Hi-rez Studios Tagged Articles RSS Feed | GameSkinny.com Hi-rez Studios RSS Feed on GameSkinny.com https://www.gameskinny.com/ en Launch Media Network Hi-Rez Studios Opens New Development Studio in United Kingdom https://www.gameskinny.com/3zv8k/hi-rez-studios-opens-new-development-studio-in-united-kingdom https://www.gameskinny.com/3zv8k/hi-rez-studios-opens-new-development-studio-in-united-kingdom Tue, 09 Jul 2019 16:12:33 -0400 Jonathan Moore

Hi-Rez Studios, most notably the makers of SMITE, Paladins, and Realm Royale, is growing yet again. This time, the developer is expanding across the pond by opening a new studio in the United Kingdom.  

According to a press release regarding the expansion, Red Beard Games will be located in Brighton, England, where Hi-Rez built its European headquarters in 2016. It will be led by European General Manager and Global Vice President of Marketing, Veronique Lallier. 

Last year, the Atlanta-based developer restructured itself into the Hi-Rez Publishing Group, spawning a dedicated esports production company, an art studio, and three subsidiary development studios with the purpose of focusing on its core gaming experiences.

Currently, Titan Forge Games is dedicated to developing SMITE, while Evil Mojo Games and Heroic Leap Games are dedicated to Paladins and Realm Royale respectively. 

As of this writing, there is no word on what title Red Beard Games will be working on. However, it's safe to guess it will follow the new Hi-Rez model of developing and nurturing a single gaming product at a single development studio. It will also most likely be an online, multiplayer title that takes advantage of the games-as-a-service model the company is known for. 

Of the expansion, Hi-Rez Studios' CEO and President Stew Chisam said: 

The ambition for Red Beard Games is to mix the excitement and focus found in a little indie studio with the production capacity and features you would expect from a major developer and publisher. The details of the new studios project will soon be revealed but fans can expect that
our commitment to community collaboration and innovation are as strong as ever.

Although there are not any specific positions listed on the Red Beard Games' careers page, the developer will be hiring for various positions "shortly". Opportunities will be posted on the Hi-Rez Studios career page

For those already in the U.K., the Hi-Rez Studios' talent team is attending the Develop:Brighton conference on Wednesday, July 10 and Thursday, July 11. Those not attending the conference will have another opportunity to meet the team at the Hi-Rez Studios student open house on July 10 from 10 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.

Lallier said that Red Beard Games is "open for business and actively looking for candidates from all disciplines to build a best in class development team." 

Hi-Rez Studios is currently is "the only developer both creating and publishing three live-service cross-platform titles." SMITE, Paladins, and Realm Royale are playable across PC, Xbox One, and Nintendo Switch. 

Hi-Rez Employee, Twitch Partner Arrested In Georgia Child Sex Sting https://www.gameskinny.com/45c58/hi-rez-employee-twitch-partner-arrested-in-georgia-child-sex-sting https://www.gameskinny.com/45c58/hi-rez-employee-twitch-partner-arrested-in-georgia-child-sex-sting Tue, 05 Feb 2019 11:25:23 -0500 QuintLyn

Yesterday afternoon, news broke that the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, along with the Georgia Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force, arrested over 20 men after a five-day long sting operation. According to the official report from the GBI, the men were charged with a variety of crimes related to the sexual exploitation of children.

Among those arrested was Hi-Rez employee and Twitch partner, Thomas Ho-Yan Cheung, 32, widely known by his online personality, Elvine.

Cheung has been part of the gaming community for years. He got his start creating gold-making videos for World of Warcraft, has worked with various WoW-sites, and appeared at various industry events. He also worked for CCP Games in Atlanta prior to joining Hi-Rez Studios as a Community Specialist.

The sting was part of a months-long investigation called "Operation Interception," which targeted individuals who "communicate with children [sic] on-line, have sexually explicit conversations, and then travel to meet them for the purpose of having sex." Over five days beginning January 30, law enforcement officials from 22 different organizations arrested 21 men who not only believed they were having sexually explicit conversations with a minor but also reportedly traveled to meet them for sex.

Some of the charges against the men are as follows:

  • O.C.G.A. 16-12-100.2, Computer or Electronic Pornography and Child Exploitation Prevention Act of 2007
  • O.C.G.A 16-5-46, Trafficking of Persons for Labor or Sexual Servitude

The GBI notes that more arrests and charges may take place. The official report from the organization notes that over 63 cases were established during the investigation and only 21 of those have resulted in arrests thus far.

Following news of Cheung's arrest, gamers on Twitter noted that both Cheung's website and Twitch channel had been removed. Cheung's Twitter account listed him as a "SteelSeries / NZXT ambassador."

In an email comment to GameSkinny on the situation, SteelSeries said Tuesday morning that it had revoked all support and sponsorship for Cheung as soon as the news broke.

Cheung's former employer CCP Games offered an official statement on Twitter:

GameSkinny also reached out to Hi-Rez studios for comment. The studio shared the following from Hi-Rez CEO Stew Chisam: 

On Monday, February 4th, we learned through local news that Thomas Cheung was arrested in an operation by the Georgia Bureau of Investigations. At this point, we know only what has been reported in the local news and by local law enforcement, and cannot comment on specifics of Mr. Cheung's case, other than to say that, as of today, Mr. Cheung is no longer employed by Hi-Rez Studios.

As a parent, it is difficult to imagine more disturbing allegations than those laid out in the news reports. We commend the efforts of the Georgia Bureau of Investigations and other law enforcement to protect our state's children and to send a strong message that the behavior targeted in their Operation Interception will not be tolerated in Georgia.

This is a developing story. 

Paladins Coming to the Switch on June 12 https://www.gameskinny.com/lkr1u/paladins-coming-to-the-switch-on-june-12 https://www.gameskinny.com/lkr1u/paladins-coming-to-the-switch-on-june-12 Thu, 07 Jun 2018 13:26:11 -0400 Zach Hunt

Hi-Rez Studios announced today that its massively popular hero shooter, Paladins, will be coming to the Nintendo Switch on June 12. Not only will fans of the hit game be able to play on the go, but Paladins will run at a silky-smooth 60 frames per second (in both docked and handheld modes) and feature crossplay support between Xbox One and Switch players. You can check out the full Switch launch trailer in the video above.

Pre-orders are available now for the Founder's Pack on the Nintendo eShop. For $29.99, players will get full access to all 36 currently available Champions, any future Champions, and a host of exclusive cosmetic items. A free-to-play version is slated to release at some point this summer.

Although Paladins only recently officially launched on PC, Mac, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One, more than 25 million players across the globe have been singing its praises since it went into open beta back in September of 2016. Over that course of time, the game's trademark card-based loadout system and addictive gameplay have helped it to amass a devoted fanbase that is sure to be thrilled by this announcement.

Be sure to stick with GameSkinny for all things Paladins, and if you haven't already, check out our collection of Paladins guides so that you'll have a leg up on the competition come June 12.

SMITE Chernobog Build Guide https://www.gameskinny.com/bh2sb/smite-chernobog-build-guide https://www.gameskinny.com/bh2sb/smite-chernobog-build-guide Wed, 30 May 2018 16:49:51 -0400 Zack Palm

Chernobog, the Slavic God of Darkness, is the latest addition to SMITE. This winged hunter comes with an arsenal of deadly abilities, along with an ultimate that allows him to travel across the map.

