Five Things We Learned Day One of SWC

  1. The skill gap between North America/Europe and the rest of the world is still huge – Being the 2nd World Championships of Smite, many fans were hoping every single game would be somewhat close and show the skills of each player from around the world. Instead, viewers saw almost every single game as a lopsided, one handed affair, with nothing much to talk about aside from the pure domination the winning team showed. This may be a result of the one game matchups, but even then, expectations were to see some highly contested matchups. In the end, the North American and European teams dominated against the international squads, showing that the rest of the world still has a lot of room to grow before they’ll be at the top of the Smite food chain.
  2. Enemy is the REAL DEAL – Many people, including myself, have slept on the number 2 seed out of North America. Sure, they’re the number 2 seed, but even so, many believed it to be a fluke and a lucky draw to face two struggling teams in TSM and EnVy in the Super Regionals. However, after seeing the way they manhandled Avante Garde, who was seen as the closest competition to the SPL teams from the international scene, and perennial powerhouse Fnatic in the group stage solidified in my eyes that this team should be feared for the rest of the tournament. They play great as a unit, are precise in their comms about their play-calling, and most importantly, are extremely confident in their ability to play and beat anyone. If any team sleeps on them from here on out, they will find themselves with an early exit out of the Cobb Center.
  3. Anything other than the conventional “SPL” meta is just not good – China has been known for their janky team comps, off meta god choices like Anubis, and weird play styles like letting the support farm in the solo lane and switch to a double jungle. While this style may throw off weaker teams, it surely does not work against the best teams in Smite. If you are to win in the SWC as an international team, you need to play not only the best Smite you’ve ever played, but also with the meta. If not, prepared to be dropped quick and early.
  4. CaptainTwig HAS to play at his best for Fnatic to win – Fnatic seemed very off in their second game of the day against Enemy, and Twig was absent for much of the game. Both games of day 1 saw CaptainTwig on Hun Batz, and he was able to get away with his sloppy performance against QG, but when he faced off against the confident Enemy in their second game. Hun Batz known for his high damage and high control, Twig was never really able to put out the damage necessary for his team to succeed. Not only that, his itemization was rather odd, choosing to go for Winged Blade instead of early crit and penetration to go along with Hun Batz’s passive. Whether it was the items themselves or Twig just not being on top of his game, he can not afford to play this lackluster against heavily favored Epsilon in the quarterfinals if Fnatic want any chance at a top 4 or better finish.
  5. Safe play over aggression dominated day 1 – If you wanted to see aggressive starts, invades, and early ganks, day 1 was not your cup of tea. Instead, many teams chose the safe route, and safe gods, as opposed to the early game aggressive gods you might see during regular SPL play. With a lot of money and glory on the line, teams chose to play extremely safe, with many of the games seeing under 10 total kills in 20 or so minutes. Gods like Neith, Janus, and Gebs were chosen over some of the better aggressive gods like Mercury. With the single game sets now finished and everything from here on out 3 game sets or more, we should see some teams pull out more hyper carry gods and look to snowball early.