Between the changing of the seasons of the SMITE Pro League, it’s not just the number count that gets altered. SMITE itself goes through a shift in what is known as the meta. Gods, abilities, items, minions and even the map finds some sort of adjustment. In order to transition between seasons, teams will have to make adaptations to their game play to catch up. Sometimes going as far as even making roster changes to ensure the best possible chances of making the Smite World Championship and winning it. If we were to reflect back on all the roster changes between Season Three and Four, this article would be endless as some teams haven’t truly finalized their core 5 players. Instead, let’s take a look at the good, the bad, and the ugly of the teams that stayed with the same 5 players between seasons.
The Good – Team Eager
15 Points – 4 Wins – 3 Splits – 0 Losses
Being led by djpernicus internally, this roster saw great improvements in Season 3 compared to previous ones. Originally a team of egos and loud voices, it wasn’t clear to the outside spectators how this roster could ever endure struggles together through the long stretch. Proving all the nonbelievers wrong, Team Eager not only built off of their foundation of a new roster, but also took it all the way to the Semi-Finals of SWC where they would eventually fall to Obey Alliance in an epic 5 game set. Still unhindered by falling short of the championship title, this North American roster are remaining true to their nature as Season 4 progresses. Finishing the online portion strong only having three splits to Luminosity, Carbon Six (formerly In Memory of Gabe), and eUnited results in Team Eager finishing first seed out of North America qualifying to the Masters LAN.
The Bad – Team Rival
8 Points – 2 Wins – 2 Splits – 3 Losses
Formerly known as CycloneGG in Season Three, Team Rival being led by KaLaS has kept their roster intact. Not being able to qualify for Super Regionals in 2016 while they were coached by Hayzer, this roster is still showing that there is some potential of raw mechanical skill as they found a win against NRG eSports. This core hasn’t truly found an identity that they are willing to stick with as their picks and bans have been fluctuating in different paths almost every single game thus far in Season Four. Their true test will come up in the European Gauntlet starting April 14th as they finished 5th, putting themselves in a position where they have to win a single Best-Of-Three before they begin climbing the ladder in order to face Eanix and NRG.
The Ugly – NRG eSports
12 Points – 3 Wins – 3 Splits – 1 Loss
It’s not very often to call the Two-Time SMITE World Champions ugly but based on their early start to this season, that’s how they played. After defeating Obey Alliance last January in the SWC 2017 Finals rather handily 3-1, NRG starts Season 4 losing to the runner ups 0-2. Splitting with Team Dignitas and Eanix were signs of improvement but then splitting with Team Rival shows signs of inconsistency from NRG. iRaffer and crew started to pick up their earlier slack with three wins but those were against the three bottom seeded European teams. After their performance thus far in Season 4, NRG have racked up enough points to be the “Final Boss” in the European Gauntlet, barely squeezing above Eanix by one point. This core roster has won all 6 of the previous LANs; SWC 2016, SMITE Masters 2016, Epsilon Invitational, SPL Fall Group C LAN, SMITE Super Regionals 2016, and lastly SWC 2017. Now, these players are fighting for their chance to qualify to this upcoming MASTERS LAN where Obey Alliance and Team Dignitas from Europe are waiting.
Over the course of SMITE’s history teams have struggled to find a true calling of roster that sticks for the long haul. However, there are exceptions and you don’t have to be the defending SMITE World Champions to find that synergy to want to stick through the pain. Stay tuned April 14th on HiRezTV as we’ll kick things off with the Gauntlet to get three more teams qualified for the Masters LAN!
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Anatoliy “AnatoLiy” Alekseyenok is an Associate Esports Specialist at HiRez Studios. You can follow him on Twitter @iGAnatoLiy.