For those interested in traversing the shadows with Chernobog, this build guide will give you the best chance to dominate the duo-lane and sweep the late-game competition.

Everyone’s Favorite

Items: Warrior's Tabi, Transcendence, The Crusher, Jotunn's Wrath, Deathbringer, and Qin's Sais

  • Basic Attack - 378
  • Physical Power - 290
  • Attack Speed - 1.61
  • Penetration - 15%
  • Critical Chance - 25%

This build starts off with you purchasing Transcendence. This item gives you a healthy reserve of mana for the abilities, namely your Crystallized Curses and Vicious Barrage.

Once you've finished Transcendence, you'll want to purchase The Crusher. This item gives you a much-needed attack speed boost, and when you activate Vicious Barrage, you’ll have your standard attack speed increased all the way up to 2.27 for five seconds.

Following The Crusher, you'll want to work on finishing Jotunn’s Wraith to increase your mana pool, but more importantly, you'll receive an increased cooldown on all of your abilities. This item allows you to optimize Vicious Barrage because it remains activated for five seconds and only goes on cooldown for eight seconds.

This means you only have a 1.61 attack speed as you wait for Vicious Barrage to return off cooldown. You’ll have to be on your guard during this time!

You’ll want to reserve purchasing Qin’s Sais until later in the game, making it your second-to-last item. This way, you can use this item’s passive far more effectively. It gives you bonus damage against any opponent with over 2,000 health. This grants you the opportunity to capitalize on your tankier opponents finishing their builds as the game draws closer to the end.

The last item you're going to want to purchase is Deathbringer, a standard final item favored by many hunters to round themselves out. You’ll receive a boost to your critical chance and physical power, making you a formidable opponent during team fights.

One reason this standard build is favored by hunters is the way they can change out their items during the game based on how their opponents build. An example for this is being able to swap out The Crusher for Titan’s Bane if you’re having trouble taking down the most defensive of tanks. The drawback is you’ll lower your attack speed, and Vicious Barrage will cap at 2.08 a second, but you’ll penetrate through physical armor far more easily.

Additionally, you can also swap out The Crusher for Brawler’s Beat Stick if an opponent’s healing causes you and your team problems.

While this build strays close to the nearly standard hunter build everyone uses, it works for Chernobog exceptionally well, especially when he’s facing down sturdy guardians and warriors looking to make short work of him.

Knock Out the Squishes

Items: Warrior’s Tabi, Transcendence, Asi, Deathbringer, Malice, and Wind Demon

  • Basic Attack - 334
  • Physical Power - 246
  • Attack Speed - 1.61
  • Penetration - 10%
  • Critical Chance - 70%

Did your opposing team plan to outdamage you at every turn? Optimize on how few of them will have defensive items with this build. This time around, you're going to focus on boosting Chernobog's critical chance up and rely even more on your basic attacks. 

You won't notice too big of a change yet because you're going to stick with Warrior's Tabi and Trascendence for your first items. After you finish building those, instead of The Crusher, grab Asi and you’ll find yourself with a decent amount of lifesteal. 

Because Asi doesn’t give you the biggest amount of lifesteal, you'll want to pull away from an engagement as quickly as you can if things start to go sour. Don't get overconfident.

Following Asi, you’ll want to start working towards buying Wind Demon. With this equipped, your basic attacks will start hitting more frequently, and you’ll see these attacks have a small chance to land a critical. Also, for those wondering, you’re buying Wind Demon for its important passive, which increases your attack and movement speed each time you land a critical strike. Unfortunately, Wind Demon’s passive doesn’t matter all too much until you’ve purchased your last item.

Once you’re finished with Wind Demon, pick up Malice, and then your final item should be Deathbringer. You’ll see that at this point you’ve arrived at 70% critical chance to absolutely decimate any squishy opponent you line up in your sights. Remember Wind Demon’s passive? When you combine this passive with Vicious Barrage, you’re going to see your basic attack rise to 2.46.

For those planning on using this build, make sure you’re staying ahead of your opponents and not getting caught out too much. Stay close to your team and keep your wards active!

Knowing the enemy's location is the key to every good victory.

Crack the Armor

Items: Warrior's Tabi, Devourer’s Gauntlet, Jotunn's Wrath, The Crusher, Wind Demon, and Bloodforge

  • Basic Attack - 368
  • Physical Power - 280
  • Attack Speed - 1.56
  • Penetration - 25%
  • Critical Chance - 20%

You’re in a new match and your opponents have chosen to create a tankier team with high defenses. Starting to sweat? Nonsense! Time to break through their armor and make short work of them.

This time around, you’re not going to build Transcendence. Instead, you’re going to go for Devourer's Gauntlet and stack lifesteal. This item remains a favorite to many as you can stay in the fight far longer than those who build Transcendence; however, it doesn’t offer as much physical power.

When you’ve finished purchasing Devourer’s Gauntlet and Warrior's Tabi, pick up Jotunn’s Wrath. You’ll want to do this for the physical armor penetration and to help make up for the lost mana you’re going to experience. Because you won’t have as much mana to work with as you did in the previous builds, you’ll want to make sure you’re not firing your abilities off from the hip and hoping they hit. Watch your mana pool much more closely, and make your abilities count!

After Jotunn’s Wrath, grab The Crusher. You’ll want this item for the same reason you have it in the first build: to increase your attack speed and also have a healthy reserve of armor penetration.

Because Chernobog is a hunter, you’re going to need a critical chance item. Of all the items you can purchase to increase your critical chance, you’re going to want to go with Wind Demon. While Deathbringer and Malice can provide Chernobog with some excellent passives, Wind Demon’s passive of increasing his basic attack and movement speed gives you the most benefit.

The final item you're going to get to finish up this build is Bloodforge. This item boosts how much lifesteal you receive and increases your physical power by an incredible amount. Additionally, each time you take out an enemy god, you'll receive a shield around yourself that provides you with an aura of protection, and you receive a boost to your movement speed. With Bloodforge in your back pocket, you should make it to the enemy's titan in no time.

And there you have it. These Chernobog builds should serve you well in the Battleground of the Gods. Do you have any build suggestions for Chernobog or any other gods from SMITE? Share your thoughts in the comments below with other SMITE fans here on GameSkinny.

The Paladins Goodness Gets Even Sweeter With the Hero Shooter's Official Release https://www.gameskinny.com/gyx0e/the-paladins-goodness-gets-even-sweeter-with-the-hero-shooters-official-release https://www.gameskinny.com/gyx0e/the-paladins-goodness-gets-even-sweeter-with-the-hero-shooters-official-release Wed, 02 May 2018 13:28:28 -0400 Zach Hunt

Think back to a time before Fortnite, to a time before the battle royale craze had really hit. We all thought that hero shooters were the new hotness, and the continued success of Overwatch has proven that we weren't wrong.

But let's be frank: Overwatch, despite its continued success, just ain't for everybody, and a very significant subsection of gamers took to -- and has stuck with -- Hi-Rez Studio's Paladins, a game that offers a significantly different take on the hero shooter genre.

On May 8, PC, Xbox One, and PS4 players will finally be able to tell their Overwatch-playing pals that Paladins: Champions of the Realm -- still one of the hottest games on the daily Steam charts -- is officially out. And Hi-Rez wants to make sure everybody knows about it.

