While the SPL teams are gearing up for whatever their future holds, the Challenger Cup is still raging on. It’s a 7 week play period, as opposed to the Spring SPL’s 5 week play period, so with SPL taking a breather, the Challenger Cup gets pushed right into the spotlight. Just in time too, since the Challenger Cup is coming to a close, it’ll undoubtedly be the most exciting part of the Spring Cup!
If you’re new to the Challenger Cup, the quick and dirty is that it’s an amateur league with an open bracket format, that gives new players and teams the opportunity to earn the right to play in the SPL. There’s a lot of competition on the high end of things, and some teams wind up looking very polished. Teams are competing for a chance to play in the relegation matches, where winners will go on to earn a spot in the SPL Summer Split. Depending on placement, teams earn a different amount of points per week (if you missed the breakdown, you can find it here). HiRezAPC explains the Challenger Cup perfectly:
“The Challenger Cup is the perfect opportunity for teams of all skill levels to compete. Whether you’re looking to be the next team to participate in the SMITE World Championship or simply looking for tournaments for your team to participate in, the Challenger Cup is there for you. We’ve seen multiple success stories of teams coming out of the Challenger Cup who have grown and succeeded over time. Titan is the perfect example of a team starting from the Challenger Cup who eventually became one of the best teams in their region. With such dedication and passion in competing comes great success and enjoyment.” – HiRezAPC
APC brings up Titan which is a great challenger success story. That team went from the Challenger Cup to the Smite World Championships, all because they played well and earned their points. There are teams in both regions with the potential to be that successful–most notably Team Eager in North America and Panthera in Europe. Even with those teams being dominant in their respective regions, there’s still plenty of competition as Commentator Xioden lays out:
“With Legion vs. fan favorite Eager battling it out for first place in NA, and over in EU everyone but Panthera still vying for points, there’s still a lot up for grabs. There’s a lot on the line for these guys, and for many it will be the most important games of SMITE they’ve ever played. Going into the last two weeks, I expect we’ll have some crazy games as teams pull out all the stops to make sure they’re able to ensure their chance at a seat in the SPL.” – Xioden
Right now, here’s how the standings look:
Both leagues are tumultuous and almost anything can happen. SPL commentators and players have their eyes glued to get a chance at seeing the future:
“We all know eGr, Legion and Panthera are dominant in their respective regions in the amateur league. The big question is what other contenders will there be as we expand the pro league to 8 teams next split. Ill be watching to see who has what it takes to take on nMe, DIG and the other relegated pro league teams” – HiRezBart
Tune in Saturday for North America at 11am, and Sunday for Europe at 9am (both EDT). Broadcast can be seen at twitch.tv/smitegame.