Warrior Dynasty

| Article | June 28th, 2017

Solo lane is a versatile role throughout the seasons, splits, and meta shifts. Players are called upon to be able to not only play one style of gods but all of them at any given moment. As of recent in the SPL Season 4 Summer Split, the solo lane has been dictated strictly by warriors; specifically Bellona and Osiris. There are several factors as to why Guardians fell out of the solo lane – mostly due to the nerf of Mark of the Vanguard along with the lack of pressure Guardians provide in the early laning phase. I reached out to the top tier solo laners of the SPL Summer Split to see how they generally felt about their own role.

 

 

Team Dignitas – Variety

Opponent Result God Kills Deaths Assists
Team Elevate Game One Win Osiris 3 2 12
Team Elevate Game Two Win Erlang Shen 1 1 8
Burrito Esports Game One Win Osiris 7 0 5
Burrito Esports Game Two Win Osiris 7 2 13
Eanix Game One Win Osiris 5 2 14
Eanix Game Two Win Osiris 8 3 4
The Papis Game One Win Hercules 1 0 2
The Papis Game Two Win Tyr 6 0 14
NRG Esports Game One Win Osiris 3 0 9
NRG Esports Game Two Loss Osiris 1 3 4
Team Rival Game One Win Osiris 3 1 9
Team Rival Game Two Win Osiris 0 1 9
Obey Alliance Game One Loss Ravana 2 1 2
Obey Alliance Game Two Loss Osiris 0 6 4

Harry Variety Cumming wasn’t always at the top of his class but since his time with Obey Alliance in Season Three, a new chapter was turned. His aggressive nature has certainly been evident during this “Warrior Dynasty”. Before being picked up by the Team Dignitas organization, Variety and the rest of his teammates joined the SPL Spring Split listed as “Variety’s New Team.” A lot of respect from his teammates and his opposition as he is regarded as the most improved solo laner since last year and is easily in the discussion for best solo laner in the world.

“Mentality wise, I think I’m better than everyone else (kinda Conor McGregor etc). I don’t really have a pre-game thing I do, I usually just chill with the dig boys to relax any nerves (if I have any). In terms of no guardians anymore is due to the extreme pressure certain warrior solo’s can exert.” – Variety


Obey Alliance – maniaKK

Opponent Result God Kills Deaths Assists
Eanix Game One Loss Sobek 0 5 1
Eanix Game Two Win Bellona 3 0 9
NRG Esports Game One Win Bellona 3 1 10
NRG Esports Game Two Loss Osiris 0 5 1
The Papis Game One Win Sun Wukong 3 3 5
The Papis Game Two Win Sun Wukong 4 1 7
Elevate Game One Win Sun Wukong 2 2 10
Elevate Game Two Win Bellona 3 0 2
Team Rival Game One Win Bellona 2 0 1
Team Rival Game Two Loss Sun Wukong 3 4 1
Burrito Esports Game One Win Bellona 4 2 10
Burrito Esports Game Two Win Bellona 4 2 8
Team Dignitas Game One Win Bellona 2 1 8
Team Dignitas Game Two Win Sun Wukong 8 1 14

Despite taking a break since after Season Three Spring Split, João “maniaKK” Ferreira came back in Season Four and struck down upon all with great vengeance and furious anger those who would attempt to poison and destroy his brothers. As Variety left Obey Alliance, maniaKK stepped through the darkness back into the light in attempt to win Worlds after failing two times with SK and Fnatic. Known to prefer the resilient Guardians as of old, maniaKK would have to adjust to this new meta and has done so successfully as his team is approaching Dreamhack Valencia as the second seeded European team.

“Well, going into a match I always know what are my opponent’s best picks and obviously, after playing in the spl for so long against the same solo laners, I also know their style of play. Apart from that, I try to focus in the early game farming and help my jungler as much as possible so we can make a good transition to late/mid game. My most hated god to play against is for sure loki, even tho you can punish him really hard early game, nothing gets me more furious than a loki proxy farming with his decoy. Unfortunately, after people learn the meta it becomes hard to play guardians in solo lane. Also, on top of that, the mark of the vanguard nerfs made it even worse. The early game is just too important to give up these days and most of the guardians have really slow clear, which allows the enemy for early rotations/invades.” – maniaKK