If you're already among those of us who play Paladins, you're going to receive 200 Crystals for free if you log in between May 8 and May 31, and all Champions will be unlocked until May 7 -- yes, ALL champions are available right now.

And mobile players, don't think Hi-Rez has forgotten you: Paladins Strike is available right now for iOS and Android devices. Playing will unlock two free skins in Paladins: Champions of the Realm.

Let us know all about your Paladins experiences in the comments below, and for more information, be sure to stick with GameSkinny!

Hands on With SMITE's New Adventure: Da Ji and the Legend of the Foxes https://www.gameskinny.com/sjrmb/hands-on-with-smites-new-adventure-da-ji-and-the-legend-of-the-foxes https://www.gameskinny.com/sjrmb/hands-on-with-smites-new-adventure-da-ji-and-the-legend-of-the-foxes Wed, 07 Feb 2018 15:45:01 -0500 Robert Kazmierczak

With Season Five of SMITE having started already, hype for the game is once again rising. To meet that, Hi-Rez Studios has today released a brand-new adventure mode titled "Da Ji and the Legend of the Foxes". Visiting the studio earlier this week, we were able to get a hands-on preview of the new adventure. Here's what we learned. 

New Modes for New Adventures

With the new Senpai Da Ji skin making an appearance in this adventure, the event draws heavily on anime and its tropes. The highly stylized adventure feels almost like a completely different experience, especially when compared to other SMITE offerings. With colorful graphics and Da Ji's implacable attitude, players might feel like they've stepped into SMITE's very own anime.  

Nonetheless, the newest SMITE adventure focuses on a "horde mode" style of gameplay, where players must stay alive while defending Da Ji's fox from multiple waves of minions.  

Interspersed through the rampant slaughter of minions are larger (and more dangerous) enemies. These monsters have special abilities and methods of attack, such as pulling players away from the objective, summoning more powerful minions, and even lobbing in fireballs from far away. Each of these monsters is designed to provide a different set of challenges, ultimately forcing players to respond in unique ways, lest they find themselves without the health or numbers to continue the defense. 

Finally, after a few intense rounds of fighting, players are given one last chance to buy whatever items they can afford before the final fight. When the fight begins, they are pitted against a trio of powerful enemies that include a large monster boss and two other gods. Successfully defeating these final enemies will grant the player a chest where they can potentially find a new Ratatoskr skin (there are four up for grabs in the adventure). 

Fans of the previous season of SMITE's adventures will see the return of the "Gold Vault", which holds a variety of skins that will be released as the adventures progress, with each skin requiring a golden key to unlock. Golden keys are gained by purchasing bundles associated with the current adventure, but once obtained, they can be used to unlock specific skins from the Gold Vault. With two Gold Vaults, though, there are now two different types of keys differentiated by what year their corresponding vault was created. 

According to Hi-Rez, every adventure will be randomized, with each bossfight providing something completely different from the last. New enemies will need to be defeated, and new patches throughout the life of the adventure will add new big bads to defeat. 


This is only the first of many exciting adventures and releases from Hi-Rez this year. We've already seen brand-new art and gameplay changes drop in recent updates, as well as the new playable god Cerberus. On top of that, the studio also unveiled at HRX 2018 that we would also be getting two new pantheons this year: Slavic and Voodoo. All in all, Season 5 of SMITE looks to be one of the best Seasons to date -- especially if you're looking from a little break from the typical Conquest grind. 

Da Ji and the Legend of the Foxes will be available for PC players starting Tuesday, February 13, and console players starting Friday, February 16. The new adventure will be free, although players will have the option to purchase the Senpai bundle, which will contain the Da Ji Senpai skin and other items for in-game use. 

Stay tuned to GameSkinny for more news and information on SMITE and Season 5 as it develops. 

SMITE'S Season 5 Release Boasts New Art and Gameplay Changes https://www.gameskinny.com/hg04f/smites-season-5-release-boasts-new-art-and-gameplay-changes https://www.gameskinny.com/hg04f/smites-season-5-release-boasts-new-art-and-gameplay-changes Tue, 30 Jan 2018 17:21:47 -0500 bazookajo94

Hi-Rez Studios has officially announced the release of SMITE's 5th season --as well as all the changes players can expect from the update to the highly-popular MOBA. 

With the update, the developers hope to enhance players' immersion in the game by introducing new art styles and improved gameplay mechanics to SMITE's Conquest mode.

The new, hand-painted art style will reportedly "bring more richness and clarity into the world." And as for Season 5's improved gameplay, SMITE's Conquest map has been symmetrically altered so that all players have a more even playing field. Adjustments made to the Jungle map and XP gains reportedly lets players feel a stronger sense of accomplishment as they progress. 

Two of the game's higher-level enemies have also received redesigns. The Fire Giant is now more difficult to defeat and grants more rewards once vanquished. And the Portal Demon has become the Pyromancer, who also grants better rewards once defeated. 

For an interactive look at the game's new features, you can visit the Hi-Rez website, and if you want to see the new map for yourself, watch the YouTube video posted below. Stay tuned to GameSkinny for more news and information as it develops. 

Hi-Rez Expo 2018: SMITE World Championships Finals Result & Highlights https://www.gameskinny.com/rwkjg/hi-rez-expo-2018-smite-world-championships-finals-result-highlights https://www.gameskinny.com/rwkjg/hi-rez-expo-2018-smite-world-championships-finals-result-highlights Sun, 07 Jan 2018 18:44:50 -0500 Robert Kazmierczak

On the final day of HRX, the SMITE World Championship Finals was one of the few events left, and it was massive. Two incredible teams fought their way to the top for a chance at the title.  

EUnited was looking to bring the World Championship title back to NA, while Rival, having already defeated the previous world champion, was looking to prove that they deserve the top spot in the SMITE pro scene. 

Rival and EUnited provided an unforgettable game. Having never played against one another, they had to adapt quickly to deal with the curveballs from their opponents. Team Rival gave it their all, but EUnited won out in the end, becoming the new SMITE World Champions. 

Game 1 

Winner: EUnited 

Rival: Raijin, Odin, Sylvanus, Anhur, Amaterasu 
EUnited: Ullr, Cu Chulainn, Bastet, Discordia, Ganesha  

EUnited started off strong, pulling ahead with a minor gold lead and picking up first blood around the 2-minute mark. They kept up the pressure, forcing Rival to abort a few attempts at Gold Fury, and giving them the space to whittle down the first tier towers a little bit more.  

A few minor scuffles saw EUnited up two kills, but Rival remained undaunted by the minor setbacks. A fight on the right lane, left the middle open for a quick push. EUnited earned a tower, but Rival saw the tower and raised them a kill. With EUnited down a player, Rival comfortably took Portal Demon getting ready to demolish any lead that EUnited might have had. Unfortunately, Rival wasn't able to capitalize on the jungle buff, and EUnited fought hard to keep ahead. 

A close fight at Fire Giant led to EUnited picking up a few kills alongside the jungle buff, which they used to push down two phoenixes. With the added pressure from two lanes, EUnited was able to pick up the remaining towards, leaving Rival in a precarious position.  

A final, brutal fight at Rival's remaining phoenix left them with only two players to desperately defend against EUnited's full team. Even with Rival's knack for turning games around, they couldn't stand against the full might of EUnited and their titan fell, giving the first game to EUnited. 


