MLG Columbus Smite LAN: Day One

As the timer until worlds clicks closer to zero, we reach the finale for the second spot at the Smite World Championships in January. This weekend MLG hosts their last LAN event in which the champion (or second highest finisher pending eGr winning the competition) will have sealed their shot at Worlds. This competition closes out a month long season between eight teams in which former PC team Denial eSports came out as champions of with the new name XGN. The setup of this weekend’s competition is rather simple, single elimination with a first round bye for the top two regular season finishers, XGN and COG. Due to stepping away from the xbox scene, Juice Gaming will not be attending this event therefore giving eLevate a first round bye as well to matchup with COG.

With the background information out of the way, it is time to talk about what we should expect from this weekend’s competition. This competition holds a lot more weight than the $50,000 purse that is attached to this competition. This weekend will lift the stress of whether they will qualify for worlds off one team’s shoulders while putting the weight of having to win the open bracket at SWC for four others. I think Team eGr would completely agree that being able to play and practice stress free has been an enjoyable experience for them.

Before we completely discuss this weekend’s matchups in full detail, I would like to introduce my expert panel: @MamaSocom, @lovellyySmite, @HomieSmite, @TheeYubs, @Leekonomics & @Epsilon_Gratty. These players weighed in their opinions with me on this weekend and what they expect to see on the battlegrounds.

eLevate v Bye

After a decent amount of deliberation, we all came to the conclusion that we thought eLevate would be able to pull out a victory against the Bye.

 

 

egr epsi

Personally, I love to watch Team eGr play Xbox Smite. Most of them have been in the competitive xbox scene since its very beginning and have remained at the top ever since. This weekend however is more of just a prize purse for them seeing as they already have qualified for the Smite World Championship through the UMG Qualifier held earlier in November at Hi-Rez Studios. On the other side of things, Epsilon for the most part has been in the competitive scene for quite a long time and are filled with a roster that can compete at the highest level. This matchup should be interesting and my panel and I agree that the matchups in Solo and Mid are going to be what we should watch for in this set. Sealcar v Dwurst is a battle on Solo Island between two of the best players in Xbox Smite. The majority of us have chosen eGr to pull off a victory in this matchup but Gratty believes in his squad and left us saying: “Watch out for my boy Sealcar”.

 

 

While a victory against Bye was successful for eLevate, I don’t think that game in general will give them any extra sort of momentum boost going into this tough game against Cognitive Gaming previously under the name Release Gaming. This matchup was probably the most up in the air for the panel and hopefully will result in a match really worth watching. Lovellyy and Yubs were the only ones who believed in their former team being able to pull off the victory in this match and they both agreed that El Chapo will be what pushes this team forward through this matchup. The rest of the panel didn’t quite think El Chapo would have what it took to overcome a very strong Cognitive side. Freya and Paul are were mentioned multiple times in accordance to needing to play their game to insure a Cognitive victory. Shing(Lispy37)’s experience at LANs from PC will be a huge factor in this matchup and could quite possibly be what pushes Cog through over a very good LAN team in eLevate.

 

 

Well this is where my job gets a little tricky doesn’t it. While only Gratty thinks Epsilon even has a chance to take part in this game, I will most definitely cover the possibility of Epsilon being in it. However, the majority of us believe that this matchup Will be between XGN & eGr. XGN obviously has the most experience in this matchup but eGr has more xbox experience and it will be interesting to see which pays off more. Matt Koiz has made quite the name for himself in the jungle especially since he joined Team eGr, It’ll be interesting to watch and see how much of a force to be reckoned with he is. Everyone seemed to show a desire for the xbox originals in eGr but Leek seemed to be the only person who thought that XGN’s experience wouldn’t be the deciding edge in the game. In terms of the possibility of an Epsilon v XGN matchup, Gratty believes that the game would be more of a Homiefe v Shame matchup and I would have to say I agree with him. My own thoughts on Epsilon’s chances of being in this game rely on whether Cata can be the same Cata he was at the original MLG LAN. Because that Cata was the Catalyst to creating Epsilon victories.

The Grand Finale

Who is this game going to be between? I guess that’s the question we’ll be asking ourselves all day today. The overall vote for champion fell at three votes XGN, one vote eLevate, one vote Release and another vote for Picks n Bans. Gratty really brought interesting responses to the table and it was very fun to hear from him. He truly thinks regardless of who is in this game that Picks and Bans will be the deciding factor and I think we can all agree that Picks and Bans have been a huge factor in deciding games in the competitive Xbox scene. Lovellyy and Socom both came up with the same championship result stating that XGN would eventually be our champions after closely contested matches with either Cognitive or eLevate. Both being very aggressive teams, one close call by either team’s shot caller could be what decides this set. While Lovellyy stated he didn’t think that eLevate would be able to pull off a victory in that matchup, Yubs believes that the shot calls from El Chapo are just not something to be messed with and he will help lead eLevate past XGN stating: “if El Chapo gets ahead it’ pretty much over.” He did mention that XGN’s experience and ability to team fight very well will give them their shot to pull a victory in this set. Being the lone believer in Cognitive winning the competition, Leeks believes that Cognitive thrives in ability to outplay in 1v1 scenarios, allowing players to snoball and run away with the game. He thinks this will give them the edge to pull off a championship run. It’ll be interesting to see how well their 1v1 skills during the laning phase transition them into the mid and late game teamfighting phase.

Well that’s all for my MLG Columbus preview! Check back in Sunday morning where I will upload a quick article previewing the actual final that will be happening Sunday afternoon. Give us a follow on twitter or like us on facebook and don’t be afraid to give us a shout with any comments, ideas or opinions! Thanks again to all who helped and Smite on!

-Bryson

@BryBryStrick on twitter