The SPL is back, and we here at SMITECentral couldn’t be more excited! After rounds of roster changes, player retirements and a few new faces coming on to the scene we’re giving a recap on whats been happening during an explosive start to the fall split, and some hints on who to look out for in these crucial weeks ahead.
What did I Miss?
The Fall Split saw many struggling teams switch up their rosters and introduce some new blood into the pro league like; Venenu and Copebby on Team Allegiance and Mirage and Moswal on The Randozos. Also, Panthera and The Leftovers found new sponsors and now go by the name of NRG eSports and Sanguine eSports.
Two new teams also made it into the Pro League after working their way up through the Challenger Cup, Fantastique for the European league and CycloneGG for the North American league. While they are mostly made up of newcomers, viewers may recognise some faces from competitions past, such as Wlfy, who has a history dating all the way back to the SMITE Launch Tournament as a sub for TSM. Other notable players include Nulisa, the first female player to appear on a starting roster on the SPL, and a former sub for world champions Panthera; and The Bruise Brothers Jermain and Dardez of Les Myrmidons, trying for their second chance at a world championship spot alongside Nulisa on Fantastique.
Highlights (Weeks 1 and 2)
The early stages of the split have gotten off to an explosive start, HiRez has implemented a new points system, granting teams more points for winning an entire set over simply splitting with another team, meaning that teams are more eager to get wins and play aggressively.
This new system made for some intense games in the opening weeks. Team Allegiance put up a strong fight against Denial eSports, and although it resulted in a 2-0 win for Denial, newcomers Copebby and Venenu showed everyone that they have the skills to compete with top level teams. A fact they would show in week 2 when they managed to beat the North American titans of Enemy in a 2-0 victory, who suffered without their usual Hunter, Pandacat.
The set that pitted Luminosity against Soar G2A was another matchup that was not to be missed, as Snoopy showed that, even though he is currently the mid laner for Soar, the ADC role is still in his blood, and picked up a penta-kill while playing Rama. However Luminosity are no pushovers and managed to bring it back in game 2, resulting in a split for the two veteran teams.
Over in Europe it couldn’t get much bigger than Paradigm and Panthera wrestling back and forth in an epic 55 minute game that eventually resulted in a victory for Paradigm, capitalising on the smallest opening 50 minutes into the match.
Newcomers Fantastique suffered a loss going up against Hungry for More in Week one, however things went better for them in week 2 as they managed to gain two solid wins against Cringe Crew in an action packed set.
Who to Look out For
Homiefe - As jungler for Denial eSports, Homiefe made a name for himself in the last split with his deadly Ao Kuang play while playing for Soar G2A. Alongside his mid lane partner Hurriwind, the two have already proven to tough competition; with flawless mechanics, pinpoint communication and synergy with his team, Homiefe has his eyes set on that SWC spot.
Nulisa - As previously mentioned, the mid laner for Fantastique is no stranger to top level SMITE, however the pressure has been put on Fantastique to see whether they can hold their own in the big leagues. So far Nulisa has regularly been seen at the top of the damage charts with gods like Zeus, while also providing a lot of utility for her team with Janus and Isis.
Venenu and Copebby - A newcomer to the SMITE Pro League, all eyes were on Venenu and fellow rookie Copebby as they joined Team Allegience alongside veterans Incon, MLCst3alth and Weak3n. They’ve proven themselves capable so far, taking victories from Enemy eSports, but only time will tell if they can be moulded into SPL heavyweights like their fellow teammates.