PC SMITE: World Championship 2016 Team Previews Part 1

Paradigm-SWC

Paradigm has been at the forefront of the European Smite scene since the core of this group won the Launch Tournament under the TSM name. Put together by captain mid laner Lawbster, the team was comprised of the best mechanical and skilled players Europe had to offer. All of Paradigm are seasoned veterans to the game of Smite, each having played at the highest of levels since the inception of the game.
Paradigm had a less than stellar Fall Split, finishing 3rd in the standings with an 18-10 record. With the roster this team has, it was highly unusual to see them struggle with the lower level teams in Europe. However, they found their groove at the Super Regionals and fought through a very tough opponent in Dignitas in the quarter finals, demolished Fnatic in the semis, and shocked much of the viewers at home by taking down the heavy favorite Epsilon team in the European finals to secure themselves a first round bye in the Smite World Championships.
Each player on Paradigm have large god pools, and have shown they can dominate their opponents, while also being able to fight back when their backs are against the wall. Paradigm strives when it can, to impose its will on their opponents, as Trixtank loves to play highly aggressive gods as support. Mid laner Lawbster and Jungler QvoFred are a fantastic partnership, and if they get ahead, it’s hard for them to lose. ADC Funballer loves his hypercarries in Chronos, Freya, and Xbalanque, and has proven he can indeed carry his team when he gets his items online. Lastly, Xaliea in the solo lane has proven himself to be maybe the most dynamic player in Europe, with a seemingly limitless god pool and his ability to build both as front liner and as a carry. When the team is clicking on all cylinders, they can beat anyone. However, they do have flaws. Many games have been decided on the play of QvoFred in the jungle. When he’s off, the team seems to find it hard to get back in the game. But this is why you play a series, and Paradigm are one of the best in a 5 game set. We had a chance to ask captain Lawbster a few questions before his team set off for their pre-SWC bootcamp just a few days ago.

BigBad: Having won the European side of the Super Regionals, do you think you’re considered a favorite, or does it feel like you’re still the underdogs?
Lawbster: I feel because Epsilon went 28-1 in the normal SPL season, they are being viewed as the favorites still, but I think it’s pretty close, and i believe a lot of people are rooting for us to win. So I don’t feel like a favorite or underdog if that makes sense.

BigBad: With your boot camp coming up, what’s the most important thing to train for going into the World Championship?

Lawbster: Mostly just playing together as a unit as opposed to what we do when we are not bootcamping, where we practice a lot of duo Q and solo Q to maintain our mechanics. Coming into the bootcamp we will be working out strategies and tactics for the squad as a whole not just individual small things. This is where things like ‘the Paradigm start’ and other strats are formed.

BigBad: Many of us have little to no clue how good the 5 teams from outside the SPL are at Smite. If you’ve watched them play, what comment could you make on their play style, pick and ban priority, mechanics, etc.?
Lawbster: We have watched some Smite of the other regions. China seems to pick fairly similar to the NA meta with a bruiser in the solo lane most of the time. But I wouldn’t say any other region has defined their meta as of yet. It seems that the other regions are still young and have a little catching up to do in terms of disengaging and remaining disciplined as the game goes on. Also, some questionable build paths that were interesting looking into, such as talaria boots pickups and whatnot. Overall, they look strong mechanically, and individually and we won’t underestimate any team from any region.

We also asked Lydia a question in regards to her role for Paradigm during Worlds
BigBad: What is your mindset going into Worlds for Paradigm, and how do you plan on keeping them focused in the days leading up to SWC and while competing at SWC?
Lydia: This is my first time managing a team at a World Championship event. i’m both super excited and nervous to be part of this at such a high level.I have complete faith in PARADIGM to put on a great show for SMITE fans at the SMITE World Championship. Myself and Zimpstar wanted to make sure we give them the best shot they have, so we have them arriving into Atlanta early, on December 27th, for a bootcamp. It’s our jobs to make sure the players and coach are able to focus on their game and their strategies, and we take care of anything that could cause a distraction for them. This is not only before the SMITE World Championship starts, but even at our bootcamp now. I think part of the reason we did so well at the Regionals was because of our focus and early bootcamping, and now this is the biggest moment that we’ve been fighting for all year long. I’m excited to see what we can do, although I will admit that I am a bit nervous, too.