Game 2 

Winner: Rival 

Rival: Raijin, Osiris, Ullr, Susano, Geb 
EUnited: Cu Chulainn, The Morrigan, Fenrir, Hou Yi, Terra 

The game started off intensely. Where players often engage in small fights that result in minimal damage, both teams were aggressively grasping any small advantage. A few small fights heralded a ton of action in the near future, and they didn't disappoint. When EUnited dove onto an opportunity, they  almost walked away with two easy kills, but instead, Rival managed to turn it around ending the fight at 2-0 in Rival's favor.  

Repeatedly, fights ended in Rival's favor as they picked up kills across the map. They aggressively grouped, always bringing more to the fight than their opponents. The constant attacks paid off with them gaining a healthy gold lead, along with the kills which Rival was able to use to pick up Gold Fury and Fire Giant, uncontested. 

An intense tower dive on the right lane, left EUnited lacking in defenders. Rival took the opportunity to take both the right and middle phoenix, increasing the pressure on EUnited. A short time later, Rival managed to take both Gold Fury and Fire Giant, before sweeping back into EUnited's base to finish off their phoenix and the titan. 

While most saw the first game as an easy victory for EUNited, the second game showed that Rival wasn't out of the game yet. Their aggressive second game, showcased Rival's ability to analyze and respond to their opponent's playstyle.  

Game 3 

Winner: EUnited 

Rival: Osiris, Ullr, Geb, Ra, Serqet 
EUnited: Raijin, Cu Chulainn, Ah Muzen Cab, Amaterasu, Nemesis  

Off to an unusual start, EUnited picked up first blood after a wild chase through their jungle. Other scuffles indicated that EUnited had more damage during the early game, but a couple of poor choices saw Rival keeping the score fairly even. An incredible play in the middle lane, gave EUnited two kills and an opportunity to grab Gold Fury. 

EUnited was on top of their objectives finding time and opportunity to dive under tower, earning a kill then following, the tower's destruction, and portal demon, shortly after. They suffered their own setbacks with occasional deaths, but it wasn't enough to deter EUnited and they managed to stop Rival from taking the next Gold Fury, while securing a kill and the buff for themselves.  

EUnited's objective control stayed strong. After two quick kills, they swept in and took Fire Giant and a tower, though not without their own losses. Rival made a desperate push to take a tower, and though they were successful, EUnited managed to chase them all the way back to their base, diving past phoenix in an attempt to avenge the tower.  

Despite EUnited's firm hold on objectives so far, Rival managed to steal Fire Giant out from under them. Unfortunately, the Fire Giant alone could not stop EUnited's push and they destroyed another phoenix before backing out and preparing their push for Rival's final phoenix.  

The final fight was difficult, with EUnited splitting Rival's attention across all three lanes as they pushed their way to the titan, giving EUnited their second win. 


Game 4 

Winner: EUnited

Rival: Athena, Poseidon, Erlang Shen, Hachiman, Bellona  
EUnited: Osiris, Ullr, Bastet, Sylvanus, Zeus  

With everything on the line, Rival had a good start picking up first blood in an early turret dive. They kept up their strong start with a seven-minute Gold Fury, but EUnited managed to stand up to Rival going kill for kill for the next few minutes. Keeping the score even was a short-lived dream though and Rival pulled ahead again with a few more kills. 

Rival came at this game with the same aggression that they won with earlier, and it worked out for them. The constant, overwhelming attacks on every lane wore down EUnited, until Rival held a comfortable lead in gold and experience. This lead culminated in a fight at Fire Giant, where EUnited managed to steal the buff from Rival, then follow it up with a few kills.  

A vicious fight in the jungle led to EUnited picking up two kills and a phoenix. Having effectively reversed Rival's lead, EUnited backed and prepared for the next round of fighting. The next fight became the last as EUnited managed to kill three members on Rival's team. Without a full team to defend, EUnited was able to sweep into Rival's open titan and take it out, earning them their final win. 

For the first time in three years, the World Champion title has returned to North America. Season 5 changes are coming soon, and with them, plenty of surprises. We'll have to wait and see how our World Champions fare.

Hi-Rez Expo 2018: Paladins World Championship Finals Results & Highlights https://www.gameskinny.com/v38uf/hi-rez-expo-2018-paladins-world-championship-finals-results-highlights https://www.gameskinny.com/v38uf/hi-rez-expo-2018-paladins-world-championship-finals-results-highlights Sun, 07 Jan 2018 17:46:40 -0500 Jonathan Moore

Paladins Group B teams Natus Vincere and Fnatic are no strangers. In October, the two teams faced off in the Go4Paladins Europe Cup, with NAVI getting the best of Fnatic. And in the PWC qualifiers, the result was the same. Facing off for the third time in four months, these two European teams pulled no punches in this Best of Seven match for all the marbles. 

Having beat some of the best Paladins teams in the world to get to the PWC finals, the penultimate match between these two powerhouses was fast and furious, with one team absolutely dominating the other.

Game 1

Winner: Navi
Map: Jaguar Falls

The PWC finals got off to a one-sided start with Fnatic flanking left, drawing Navi to the payload in the center of the map. Fnatic drew first blood as each team played defensively, testing each other out and giving champions room to get into better position. Navi's Sha Lin pulled off some crippling kill shots in this early part of the first match, helping the rest of the team secure the payload and go up 1-0. 

As Navi pushed the payload to the drop point, Grohk pulled off an ult that just missed Fnatic's Ruckus, leaving him open and sending him back to spawn. But Mutu and Spunki for Navi filled in the gaps, helping their team secure the drop point, putting them up 2-0 early on. 

As match two of the first round began, things were fast a furious on both sides. Navi kept pressure on Fnatic giving increasing Mutu's and Creativs2 to 5-kill and 10-kill streaks respectively. Naturally, with such early match match domination, Navi took the payload to move up on Fnatic 3-0. 

As fierce fighting on the flanks intensified, Navi pushed the payload to about 90%, but Fnatic didn't go down without a fight, contesting the point to overtime. However, despite their tenacity, Fnatic couldn't defend Navi , and specifically Creativs2, and Navi took the first game of the PWC 4-0 ion spectacular fashion. 

To get a sense of how much Mutu, Spunki, and Creativs2 dominated Fnatic in the PWC's first game, Navi had twice as many kills (34 to 17) and more than twice the amount of assists (66 to 24). It was an utterly flawless performance that gave Navi a huge boost of confidence going in to Game 2. 

Game 2

Winner: Navi
Map: Frog Isle

Navi picked two front lines in Ruckus and Ash, opting for sustain in Game 2. And Fnatic was well aware of the strategy they were up against as they came out guns blazing to start things off. However, it didn't matter that Fnatic knew what Navi was going to do because they couldn't keep their rivals from taking the payload, as Navi's Inara simply couldn't be stopped. 

As Navi pushed the payload to the drop point, Creativs2 scored a double kill and for a moment, it looked as if Navi was going to have another easy win. But Fnatic showed backbone and took Creativs2 down, as well as a few other members of Navi , to regain ground and gain a defensive foothold. 

Fnatic's Bugzy lay down immense fire with Kinessa, getting a rampage and triple-kill to put most of Navi back at spawn once again. Fnatic held the defense, owning the late round to bring things even at 1-1.

