of them being Wolves. Not only are the #1 team in Chinese CODM, they were also the world champions.”

Vague adds, “it sucks that we didn’t have the chance to face them, because I know both of our teams were looking forward to facing them, and it sucks.”

Despite the setbacks and reactions he’s getting on social media, Vague says, these events have given him an opportunity to come back stronger and better.

He also commended GodLike for their efforts during Worlds, saying “I’d like to give props to GodLike because their teamwork was definitely better than ours. But you know, they were just the better team at the end of the day. Hopefully we win every other event that comes in towards the future.”

BeefMami also showed snippets of how Vague’s opponents acknowledged his attitude as friendly banter and healthy trash talk. Jash “Learn” Shah, GodLike’s team captain and IGL, even told him on X (f/k/a Twitter) even told Vague that he and his entire team respects him.

“Only a few know that all this in-game rivalry makes esports the best thing, and we respect you for being a world champion,” Learn tweeted in the aftermath of the 2023 World Championships.

For now, Vague says, his focus is to prepare and hopefully, win this year’s worlds tilt – but also not letting up on his trolling. 

“For this year’s championship at least, we don’t know how long or how far i’m going to be continuing to play this game. But um, I think it’s a funny thing to continue doing, and on top of that, everybody always like, already knows like, “he’s some sort of troll” and like the main person to like f**k around with people,” he said. “I think stopping that completely and like changing up my whole personality is gonna be kind of odd.”

“Hopefully, I don’t eat my words this time and I can back it up by winning any other future international events that come our way,” he says.

The full documentary is on BeefMami’s YouTube channel. – PAOLO BARCELON, FRAGSTER.COM