DreamHack/Hi-Rez Expo: SMITE World Championship 2018
For the second year in a row, North America and Europe have come to face off. Rival has returned, aiming to claim first place this year, while Splyce has come to keep the title in North America.
In one of the most anticipated fights in SMITE history, two teams, undefeated in their quarter and semi-finals, fought head to head for the title of SMITE World Champions. With such powerful players, on both sides, it was impossible to guess how these games would go.
Similar styles of play from Splyce and Rival forced them into difficult games revolving around maintaining control of the pacing of the game. Ultimately, Splyce came out on top and the title of World Champions remains in North America.
Splyce: Erlang Shen, Artio, Vulcan, Jing Wei, Kuzenbo
Rival: Raijin, Xbalanque, Ares, Ravana, Amaterasu
Rival started the game strong, picking up three free kills and gaining an early gold lead. Rival took their lead and ran with it, working to keep the enemy laners down. Rival’s aggression received some punishment in the solo lane as a tower dive led to Splyce picking up their first two kills.
Splyce worked at evening out the score, but Rival’s attack didn’t let up. With each kill Rival grabbed, the gold difference increased. Rival successfully managed to grab the Pyromancer buff before twenty minutes, forcing Splyce to go on the defensive.
Rival kept up their advantages, grabbing a few more kills and towers before securing the Fire Giant buff. With Fire Giant and an aggressive fight, Rival was able to push down a Pheonix, forcing Splyce to focus on defending their Titan.
Splyce held on, aiming to equalize in the late game, and the late stage turned into a tug of war. After a few minutes, Rival landed some good kills, opening the way to the Titan and giving Splyce their first loss at HRX.
Splyce: Freya, Ne Zha, Geb, Agni, Artio
Rival: Odin, Xbalanque, Pele, Zhong Kui, Cu Chulainn
Game two kicked off with both teams trading kills for a while, until Rival gained an upper-hand and two extra kills in the jungle. Rival kept up their pressure and started invading Splyce’s jungle, leading to a few more brutal encounters where Rival took a heavy lead in kills and gold.
Despite the score differences, Splyce refocused and secured a few kills, pushing hard to equalize the game. After grabbing kills and Gold Fury, Splyce had firmly placed themselves back in the game. A series of difficult team fights quickly led to an early win for Splyce. Rival was unable to hold up against the constant attack and Splyce was able to crush the Titan, earning themselves a victory.
Splyce: Xbalanque, Ne Zha, Fenrir, Terra, Raijin
Rival: Au Puch, Odin, Ravana, Cupid, Fafnir
With both teams tied at one win, game three started off a little slower than the last. Neither side made overly aggressive moves, but there was a tension as every lane looked for an opening. It was almost ten minutes before Rival and Splyce finally collided, with both teams picking up two kills before settling back into a tense standoff.
The game continued in a slow and calculated manner, while the teams skirmished over objectives. Splyce finally gained some purchase as they found opportunities to collapse on (and kill) enemies in the jungle. Splyce took their kill advantage straight to Fire Giant, where they secured the buff and used it to begin pushing the lanes.
With Splyce already ahead, paired with the Fire Giant buff, they were able to push all the way into Rival’s base, forcing them to focus on defending their Titan. Rival was able to keep their base safe for a while, but Splyce managed to pick up another Fire Giant buff, allowing them to pick up a second Pheonix soon after.
Splyce kept the pressure on, pushing Rival into their base and finishing off the Titan at just over thirty minutes.
Splyce: Xbalanque, Fenrir, Au Puch, Ratatoskr, Kumbhakarna
Rival: Ne Zha, Terra, Riajin, Artio, Jing Wei
Both teams started game four aggressively. While Rival aimed to make it to a fifth game and Splyce hoping to secure the title, both teams were grasping at every advantage they could get. By ten minutes, Splyce held a slight lead in gold while they traded kill for kill, but each advantage gained seemed to grant the enemy their own benefits.
Almost twenty minutes in, Rival found an opening and turned a fight around, picking up five kills for themselves in additions to Fire Giant. The buff helped them to secure a tower and Gold Fury, and giving them a firm foothold in the game.
Soon after, a second fight around Fire Giant led to Rival picking up some more kills and gaining objective control across the board. With their second Fire Giant, Rival snowballed through another tower, picked up Gold Fury, and found some time to siege a Pheonix.
A third Fire Giant buff saw Rival taking down another Pheonix and Gold Fury, before Splyce found a chance to effectively defend their base. Splyce gained a few minutes of breathing room, but having missed the past series of jungle objectives, they found themselves stuck in their base, defending.
Splyce held up an impressive defense, but after Rivals sixth Fire Giant, the siege was finished. Rival pulled out a win, equalizing the score and bringing the World Championship into a fifth and final game.
Splyce: Freya, Terra, Au Puch, Fenrir, Mercury
Rival: Artio, Xbalanque, Raijin, Ratatoskr, Nike
In the final game of the Championship, both teams aimed for a slower start, trading kills and securing jungle objectives. For almost twenty minutes, both teams focused on a tense game of trying to outmaneuver the other.
In an unexpected flurry of activity, Splyce managed to pick up a few kills in the jungle. They took this moment to quickly grab Fire Giant and push down a Pheonix, all before the twenty-one-minute mark. Splyce continued their assault, sieging a second Pheonix and being swiftly repelled by Rival.
Another Fire Giant, gives Splyce the momentum they need to move into rival’s base and take down a second Pheonix. Seeing an opening, Splyce dives in to finish off the Titan, winning them the World Championship.
After five intense games and over four hours of play, the SMITE World Championship has come to a close. Our new champions stand tall, enjoying their victory, but season six is coming soon. There is no telling what changes are in store, which begs the question: How long will they hold onto their title?