As Round 2 began, each team found themselves trading blows until Fnatic broke free and held the objective thanks to Bugzy taking his seven-kill streak to a 10-kill streak. 

As the payload moved toward the Navi drop point, Fisheko pushed forward, causing chaos at the Navi spawn. As the fight played out, Navi held firm and contested, but felt the pressure as again Bugzy got headhunter, popping two Navi players, sending them back to spawn.

Just as it looked like Bugzy's one-man-wrecking-crew would help Fnatic push through to the drop point, Navi regrouped and withstood the veritable Fnatic onslaught, stopping their rival in their tracks -- and tying the game at 2-2. 

Moving onto Round 3, Navi pushed hard out of the gate with Creativs2 and the team's front line champions holding strong against Fnatic, who was once again on the defensive. Playing relatively safe, Fnatic was able to methodically pick off three of five Navi players and send them back to spawn, securing a respite and a chance to get into better defensive positions. 

As Navi regrouped and pushed toward the drop point, they were well preapred to meet Fnatic the second time, ultimately gaining the objective and going up 2-0 in this best of seven games. 

Game 3

Winner: Navi
Map: Stone Keep

Fnatic started Game 3 off by trying to flank Navi along the right side of Stone Keep. but lost first blood, allowing Navi to gain 50% on the payload almost immediately. As Fnatic did everything they could to push back, Navi doubles down and pushes to 99% on the paylod. But in a striking turn of events, Fnatic contests hard and forces overtime four times in a row, helping them secure their first objective.  

Not to be pushed around Navi makes Fnatics push a difficult one as fierce fighting erupted around the payload. Bugzy kept his team in the game here with fantastic strategic moves, picking at Navi players like a pesky insect. Thiel helped his comrade by going on a five-kill streak with Ash, while Fisheko bagged fantastic kills around walls and obstacles as Sha Lin. 

With 15 seconds left in Round 1, Creativs2 and Mutu said enough was enough and increased their killstreaks to 10 and five, respectively. But their bravado put Navi in danger and as Fnatic continued their push to the drop zone, four Navi were sent to spawn, helping Fnatic secure the objective to go up 2-0 in the early game. 

But Navi don't like being pushed around and made that clear by eliminating two Fnatic players right at the start of Round 2. Fisheko hounds Navi players, eliminating two and evening the numbers, but no matter the effort, the disjointed play by Fnatic meant that Navi easily captured the payload. 

Moving toward the drop point, Mutu extended his kill streak to 10, quickly mercing two Fnatic players and within just a few moments, Navi had secured the point, tying things up at 2-2. 

As Round 3 began, the teams are even and it was anyone's game. But again, the disorganized play of Fnatic meant that three team members almost immediately fell victim to Navi. On the point, Navi secures a firm grip on the contested payload and three more Fnatic get sent back to spawn. 

Things looked to be almost over for Fnatic as Navi held 99% on the payload to Fnatic's paltry 12%, but a huge heal keeps Fnatic in the game and they even the score at 99. Looking as if Fnatic might steal one right from under Navi's noses, Navi scores an amazing killshot and gets the payload. Less than one minute later, Navi had already pushed the payload 50% of the way to its destination. 

Things get even worse for Fnatic as Fisheko gets out of position and gets absolutely wrecked on the flank. It looked like Navi would easily push the drop point, even under intense pressure. However, just as it was getting darkest for Fnatic, Bugzy layed waste to the opposing team, sending Navi back to spawn with no chance of completing the push. 

Tied 3-3, the next Round started with Fnatic making a huge push to the payload, getting 75% in a matter of moments. Just as it looks like Fnatic will secure the payload and win Game 3, Navi lays waste to push Fnatic off the payload and secure it for themselves, winning Game 3. 

Bugzy and Fisheko had fantastic rounds in Game 3, but Navi's cauterize coupled with their damage dealers in Sha Lin and Buck made things difficult for Fnatic, ppforcing them into bad positions where they were easily picked off or couldn't make certain plays. It also didn't help that Navi was coordinating ults almost flawlessly, with front lines going above and beyond the call of duty. Getting outclassed in 1v1 matchups, things were nearly impossible for Fnatic from the outset of Game 3. 

Game 4

Winner: Navi
Map: Serpent Beach

It was do or die for Fnatic at this point. As the teams met in the center of the map and fought for the payload, Navi immediately went up 42% on the point as the dealt with flanking attacks from Fnatic. In a strange turn of events, Fnatic had the opportunity to contest the payload even further after pushing off several Navi players, but didn't put a single player on the payload. 

With Navi up 1-0 and pushing the payload forward, Creativs2's Sha Lin kept Fnatic on the defensive. Navi's Ruckus laid down suppressing fire as Fisheko's fusillade of Drogoz missiles flew off-target. Getting close to the point, Navi's Buck pushes hard buck gets eliminated by a Drogoz ult. The start of the end for Navi on this push, they conceded the point to Fnatic, tying things up 1-1 going into Round 2. 

Things started off similarly here, with Navi keeping Fnatic off the payload. Creativs2 used Sha Lin to keep Fnatic back, putting them on the ropes with another secure. Retreating, Fnatic stalled Navi at about 50%. Fisheko's Drogoz lay down suppression on Navi, netting crazy damage, but not denting the juggernaut that was Navi -- which pushed successfully and went up 3-1. 

With everything on the line, it was Fnatic's time to flip the script and get back on track. In dire straits, Fnatic does everything they can to secure the payload. Contesting hard, Fnatic put Navi under heavy pressure, working to secure the point. But it just wasn't enough. Navi stormed back with Ruckus getting two kills to secure the payload and win the PWC 4-0. 


We'll have to wait until next year to see if Navi can hold on to their PWC title, but if they retain the dominating chemistry they showcased at HRX 2018, they will be a force to be reckoned with throughout 2018 and into next year's PWC. 

HRX 2018 SMITE Championship Saturday Wrap-Up https://www.gameskinny.com/ymn2g/hrx-2018-smite-championship-saturday-wrap-up https://www.gameskinny.com/ymn2g/hrx-2018-smite-championship-saturday-wrap-up Sun, 07 Jan 2018 09:51:14 -0500 Robert Kazmierczak

As the fourth day of HRX got under way, things were pretty intense. There was a lot going on, but the biggest event of the day, by far, was the SMITE semi-finals. Four teams fought for the chance to become the next World Champions, with a two-time World Champion already among them.  

NRG vs Rival 

NRG, the two-time world champions faced off against Rival, an up and coming team, in the first semi-final match. Rival started off strong, earning themselves a win, right out of the gate.  

The second game started pretty poorly for Rival, with NRG taking the lead and staying there for most of the early and mid-game. Surprisingly, Rival managed a few picks that gave them the opportunities to turn the game around, allowing them their second win. 

With only one game needed to secure their place in the finals, Rival aimed to clean up with a 3-0 victory, but NRG fought hard and earned their two wins of their own, forcing the match to the fifth and final game. 

The final game, Rival managed to push to a phoenix early on, allowing themselves to get ahead. After picking up the Fire Giant, Rival managed to bust into NRG's base and take down the titan, securing their spot in the finals tomorrow. 

EUnited vs Obey 

The second semi-final match between EUnited and Obey Alliance was a surprise to most. With Obey being a contender in last year's finals, everyone expected a hard fight.  