A big thank you goes out to Lydia, assistant manager and part owner in Paradigm, for her help in securing the short interview with Lawbster, as well as to Lawbster for taking time out of his day to answer us. You can find both of them on twitter, @livelikeagypsy and @PDG_Lawbster, and Lydia on Twitch at twitch.tv/datlydia
If you’re attending the SWC or are in the Atlanta area, you can meet all the boys of Paradigm as well as Lydia, Zimpstar, and other members of PDG:
Friday, Jan 8 at 3pm at the HiRez Expo and Saturday, Jan 9th at 11pm at the Battle and Brew. Visit Paradigm.gg for more details

As for the rest of the team
Funball – twitter.com/PDG_Funball and twitch.tv/funballer
Trixtank – twitter.com/PDG_Trixtank and twitch.tv/trixtank
QvoFred – twitter.com/PDG_QvoFred and twitch.tv/qvofred
Xaliea – twitter.com/PDG_Xaliea and twitch.tv/xaliea

C9-SWC

The current Cloud9 roster is 4/5ths of the World Champions from just a year ago, and will look to repeat as World Champions again this year. A dominant force in the North American scene since their days as Cognitive Prime, captain Andinster and the boys in blue are playing their best Smite to date.
Cloud9 had a rough Fall Split with many complicated issues that held them back, finishing 3rd with an 18-10 record. Throughout the split, Cloud9 struggled to stay connected in games, many times playing almost entire matches with only 4 players, while they also took losses at the hand of refusing to use a sub due to these connection issues. Had it not been for these issues, many feel Cloud9 would’ve closely mirrored Epsilon’s 29-1 record as they looked to be the most consistent team throughout the split.
Cloud9 have the best all around team in Smite right now. North American MVP adc BaRRaCCuDDa is the most mechanically sound and smart hunter in the game, support JeffHindla seems to always do just enough in the front line to help win team fights, while jungler Andinster is only rivaled by Adapting of Epsilon as best jungler in the world. MLC_St3alth may have a small god pool in the mid lane, but he consistently plays at the highest of levels, and the newest addition to the team, solo laner Baskin, has done a great job filling the shoes of the departed Omega, and is continually making a name for himself as one of the best.
It’s easy to praise the defending World Champions and to overlook any chink in their armor. However, like all teams, they can be beat and have been put against the ropes a couple times this year, most notably twice by Eager, each time taking Cloud9 to a game 5. In many of those losses, Eager were able to shut down BaRRaCCuDDa early and win team fights by focusing targets one by one. So while it is all that possible to beat this team once or even twice, to be able to take a third game is one we haven’t seen since the Summer LAN, where BaRRaCCuDDa was sick for two of games in a set versus TSM. Cloud9 will come into the SWC as one of the heavy favorites to win it all, and we should be seeing them play deep into the weekend.

Unfortunately, captain Andinster was not available for an interview. However, sub/coach Hurriwind was gracious enough to answer some questions for us.

BigBad: As a sub and coach for a previous World Champion squad, do you feel any added pressure in living up to the expectations for what they accomplished just a year ago?

Hurriwind: There is definitely pressure in living up to big expectations, but there is more confidence going in this year than the last.

BigBad: Some people may not understand what exactly the role of a sub/coach is to a team. What exactly is your role [for C9] in preparation for SWC?
Hurriwind: I watch practices and keep track of picks, as well as pay attention to what other teams value. More than anything, I am a sounding board for new ideas and pick strategies. For C9, they need a 6th mind rather than a coach that runs the show.

BigBad: With Cloud9 on the cusp of back to back World Championship, how exciting is it to be a part of this journey?
Hurriwind: I am definitely excited to be a part of what could very well be back to back world championship victories. Having the opportunity to be a part of something like this is invaluable

A big thank you goes to sub and coach, Hurriwind for his participation in the interview. You can find him on twitter @C9Hurriwind

The rest of the boys in blue
BaRRaCCuDDa – twitter.com/C9_Barraccudda and twitch.tv/Barraccudda
JeffHindla – twitter.com/C9Jeffhindla and twitch.tv/jeffhindla
Andinster – twitter.com/C9Andinster and twitch.tv/andinster1
MLC_St3alth – twitter.com/C9MLC_St3alth and twitch.tv/mlc_st3alth
Baskin – twitter.com/C9Baskin and twitch.tv/baskinrobin1