NRG Esports – Dimi

Opponent Result God Kills Deaths Assists
Team Rival Game One Loss Bellona 2 3 4
Team Rival Game Two Win Sun Wukong 8 1 15
Obey Alliance Game One Loss Osiris 2 5 2
Obey Alliance Game Two Win Bellona 7 0 8
Elevate Game One Win Amaterasu 0 0 6
Elevate Game Two Win Amaterasu 4 0 9
Burrito Esports Game One Win Amaterasu 1 0 12
Burrito Esports Game Two Win Sun Wukong 4 0 6
Team Dignitas Game One Loss Erlang Shen 1 5 4
Team Dignitas Game Two Win Bellona 3 3 5
The Papis Game One Win Bellona 1 1 8
The Papis Game Two Win Bellona 7 0 12
Eanix Game One Loss Tyr 0 6 4
Eanix Game Two Win Erlang Shen 2 0 15

Even when Peter “Dimi” Dimitrov looks down and out in some games, he makes instant strides of improvement in correcting them for the second games. This young 20-year old German solo laner is already a two-time World Smite Champion. Whether or not Dimi, or his team, gets to a slow start in the beginning of a new split due to the changing meta, they will always be a dominant force as the split is wrapping up towards the LAN stages. As Dreamhack Valencia is only two weeks away, the third seeded European team NRG could easily win it all with their ability to co-ordinate when the pressure is on.

“There is no thing such as “mentality before the game”. I go into it blank. Whatever happens, happens. Preparation is as simple as not talking to anyone for a couple of minutes to gain focus. In an online environment, preparation also consists of playing warmup scrims, arena with the team or preparing picks and bans. Favorite god to play. Guan yu. Most hated god to play against is Osiris. ever since they buffed his scalings he’s been out of control in the laning phase. It saddens me whenever a character like him becomes meta. Guardians are having a really rough time because of how snowbally solo lane has become. Basically the solo laner that gets the better early game start is favored to win laning phase. Matchups and player skill still come into play but an early first blood or the loss of both buff camps can mean a heavy gold and xp difference. Guardians aren’t played because they have a higher chance of experiencing this effect (on the losing end obviously). Obviously there have been ways of making it work. I personally think there is a way to make them work better somehow but I’m not sure yet.” – Dimi


Team Rival – Deathwalker

Opponent Result God Kills Deaths Assists
NRG Esports Game One Win Nike 3 2 4
NRG Esports Game Two Loss Osiris 1 5 1
Burrito Esports Game One Win Erlang Shen 0 2 14
Burrito Esports Game Two Win Bellona 6 1 12
The Papis Game One Loss Erlang Shen 1 4 3
The Papis Game Two Win Geb 6 0 11
Eanix Game One Win Osiris 1 1 7
Eanix Game Two Win Bellona 1 5 9
Obey Alliance Game One Loss Osiris 1 5 0
Obey Alliance Game Two Win Bellona 3 2 15
Team Dignitas Game One Loss Bellona 0 3 2
Team Dignitas Game Two Loss Bellona 0 2 2
Elevate Game One Loss
Elevate Game Two Loss

In the world of creativity in Smite, Adrian Deathwalker Benko is a refreshing change of pace from your standard solo laners. Not afraid to play what he wants, or build how he wants, this player  has been charging full force and catching his opposition off guard. Missing the last two games of competition almost cost Team Rival their chances at Dreamhack Valencia but fortunately for Deathwalker and his teammates, NRG Esports came in clutch winning one of their games against Eanix preventing the seeding from changing. A dominant start to this split but with a sloppy end, Rival are starting with a blank slate as they enter the LAN as the fourth European team.

“I usually prepare for those games with some scrims/ranked/custom joust 3v3(special rules) to warm up mechanics and accuracy mainly, comms are usually there by default when it matters. Before going into the game I tell myself that I am better than the opposing solo laner and I will win the lane(boost of confidence) or if anything that I CAN beat the opposing solo laner if I play it out correctly. Favorite god to play is Bellona; worthy mentions: Erlang, Geb. Most hated god to play against is Sobek. I think the reason we don’t see guardians anymore is because they are currently not favored by players, not because the meta restricts us to certain picks. Basically with time I’m sure people will realize that guardians are still really strong and will start picking them. There is one excuse people use to avoid playing guardian solo and that is: no pressure. Sure you might lose your first blue buff or something but with the newest guardian starter, Silver Breastplate, you don’t go oom even without blue buff if you carefully manage your mana; the exp loss from the blue buff isn’t that big of a deal as long as you do something about it later on, not just watch them constantly take it for free. Also with how strong Osiris is currently, people don’t even try anything other than Osiris a lot of the times, and the best god to go up against Osiris is Bellona or a really safe god like SWK. However, certain guardians do well against Osiris and Bellona. The best guardians against Bellona are: Sobek, Geb, Xing Tian, Cabrakan. Against Osiris it’s: Sobek, Xing Tian and MAYBE Cabrakan but it’s not a great matchup. AS FOR ARES SOLO HE IS THE RISKIEST PICK IN THE UNIVERSE BUT IF YOU HIT YOUR CHAINS YOU ARE GUCCI MY MAN.” – Deathwalker