With a clean sweep, EUnited won all three games. In each game, EUnited managed to get ahead with early kills and incredible objective control. In an almost superhuman display of tactics, EUnited seemed to predict their opponents moves flawlessly, earning them their final win and a chance at the title of World Champions. 


With an intense day behind us, we're looking forward to the culmination of Rival and EUnited's hard work. Don't forget to check out the live stream of the World Championship Finals tomorrow on the SMITE Twitch channel. 

HRX 2018: Paladins Strike Hands-On Impressions https://www.gameskinny.com/olbnc/hrx-2018-paladins-strike-hands-on-impressions https://www.gameskinny.com/olbnc/hrx-2018-paladins-strike-hands-on-impressions Thu, 04 Jan 2018 18:26:58 -0500 Jonathan Moore

Let's get something out in the open before we go any further: I'm a big Paladins fan. In fact, it's probably my favorite competitive shooter of the last five years. Sure, it helps that I'm halfway decent at the game and don't die every three seconds, but it's also because Paladins is a damn fine shooter -- and a damn fun game to play. 

So when I finally got my hands on Paladins Strike at HRX 2018, I was pleased to see that it mostly takes the tried and true Paladins desktop formula and re-imagines it for that little computer you carry around in your pocket. Does that mean it's the perfect MOBA experience for mobile devices? Of course not. There are a few things that don't necessarily suit my fancy at first blush. But none of the negatives "ruin" the experience -- or even make it uncomfortable for that matter. 

The TL;DR? Paladins Strike may stumble a bit, but it ultimately forges the right balance between MOBA and shooter for a mobile audience -- something that's not necessarily easy to do.  

Starting up Paladins Strike, the first thing I noticed was that it was easy to move around. Although that's programming 101, some games get mobile touch controls completely wrong. However, the controls in PS are smooth and responsive. Running behind cover and maneuvering around walls and other obstacles wasn't difficult in the slightest. Although it took a minute or two to really get comfortable with playing Paladins with touch controls after dozens of hours using a mouse and keyboard, the scheme and movement parameters felt natural. 

Primary attacks, on the other hand, seemed a bit touchy and slightly counterintuitive. As much as I'll sit here at my ivory desk and praise the fluidity of the game's movement, shooting is a bit stiffer and problematic: moving your right thumb in a circular motion to shoot isn't always swift or easy. And having to press the primary attack button to fire your initial volley for characters like Viktor is fine and dandy, but then having to press it again after every reload is a bit tiresome -- especially when holding the LMB on Paladins' desktop version keeps firing even after reloading. 

Sure, it's a small gripe, but it's worth pointing out all the same -- and one veteran players will notice. 

Another change revolves around HP. Health pickups are strewn around the map this time around, meaning you won't auto heal while hiding or from abstaining from combat like you can in Paladins desktop. But that's not necessarily a bad thing. In fact, introducing health pickups does two things I really enjoy: it gives PS an old-school vibe and it modifies the base game's strategy, keeping you in the action longer and making engagements more interesting. Hiding has its perks, but frantically running toward a health item while an enemy's on your tail is invigorating. 

And that's something magnified by the game's maps, which are (reasonably) large and full of interesting twists, turns, and barriers that funnel action down specific lanes. Sporting a fixed, isometric camera that varies in position per map, Paladins Strike keeps you on your toes by obfuscating your enemy behind clever angles and in-game assets. Sure, it can be difficult to spot enemies at a distance or see enemies charging down lanes since you don't have the same field of view you have in an FPS -- which can sometimes maybe lead to inopportune deaths -- but it acts as a good stand-in for the verticality found in the game's desktop cousin.

If you're not used to MOBAs in general (or maybe have poor eyesight), you could easily lose track of your character in some of the larger confrontations in Paladins Strike. At times, action turns into a muddy mess of characters, explosions, and special abilities that can be hard to visually sift through. It's not a large hurdle to overcome -- and considering how fast-paced Paladins is in general, isn't really surprising -- but perhaps that can be tweaked a bit before the game's official release. 

During our demo, there were 20 champions readily available covering all of Paladins' classes. I didn't get to play them all, but Viktor, Pip, and Tyra felt great in the mobile environment across match types, which fall into one of three 5v5 modes. Summons sees players capturing objectives on the map; Siege sees players completing the same Paladins Siege mode we're already familiar with; and Deathmatch sees players racing toward 30 eliminations as fast as they can. 

From what I can tell, you'll be able to get daily rewards, gain levels, and almost everything else you've come to do in Paladins. This mobile version of the game might be MOBA focused and play a bit more like SMITE than you'd expect, but it's still Paladins at its core -- and I'm excited to see where it goes from here. 

Hi-Rez Fuses Strategy and Base-Building, Announces Bot Smashers https://www.gameskinny.com/ik5fq/hi-rez-fuses-strategy-and-base-building-announces-bot-smashers https://www.gameskinny.com/ik5fq/hi-rez-fuses-strategy-and-base-building-announces-bot-smashers Thu, 04 Jan 2018 13:46:16 -0500 Jonathan Moore

Hi-Rez Expo 2018 is in full swing, and nestled in the festivities celebrating all things SMITE and Paladins, Hi-Rez Studios snuck in a new game announcement for Bot Smashers. A real-time strategy game made for mobile devices, Bot Smashers is set in what appears to be a whimsical fantasy world made of robots -- and where robots love to smash things.

Revealed during the HRX keynote, Bot Smashers received a very brief trailer showing off a very small part of the in-game action. As its name implies, Bot Smashers will see players wreaking havoc on opposing players in a colorful world of robots on a 1v1 battlefield where matches are timed and the highest score wins.

Designed as a multiplayer strategy game, Bot Smashers is part base-builder, part RTS, part collectathon. Players acquire robots to fight for supremacy on an almost Advance Wars-esque killing field, where they can design the perfect layout of their base, strategically placing spawn points and defenses. On top of that, players will be able to choose specific ground and air units, such as tanks and aircraft, as well as turret and spell defenses, such as anti-air emplacements and black hole vortexes. 

Developers stressed that Bot Smashers is a fast-paced game that's easily digestible in small doses. Matches are often short enough to be played on the train to work or on the couch during commercial breaks.

Outside of that, there's very little information regarding Bot Smashers and what the future holds for the game. The keynote didn't expand on gameplay beyond the game's basics, and the game's official website provides threadbare details -- which makes sense considering where the game currently sits in its development process. 

If you're attending Hi-Rez Expo this weekend, you can get your hands on Bot Smashers on the show floor. If not, you can sign up for early testing here

Stay tuned to GameSkinny for more news and information on Bot Smashers as it develops. 

Paladins Gets Battle Royale Mode, New Content, and Mobile Edition https://www.gameskinny.com/axalh/paladins-gets-battle-royale-mode-new-content-and-mobile-edition https://www.gameskinny.com/axalh/paladins-gets-battle-royale-mode-new-content-and-mobile-edition Thu, 04 Jan 2018 10:45:04 -0500 Jonathan Moore

It's been a big year for Paladins, but things are about to get bigger. Unveiling a slew of new additions for the MOBA shooter at its HRX keynote, Hi-Rez Studios plans to give fans plenty to cheer about in 2018 with new champions, new skins, new mounts, and a new mobile experience.

