And The Smite World Championship 2016 Winners Are…

This is your spoiler warning for the winners of the Smite World Championship 2016

Epsilon Esports have won the 2016 Smite World Championships.

Along with the understated Thor’s hammer trophy above they walk away with $500,000 and bragging rights. I’m including the latter because esports are always trying to treat bragging rights as a commodity. I wonder how a bragging rights exchange rate would look. Like, how many avocados could I get for these bragging rights? I think you could get around 382,515 avocados for $500,000 if that helps set up a point of comparison?

Anyway, the victory came after just three games of the best-of-five set.

In the first game Epsilon utterly dominated and Enemy simply couldn’t find their way back. It looked like perhaps situations where Enemy couldn’t exploit other teams’ tendency to underestimate them or play those longer-term mind games they talked about with Paradigm would leave them vulnerable. It seemed at one point that Saltmachine was trying to do some split pushing (as Cloud9 had done the previous day to great effect) but he simply didn’t have the damage output to put significant pressure on his opponents.

Listening to the team speak after the game, Enemy felt they had played poorly across the whole set and spoke about getting caught, about miscommunicating, about bad warding decisions and so on. For what it’s worth, Epsilon were more apt to talk of an experience gap which left them in a better position to know how to capitalise on opportunities.

Enemy found far firmer footing in the second game with their jungler, Adjust, putting in a characteristically terrifying performance as Serqet. Where Epsilon had stomped in game 1 they were facing serious pushback. For a long time it looked like Enemy were playing that familiar Smite game where a team steadily builds up a lead until they’re ready to punch a titan – that’s the end objective – in the face. But Dimi was on a Tyr – sorry*, on a TEAR – and was able to use that character to keep Enemy at bay as they attempted to take necessary objectives like the gold fury.

At 27 minutes the European side was able to use the space created with a successful teamfight to take down the fire giant effectively setting Enemy’s gold and experience advantage back down to zero. From that point onwards Epsilon were able to extend their lead, particularly by knowing how to judge when to take a fire giant. From about the 40 minute mark they were, to use a technical term, “balling out of control” and soon finished the game.

The final game felt like it might well go to Enemy as they traded well and were rewarded for some patient, well-judged plays. The game was paused around the 20 minute mark as the Mumble server the teams were using went down. At that point Enemy were ahead – actually, after the match was over Epsilon admitted that losing communications cost them the gold fury which was a big boon to Enemy. Epsilon support player iRaffer even said “We should have lost [game 3] if they could capitalise on their lead.”

They couldn’t. Shortly after resuming play the North American side were undone by a bad decision. As Epsilon’s solo laner, Dimi, explained:

“We tried to stall for time as much as possible and wait for them to mess up. They really got lost in aggression in the last fight at the speed buff [it’s one of the jungle camps which bestows a speed bonus]. They tried to take away speed and Osiris [Enemy’s solo laner] didn’t have ult and they got caught out. We killed four of them and managed to make so much more out of the wipe than they could imagine.”

The game turned on that fight. Epsilon took down the fire giant as a result of the majority of the Enemy threat being dead and then, in the next team fight, they killed the entire Enemy lineup and biffed their titan until that $500,000 was theirs.

“It feels good man,” was jungler Adapting’s verdict on lifting the trophy hammer. “That was legit really cool. I’m taking that to the grave.”

“Having the whole crowd roaring at you when you’re lifting it is a once in a lifetime thing,” added iRaffer. Then: “Unless you win again…”

You can find the rest of our event coverage for SWC by clicking this link.

*I’m not sorry.

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11 Comments

  1. Bremze says:

    Caught the last game and while it looks much better than it did back in the first public beta, it still has that LoL syndrome where everything feels like a wet noodle. They’re swinging through some creeps,now they’re swinging through the air, ooh I can tell a teamfight ultimate came out because there are more particles and the life bars drained slightly faster. I’m sure the constant overhead camera wasn’t doing the game any favours, but when a card game (Blizzard are wizards at making mundane shit exciting) has more heft than your Man Fight Simulator 2K™, something has gone terribly wrong.

    • Bremze says:

      Also, the game punishing Epsilon for that early gold fury sneak seemed dumb.

    • TacticalNuclearPenguin says:

      Just out of curiosity, LoL syndrome as in “classical” MOBA style or just something mostly relative to LoL alone and not, say, DOTA2?

      • Bremze says:

        It’s a game design issue, even if an action is powerful from a system perspective, it doesn’t feel impactful unless it has equaly impressive visual and audio effects. This is usually done with a combination of animations with a lot of startup and recovery frames and or movement, hitstop and hitstun, screen shake, particle and sound effects effects.

        For good examples see Hearthstone, Guilty Gear, Tera, Dota 2, Nuclear Throne and the shotgun in Doom, for bad see almost every tab targeting MMORPG except WoW arguably, every single Bethesda game ever, League of Legends.

        • Xocrates says:

          Game feel and Juice: link to youtube.com

          I find the Blizzard comment somewhat ironic since I find HotS is worse at this than LoL – though Hearthstone certainly nails it.

        • Asurmen says:

          I’d rather not have my screen filled with nonsense while trying to control my character, thank you very much.

          • Bremze says:

            You don’t have to have your screen filled with nonsense, the Souls games, which I forgot to mention, have great feeling combat with little to no extra vfx.

            That Blizzard comment was mainly about WoW and Hearthstone, I haven’t bothered to try HotS.

          • Asurmen says:

            The Souls games are completely different than MOBAS. Not sure how you can compare.

            You don’t want anything visual getting in the way of the game being played.

          • Bremze says:

            Surely both games having attacks that hit stuff and removes hit points is an obvious point of comparison. Having good game feel lets you get rid a lot of superfluous particle effects and doing things like combos and hitconfirms much easier.

    • Zankman says:

      Don’t forget the shitty tournament format (yes, I will never let up).

      Oh and yeah, the overheard is still annoying to me…

      The game is played in 3rd Person; Why do we have to *watch* in zoomed-out 3rd Person? Just give us the RTS view!