Spacestation Gaming – fineokay

Opponent Result God Kills Deaths Assists
Flash Point Game One Win Hercules 1 4 9
Flash Point Game Two Win Erlang Shen 5 2 10
AI Game One Win Ravana 3 1 7
AI Game Two Loss Ravana 1 2 1
Noble Esports Game One Win Sun Wukong 2 1 14
Noble Esports Game Two Win Bellona 4 0 9
Luminosity Game One Loss Sun Wukong 2 3 2
Luminosity Game Two Loss Nike 0 4 0
Trifecta Game One Win Osiris 3 1 10
Trifecta Game Two Win Osiris 3 0 2
Team Allegiance Game One Win Osiris 1 1 7
Team Allegiance Game Two Win Amaterasu 2 2 8
eUnited Game One Loss Osiris 1 1 2
eUnited Game Two Win Bellona 1 0 8

Alec fineokay Fonzo could not be reached for comment. However, there was no silence in his game play this split as he made the biggest splash in the North American scene despite having the least amount of SPL solo lane experience compared to the other top tier players. Making the quick adjustment halfway through the Spring Split as he picked up where Benji left off, Alec performed as if he was a veteran this whole time. Not having any success against Luminosity, fineokay and his teammates were successful in clinching first seed anyway. The aggressive front line nature of fineokay compliments the style that Homiefe dictates from the jungle role, giving andinster in mid the space he needs to fire away!


Trifecta – KiKiSoCheeky

Opponent Result God Kills Deaths Assists
eUnited Game One Loss Erlang Shen 2 7 1
eUnited Game Two Win Athena 4 1 14
Noble Esports Game One Win Nike 4 1 10
Noble Esports Game Two Win Nike 1 4 13
Flash Point Game One Win Vamana 1 1 9
Flash Point Game Two Win Nike 0 1 9
Spacestation Gaming Game One Loss Sun Wukong 0 4 3
Spacestation Gaming Game Two Loss Odin 0 4 0
AI Game One Win Odin 5 0 10
AI Game Two Win Odin 0 2 13
Luminosity Game One Win Vamana 3 2 8
Luminosity Game Two Loss Odin 1 7 3
Team Allegiance Game One Win Vamana 1 0 8
Team Allegiance Game Two Win Vamana 3 6 17

Ismael KikiSoCheeky Torres is back at it again. Ever since his impressive run with Oxygen Supremacy in the Spring Gauntlet (7 wins, 2 losses), teams have been alerted of his play yet again. Going back into the role he started off with in the beginning of his Smite professional career, Ismael plays a more utility style. Willing to sacrifice himself for the greater good, even starting off in the duo lane at level one to ensure Snoopy would have an advantage. The roster Ismael Torres found with Trifecta has been working out thus far in the online portion of the Summer Split, the team that eliminated KiKi from going the distance. The question remains whether the synergy and bond is as strong as the bonds that his former Oxygen team had.

“Before I go into a game, I think about who we’ll be playing against and who can carry the team, I try to come up with an appropriate game plan to make their carry least effective as possible. Most hated god would easily have to be osiris because of how strong of a lane bully is, if you see an osiris dominating lane it’s not really due to his great play, that’s just how god the works and only a gank can bring him down. I don’t have a favorite since my favorites have low pressure and that doesn’t really work out well in the current meta. That ties into why guardians aren’t favored right now, first it had to do with sunder making all these “tanky” guardians easily dealt with as easily as swatting a fly. Now I think people just favor the pressure much more. Now that most teams have gotten better at controlling objectives, it’s just too easy to use that lane pressure if you’re a warrior vs a guardian to help escalate your lead. Also vanguard nerf.” – KiKiSoCheeky


