Today we saw 8 placement matches and the first semi-final round in the Xbox One Invitational.

SMITE World Championships Day 1 Results

Today we saw 8 placement matches and the first semi-final round in the Xbox One Invitational.
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Today was the first day in the SMITE World Championships 2016. Eight PC teams went head-to-head in the initial placement rounds, and the night wrapped up with the first semi-final round of the Xbox One Invitational.

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Two teams were knocked out of the running for worlds, while six moved on to face off with each other and the top seeds in the Quarter Finals matches tomorrow.

Here are the highlights from the best-of-one placement rounds:

Placement Match 1: Epsilon vs. Isurus

Winner: Epsilon

This match marked the first time that a Latin American team and an EU team played against each other this season. Unfortunately, it didn’t go well for Isurus. The casters called this match a “death by a thousand cuts.” Isurus had a very promising lineup, but Epsilon’s tanky picks were just too much. Epsilon took an early lead, which they snowballed into a game win with little resistance — due in large part to an amazing performance from their jungler, Adapting, on Hun Batz.

When their titan fell, Isurus still didn’t have a single kill on the board. The game was a total shutdown, wrapping up with a 15-0 kill count, an 18K experience lead, and a 14K gold lead, all in favor of Epsilon. 

Placement Match 2: Oh My God vs. Pain Gaming

Winner: Pain Gaming

In this match, Latin American team Pain Gaming squared off with Chinese team OMG. OMG took first blood, but they weren’t able to nail a solid lead. Around mid-game, a team fight broke out at the Gold Fury, ending with a 4-1 trade in favor of Pain, which gave them the first tangible lead of the game.

They used this momentum to push hard to the OMG base, pulling out another 4-1 fight in their favor. This cleared the way for them to take the game. 

Placement Match 3: Avant Garde vs. Enemy

Winner: Enemy

Enemy absolutely dominated in this game. By the 10 minute mark, they had a hefty 14 kills, while Avant Garde only managed to get 3 on the board. This steady lead only grew as the game went on, and Enemy put consistent pressure on Avant Garde. AG was just a little too timid in team fights, and it cost them dearly.

Enemy wiped them out 5-1 near their base, then pushed to take their titan and the game. 

Placement Match 4: Qiao Gu Reapers vs. Fnatic

Winner: Qiao Gu Reapers

At the outset of this game, it looked like QG might pull out the win, which would have upset the NA/EU domination that had been happening thus far. Fnatic took first blood, but QG made them pay the price for it by taking a few kills themselves.

However, Fnatic proved too much for them to handle. After they had taken the Gold Fury, they snowballed their lead. They ended the game with a 26-5 kill count, plus a 17K EXP and 15K gold lead. 

Placement Match 5: Epsilon vs. Pain Gaming

Winner: Epsilon

Match 5 was the closest one of the closest of the day. Both teams were neck-and-neck with 2-2 kills at the 20-minute mark. But Epsilon came out on top of a crucial 5-1 wipe that turned the game in their favor. They extended their lead by taking two towers and the Fire Giant uncontested.

Pain tried to make up for it by grabbing the Gold Fury, but it wasn’t enough. Epsilon cleared every map objective, then bided their time until they could take the second Fire Giant, which took them into Pain’s base and won them the game. 

Placement Match 6: Enemy vs. Fnatic

Winner: Enemy

This was the first match of the tournament that pitted an NA team against an EU team. Fnatic hit the ground running — they took first blood at just 54 seconds in. By the five minute mark, they had scored the Gold Fury. But Enemy’s Xing Tian started to dominate the game around the half-hour mark, grabbing a crucial 4-0 wipe on Fnatic.

Enemy baited Fnatic at the Fire Giant and came out on top, then started pushing hard on map objectives. Fnatic tried to take a stand at their middle Phoenix, but Enemy wiped 3 of their players and took the Titan down. 

Placement Match 7: Isurus vs. OMG

Winner: OMG

This game was Isurus’ last chance to continue playing at Worlds. And though they fought hard, OMG proved to be far too much for them. By the time their Titan fell, they’d accumulated a meager 6 kills — not nearly enough to compare to OMG’s 17 kills.

Because of this loss, Isurus will be leaving the Worlds stage in Atlanta to wait for the start of Season 3, where they’ll hopefully come back with a vengeance. 

Placement Match 8: Avant Garde vs. QG Reapers

Winner: QG Reapers

After the Isurus vs. OMG match, this was the last elimination game for the PC placement round. It looked at first like Avant Garde might become the first Oceanic team to move up in Worlds, as they took an early lead following an aggressive team fight. However, QG quickly retaliated by wiping out three of their players. Despite QG’s considerable gold and EXP lead, Avant Garde made valiant (and often effective) efforts to protect their map objectives and stall, if not stop, QG’s progress.

But after a devastating 4-1 wipe, Avant Garde could no longer defend their base. With  24-9 kill count in their favor, QG took the game and knocked Avant Garde out of the running for Worlds. 

Xbox One Invitational Semi-Final 1: Aware vs. Cognitive

2-0, favor of Cognitive

This best of 3 match was a total shutdown for Cognitive. They took first blood in game 1, and managed to take a Gold Fury before Aware got their first kill on the board at the 15-minute mark. That was the only kill they got the entire game. After a 4-1 sweep in Cognitive’s favor, they pushed into Aware’s base to take down the Titan and finish the game with a 19-1 kill count. 

Initially, it looked like Game 2 might go a little bit better for Aware. Cognitive took first blood at 41 seconds. They nailed a 3-1 encounter in their favor, but Aware fought back and showed a stronger defense than we saw from them in the previous game. They got several more kills on the board, but the improvement just wasn’t enough. At the 22 minute mark, Cognitive finally took the first objective, then quickly took down 2 more towers uncontested. Once they landed the Fire Giant, they ended the game with a 16K EXP and an 11K gold lead. 

Aware has been knocked out of the running for the Xbox One Invitational, but Cognitive will move on to face whichever team wins the second semi-final round on Saturday.

What’s Next

Tomorrow we’ll be moving into the Quarter Finals round. Each of these matches will be best of 3. Here are the upcoming games for Friday, January 8:

  • 11:15 AM: Paradigm vs. OMG
  • 2:15 PM: Enemy vs. Pain 
  • 5:15 PM: Cloud9 vs. QG Reapers
  • 8:15 PM: Epsilon vs. Fnatic

To keep up with the action, you can watch the official stream on the SMITE Twitch channel, or follow @SmitePro on Twitter. And stay tuned to GameSkinny for more updates as we continue to cover this event live from Atlanta!

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Auverin Morrow
Resident SMITE fangirl.