But possibly the biggest announcement came when the studio said it would be jumping into the arena de Battle Royale with Paladins: Battlegrounds. Sharing similarities with other popular shooters in the Battle Royale subgenre, such as PUBG and FortnitePaladins: Battlegrounds looks to set itself apart with unique gameplay elements and a more fantasy-oriented setting. Todd Harris, Executive Producer of Paladins said: 

Riding on a mount through this massive fantasy-themed map, looking for gear and cooperating with your team, Paladins: Battlegrounds delivers some of the feel of open-world MMO PvP but all within a 20-minute match.

Specifically designed with team play in mind, Paladins: Battlegrounds looks to keep the survival gameplay and fog-based barriers that have become emblematic of the Battle Royale subgenre, but infuse that design with ability-based gameplay where attacks, buffs, and debuffs hold true to the core Paladins formula. With massive maps up to 300 times larger than a typical Siege arena, Battlegrounds will feature 100 players exploring, surviving, looting, and scavenging legendary gear around the map -- and, of course, scoring frags. 

According to Hi-Rez, Paladins: Battlegrounds will be free to all players when it releases sometime this year. Anyone attending the Hi-Rez Expo in Atlanta this weekend will be able to jump into the game's alpha version on the showroom floor. 

Looking toward the mobile front, Hi-Rez also announced that Paladins would be making the jump from TVs, monitors, and laptops to players' hands in the form of a brand-new mobile game, Paladins Strike. Currently in development and without a firm release date, Paladins Strike merges the base game's MOBA-centric champion gameplay with the view of a top-down shooter. Players can currently sign up for testing at HRXStrike.com. 

As for the additions to the Paladins base game, Hi-Rez also announced the game's 35th Champion, Moji. While no abilities for the new Champion were revealed during the keynote, Moji is part of the Leipori species and able to take the fight to the front lines on a two-headed dragon.

And while Moji brings variety to the game's Champions, those looking for a bit more range in Paladins' core modes and maps can look to the just-revealed Team Deathmatch mode. Differing from Onslaught by eschewing King of the Hill elements and focusing solely on team kills, Team Deathmatch also brings with it a new map in Trade District, upping the total number of maps in the game to 11. 

Finally, it was revealed that Battle Cats will be the new mount type in Paladins. Twitch Prime members will have exclusive access to the Primal Prowler, the game's first free Battle Cat, as well as the Twitch Prime Bomb King skin and other undisclosed content. PC players will have access to TDM, Moji, and Battle Cats beginning next week, with console players having access one week later. 

Stay tuned to GameSkinny for more news and information on Paladins, Paladins: Battlegrounds, and Paladins Strike as it develops. 

Hi-Rez Unveils New SMITE Map, Roster Addition, and More at HRX 2018 https://www.gameskinny.com/q32t4/hi-rez-unveils-new-smite-map-roster-addition-and-more-at-hrx-2018 https://www.gameskinny.com/q32t4/hi-rez-unveils-new-smite-map-roster-addition-and-more-at-hrx-2018 Thu, 04 Jan 2018 09:30:02 -0500 Jonathan Moore

Season 5 of SMITE is set to kick off soon -- and players of the popular MOBA have a lot to look forward to in the coming year. During their keynote address at Hi-Rez Expo 2018, the Atlanta-based developer confirmed that SMITE Season 5 will see a plethora of additions in the form of new gods and pantheons, new maps, and gameplay upgrades. 

To kick things off, Hades will churn the lands of SMITE asunder in a new conquest map featuring what the studio calls "enriched art and gameplay." Shaking things up in the game's normative 5v5 mode, the newest map is set to bring a few changes and tweaks to the table in order to create more uniform gameplay for both teams. SMITE Lead Game Designer A.J. "Ajax" Walker said: 

The Season 5 map will feature perfect vertical symmetry between Order and Chaos. Lanes and Jungle paths will have the exact same shape on top and bottom. This balances the map and removes timing differences to each side. Overall, this creates a more consistent gameplay experience.

On top of the map featuring a level playing field and seeing the return of jungle fog, it will also feature new, more detailed art assets, bringing the world of SMITE into greater detail.

Players will be able to test the new conquest map and see the chaos Hades has wrought beginning Jan. 17 on the game's public test servers. 

This season will also see new pantheons and gods enter the arena, bringing even more variety to SMITE's already large roster. Starting Jan. 9 alongside the PC's 4.25 patch, players will be able to take control of the mythical Warden of the Underworld, Cerberus. There's currently no official word on what abilities this 93rd addition to SMITE's roster will wield. 

Later in the year, Hi-Rez will also release two brand-new pantheons to the SMITE community: Slavic and Voodoo. Information on which gods will make up the initial rosters has yet to be released. 

Stay tuned to GameSkinny for more coverage from HRX 2018, as well as SMITE news and information as it develops.   

Free SMITE PlayStation Plus Pack Released https://www.gameskinny.com/vkwva/free-smite-playstation-plus-pack-released https://www.gameskinny.com/vkwva/free-smite-playstation-plus-pack-released Wed, 13 Dec 2017 12:10:38 -0500 Sarah Elliman

Hi-Rez Studios recently announced a grand partnership with Sony to bring the biggest content pack they have ever released to PlayStation players. If you are a PlayStation Plus member, you will be able to access this extensive content pack from the PlayStation Store today. Although SMITE has been around for some time, this extra content pack is completely free for PlayStation Plus members.

The pack unlocks 31 different skins, 20 Gods and Voice Packs, and the Khepri Announcer Pack. You’ll have access to a variety of new playable characters and cosmetics that continue to expand on the game and help you find your perfect layout for those SMITE tournaments. This offer ends on January 9 and gives you an opportunity to jump back into SMITE with a fresh set of gods and a whole host of content.

Since SMITE’s initial release in 2014, the game has garnered a massive following. As of 2016, the player count was estimated to be sitting around the 20 million mark. The game continues to grow because of its availability on consoles and PC. Many Reddit users have praised the MOBA for the community surrounding it and the availability of content, and with this free pack for PS Plus members, many more players are sure to jump back in.

What do you think of the content pack? Does it make you want to play SMITE again? Let us know in the comments below. 

Hand of the Gods Closed Console Beta Begins Today https://www.gameskinny.com/qyc8x/hand-of-the-gods-closed-console-beta-begins-today https://www.gameskinny.com/qyc8x/hand-of-the-gods-closed-console-beta-begins-today Tue, 17 Oct 2017 12:15:44 -0400 Jonathan Moore

Get ready to dominate the Pantheon, console players. Georgia-based developer Hi-Rez Studios announced today that their strategic CCG, Hand of the Gods: SMITE Tactics, is entering closed beta on the Xbox One and PlayStation 4. Gamers who are Xbox Live Gold and PlayStation Plus members will have free access to the closed beta starting today. 

But that's not all. Those players will also receive with the beta a free Hand of the Gods promotional bundle that includes: 

  • Five Core Packs
  • A special Leader skin (PS4 players will receive Galactic Invader Ah Puch, while Xbox One players will receive Xeus Zeus)
  • A beta-exclusive Labyrinth card back
  • A unique Tree icon

If you are currently not a member of Xbox Live Gold or PlayStation Plus, don't worry: you can still join the closed console beta. All you have to do is purchase either HotG's Founder's Pack ($19.99) or the Venus Competitor's Pack ($19.99). Both collections provide unique incentives, such as card packs, icons, and even bonus SMITE (MOBA) content.