Luminosity – ScaryD

Opponent Result God Kills Deaths Assists
Team Allegiance Game One Win Bellona 3 5 8
Team Allegiance Game Two Loss Bellona 3 3 8
Noble Esports Game One Win Osiris 2 1 6
Noble Esports Game Two Win Amaterasu 5 2 9
Spacestation Gaming Game One Win Vamana 4 1 6
Spacestation Gaming Game Two Win Bellona 4 0 7
Flash Point Game One Win Sun Wukong 4 2 14
Flash Point Game Two Win Hercules 7 4 7
eUnited Game One Loss Ravana 2 7 3
eUnited Game Two Loss Osiris 3 2 2
Trifecta Game One Loss Bellona 0 3 4
Trifecta Game Two Win Ravana 7 3 9
AI Game One Loss Osiris 9 7 19
AI Game Two Win Amaterasu 8 3 12

Ronald ScaryD Belair, has high ceilings of great performance and then times games where his impact is missing with a little bit of focus. Making enormous improvements since his first LAN showing during Season 3 Fall Group LAN, Ronald has carried Luminosity alone at times. The amount of pressure this young 18-year old solo laner from Luminosity provides forces his opposition to target ban him in both primary and secondary banning phases. The scary distractions out his play ensures safety bubbles for the back line of Baskin and BaRRaCCuDDa to do their late game free casting. The throne of Belair awaits in Dreamhack Valencia for ScaryD after a clutch last game performance against AI.

“A lot of it has to do with the solo laner I’m playing against, player and god. Before every match we usually try to go into it with an objective point of view and set a basic game-plan. We look at the comps and say ok these are our win conditions for this match. For me I communicate with my team whether I’m going to get pressure or not in this matchup and which side of the map we should focus/snowball. I’m not too sure why guardians are out of the meta as I was never a big fan of them myself but I’m pretty sure it can be attributed to the meta and them being to easily exploitable. Most guardians lose the lane against almost all the warriors and this makes it very easy for the jungler to come gank/take their blue on respawn and they get too far behind. My favorite solo lane god to play is Amaterasu but my favorite god in the game is probably Susano. My least favorite gods to play against are probably Chang’e and Aphro even though they aren’t meta because they’re basically unkillable in most scenarios for me.” – ScaryD


Team Allegiance – CycloneSpin

Opponent Result God Kills Deaths Assists
Luminosity Game One Loss Osiris 1 4 6
Luminosity Game Two Win Hercules 0 1 5
Flash Point Game One Win Bellona 4 0 15
Flash Point Game Two Win Ravana 8 1 16
eUnited Game One Win Bellona 0 1 10
eUnited Game Two Win Vamana 8 0 6
Noble Esports Game One Loss Bellona 2 1 2
Noble Esports Game Two Loss Bellona 0 1 1
AI Game One Win Bellona 4 2 8
AI Game Two Loss Bellona 2 5 6
Spacestation Gaming Game One Loss Bellona 0 1 4
Spacestation Gaming Game Two Loss Sun Wukong 3 1 3
Trifecta Game One Loss Sun Wukong 0 0 1
Trifecta Game Two Loss Amaterasu 3 3 10

Jarod CycloneSpin Nguyen and the rest of Team Allegiance did not make Dreamhack Valencia. However, it wouldn’t be a solo lane discussion if CycloneSpin isn’t in the mix. He has always made huge impacts in the solo lane. During the online Summer Split out of the solo lane, only Variety and Dimi have a higher KDA than CycloneSpin. The ALG solo laner is the most consistent in terms of not overextending or putting himself out of position in combat. A great beginning to their split as they won five out of their first six games. However, after losing 7 out of their next 8 games, it wouldn’t result into qualifying to LAN. The way Jarod and Weak3n plays in the solo lane early game is signs of their old days back in the AFK/EnVyUs roster. A strong contender against anyone, CycloneSpin will be watching from the darkness as Fall Split approaches.

“Mentality: Is there a way to impact the game from the solo side and transition to help the team. Favorite god to play out of the solo laners is probably Ravana because he has 100-0 potential, and the most hated is Osiris because he’s a giant lane bully and makes it really hard to play the laning phase against him. The reason why guardians aren’t really picked because their clear is exceptionally worse in comparison to the warriors, and with Death’s Toll it’s really hard to match the warriors sustain so you’re really going to lose the pressure on that side of the map and lose all your buffs. As for the guardian that competes in clear (Ymir), he’s really easy to isolate and kill which makes him a very unsafe option.” – CycloneSpin

 

Follow these solo laners (minus CycloneSpin) as they will travel to Spain to compete in Dreamhack Valencia starting July 13th on HiRezTV!


Follow us on Twitter – @SmitePro for all your SMITE esports updates and news during the SMITE Pro League.

Anatoliy “AnatoLiy” Alekseyenok is an Associate Esports Specialist at HiRez Studios. You can follow him on Twitter @iGAnatoLiy.