Hand of the Gods: SMITE Tactics is a collectible card game that melds the world of SMITE with strategic deck building and tactical turn-based combat. The game first released on the PC and has been refined over months of closed- and open-beta testing on the platform. 

Stay tuned to GameSkinny for more news and information on Hand of the Gods: SMITE Tactics as it develops. If you're already playing HotG or want to make sure you start out on the right foot once joining the beta, make sure to check out our Hand of the Gods guides

Best in the Realm: Hi-Rez Studios Announces Paladins Console Series https://www.gameskinny.com/1gcs3/best-in-the-realm-hi-rez-studios-announces-paladins-console-series https://www.gameskinny.com/1gcs3/best-in-the-realm-hi-rez-studios-announces-paladins-console-series Wed, 11 Oct 2017 15:58:01 -0400 Jonathan Moore

Think you're the best Paladins player in the Realm? If so, you'll soon have a new opportunity to prove it. Hi-Rez Studios announced today its $250,000 Paladins Console Series is set to kick off October 21 at 11 a.m. EST. The tournament is currently open to all European and North American console players. Those interested are able to sign up for the series on the Paladins World Discord channel.

If you're up for the challenge, teams will compete in monthly tournaments against other regional teams for supremacy and Crystal payouts. After three weeks of bracket play, the Top 8 teams in that region will face off for that month's prize pool in the monthly finals. Each month will see $19,000 and more than 84,000 crystals disbursed to qualifying teams. Those teams that perform the best during the monthly series will be invited to play LANs and to attend the Paladins Console World Championships at Hi-Rez Expo (HRX) 2018 for even more prizes. 

Broadcasts for the $250,000 Paladins Console Series will air exclusively on the Paladins Mixer channel, starting with the first European PlayStation 4 and Xbox One matches on October 21 at 11 a.m. EST, continuing every Saturday through October 2018. North American Paladins console matches will air every Sunday through 2018, starting October 22 at 11 a.m.

You can learn more about the Series' bracketing, payouts, and more by visiting the Paladins World website here

Stay tuned to GameSkinny for more news and information on Paladins and Hi-Rez Studios as it develops. 

Hi-Rez Partners With WESA to Create New Paladins Pro League https://www.gameskinny.com/5c74t/hi-rez-partners-with-wesa-to-create-new-paladins-pro-league https://www.gameskinny.com/5c74t/hi-rez-partners-with-wesa-to-create-new-paladins-pro-league Thu, 31 Aug 2017 13:45:27 -0400 Jeffrey Rousseau

Today, it was announced that WESA (World eSport Association) and Hi-Rez Studios will launch a new Paladins Premier League. This marks the second professional competition under the guidance of the WESA. Debuting this Fall, the league will feature 10 major teams in competition.

Hi-Rez Studios and WESA's partnership will allow them to split the league's revenue, which will guarantee that a minimum salary will be provided to all participating players. Both parties have expressed hopes that this partnership will result in the growth of the competitive community within both North America and Europe.

The current roster of teams for this new league includes:

  • EnVYUS
  • Fnatic
  • G2 Esports
  • Mouseports
  • Natus Vincere
  • Ninjas in Pyjamas
  • Renegades
  • SK Gaming
  • Splyce
  • Virtus.Pro

It's also worth nothing that non-WESA teams can join in the future as the league grows.

In an official statement, Hi-Rez COO Todd Harris expressed the studio's excitement for this new venture in Paladins' professional eSports circuit: 

“Hi-Rez is very excited that the world’s most popular and experienced eSports teams have chosen to partner with us in launching PPL under the leadership of WESA. We see an incredible community appetite for competitive Paladins and the PPL will showcase the highest tier of Paladins eSports within North America and Europe. In addition, we applaud WESA’s initiative to professionalize eSports and will be working closely with them toward this goal.”


Paladins: Champions of the Realm is a free-to-play arena shooter with a thriving eSports scene on both PC and console. After garnering 15 million players and becoming the most-played new Steam game following its beta launch in September 2016, the game has generated serious demand for a top-tier competitive league -- and this new partnership with WESA seeks to do just that. 

Fans of Paladins and eSports can look forward to the start of the league this fall. More details on the structure of PPL will come soon. 

Hi-Rez Studios Announces Hand of the Gods Open Beta https://www.gameskinny.com/2u3d3/hi-rez-studios-announces-hand-of-the-gods-open-beta https://www.gameskinny.com/2u3d3/hi-rez-studios-announces-hand-of-the-gods-open-beta Thu, 13 Jul 2017 04:00:01 -0400 Robert Kazmierczak

Hand of the Gods: SMITE Tactics is a strategy collectible card game that takes the world of SMITE and applies it to a unique combination of deck building and strategic unit placement. After a few months of refining the game in alpha and closed beta, developer Hi Rez Studios has finally launched an open beta for the game. 

In addition to its recent name change, Hand of the Gods' newest revisions have made it impressively accessible for players of all skill levels. Changes made over the past few months have streamlined the game, making it easier for new players to grasp the core concepts. Meanwhile, the deck building aspect offers its own unique challenges to veteran CCG players. 

In an official statement about these changes, Lead Designer Scott Lussier said: 

"Over the course of Closed Beta we’ve reworked the strategic elements of gameplay and deck building while making combat much easier to read and understand."

To kick off the open beta, Hi-Rez is offering the Venus Competitor's Pack, which includes over 70 cards as well as the Venus skin for Aphrodite in SMITE

Hand of the Gods: SMITE Tactics is free-to-play, so anyone can now join in the battle between gods. You can download the open beta from the official SMITE Tactics website. And be sure to check out the trailer at the top of this article for a fresh look at the game.

SMITE is Introducing a New PvE Dungeon Mode https://www.gameskinny.com/hszhk/smite-is-introducing-a-new-pve-dungeon-mode https://www.gameskinny.com/hszhk/smite-is-introducing-a-new-pve-dungeon-mode Tue, 06 Jun 2017 10:57:05 -0400 Donogh

Atlanta-based developer Hi-Rez Studios has announced a brand-new game mode for their MOBA, SMITE. Detailed in a recent press release is the addition of a new adventure game mode titled “The Trial of King Hercules”.

This new mode will play “like a classic dungeon experience”, offering SMITE players “a whole new way to play the gods and goddesses of mythology with their friends”. As seen in the screenshots released, this new mode is reminiscent of those found in the Dota and Diablo series.

Not only does this new game mode offer a change of perspective for the MOBA, but also a completely different playing experience. Instead of the already-established arena based, PVP combat SMITE is known for, “The Trials of King Hercules” presents the player with the opportunity to traverse dungeons as part of a team of three, testing their mettle against AI-controlled enemies.

It also introduces a new town hub, where players have the chance to accept different quests in exchange for gold, which can then be used to purchase in-game items, such as equipment and buffs, that can be used on adventures.

Project Lead on SMITE Adventures, Travis Brown, expressed his excitement surrounding the addition of this new mode, and revealed the different experience players will face in the all-new Adventure mode.

The Trials of King Hercules is our most detailed SMITE Adventure to date with unique methods of progression, quests, mobs, bosses, and loot drops.

For more information on “The Trials of King Hercules”, check out the official SMITE website.

SMITE is currently available for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC.