Without a doubt, the SPL Fall split is the most important split. This is the split where you qualify for worlds and give your team a chance to cement your name in SMITE history forever; and the best teams from each region played like it. There were a lot of roster changes and last minute mix ups, especially in North America, so the spots at the top were more up for grabs than ever. Zapman has joined Spacestation, ManiaKK is on NRG and Trifecta has added Aror.
As important as hoisting up Thor’s hammer is to our players, it’s not nearly as important as setting yourself up for SMITE Season 5. Big changes are underway to the Pro League, and this is the last chance to show your stuff before the SPL changes formats. With all that on the line we had some star studded matchups: Valance Squadron vs NRG, eUnited vs Spacestation and Rival vs Dignitas just to name a few of the heavy hitters. Now it’s time to hit the highlights before we gear up for a full Week 2 of SPL action.
Europe – Saturday
The week started off with Obey, one of the SPl’s strongest teams, squaring off against crowd favorites, The Papis. This was a chance for Papis to show they can hang with the big boys, but Obey come out firing on all cylinders. In Game 1 Dheylo and MrNazer start off strong but Xaliea piloted Cu Chulain like an old pro and ran the early to mid game. Prettyprime also brought out the Raijin mid, complete with Hide of the Urchain, a new pick for EU’s top midlaners. In Game 2 Obey seem to really hit their stride, thanks in large part to CaptainTwig’s serqet and Emilzy’s support Hel. After a strong Gold fury fight for Obey, and a tough laning phase for MrNazer The Papis surrender and start looking towards a stronger perfomance in Week 2.
Next up was NRG vs valance Squadron, a matchup of some of Europe’s most evenly matched talent. Valance allow Artio through picks and bans and NRG snap it up, along with a serqet support for iRaffer. Valance takes things early but around the 13 minute mark iRaffer makes a sick escape on the serqet solo and NRG win their first big teamfight. With the gold lead, NRG takes the Fire Giant and despite a valiant defense from Valance, take the Titan. Game 2 is close through 13 minutes until Valance sneak away a gold fury. At 20 minutes Valance force another gold fury and expand their lead further. They then took command to win a fight on the solo lane side (what game 1 loss?) as Duck3y continues to play lights out with a 2/0/4 stat line. Funballer(Chronos) drives the late game home and wins it for Valance.
Burrito vs Elevate Game 1 saw Cherryo play one of his strongest picks, Athena jungle, and really control the game front to back. Dardez hops on Nox support and he and Cherryo run the game from very early on. The lead is huge at 8k early, but burrito are still playing well. Dzoni gets Burrito’s first kill around the 21 minute mark, but it’s too little too late and Elevate close it out in 24 minutes. Game 2 Burrito invades early with solo hercules to try and put Cherryo(Athena) behind, and Burrito takes an early gold fury. The game is much closer than game 1, lead strongly by Dzoni on Ao Kuang. Kespanify throws plenty of his damage into the mix as well and the two of them are too big for Elevate to handle in a much more competitive game 2.
Dignitas vs Rival
Game 1 Variety takes his signature Tyr into the solo lane and never looks back. Leaving Variety alone in the solo lane Dignitas focus on getting Zyrhoes(The Morrigan) and QvoFred(Camazotz) ahead. Trixtank and Arkkyl get an early kill in duo lane but it’s QvoFred who’s all over the map. He ends the game 8/0/11 as Dignitas fell the Titan at 27 minutes. In game 2 Zyrhoes pilots AMC mid, and it gets off to a rough 0/4/0 start. Rival seem to have recovered from a rough game 1 thanks to Iceicebaby(susano) and wlfy(janus), but despite the weak stat line, Zyrhoes provides damage and utility, crippling susano at key moments. Once again Qvofred(camazotz) and Arkkyl(chronos) are the stars and they defeat rival 17 to 13.
North America – Sunday
The first set of the day was Trifecta vs A Mighty Storm. A mighty storm is one of the relegations team, and were playing without their normal ADC. Snoopy(Hou yi) played exceptionally well throughout, but cynosure(Camazotz) went on a tear, closing the game out at 11/0/5. The set stayed a bit one sided in game 2 where Trifecta take it in 22 minutes, dropping only 3 deaths the whole set. A Mighty Storm look to get a foothold in week 2 and play up to their strong talent level.
Set 2 saw LG face off against Noble. Nox is picked up again, but this time in mid lane. We also see more Raijin as Sheyka picks up the drumming god. It doesn’t take long for Jeffhindla(Terra) and Barracudda(Hou yi) to get off to a hot start, catching out Wubbn on the support Hel. Noble keep the game very close through 26 minutes but Mask(Thor) sets up a big kill on Wowy(Cupid), while Baskin(Nox) takes out Skeeledon(Serqet). The ensuing lead ends up meaning victory for LG at 42 minutes.
SPL Gatekeepers is PainDeViande’s new team, which is scary for the rest of the league. Pain is known for taking a team of talented players and pulling them together into a strong team. This is also a big split for ALG, a team with tons of talent, Weak3n, Oceans, Cyclone and is not performing at their preferred level. Weaken has publicly stated he has a renewed focus, so be ready for a strong split from him. Game 1 had ManRay’s (Sol) name all over it early, his book of thoth into obsidian shard coming in big through the mid game. As the game wore on though MandoWarrior’s Osiris becomes the real pain on this team. A free 28 minute fire giant is the win condition for this team as they push down the last remining phoeni and take game 1. Game 2 got off to a hot start thanks to Grave(Sun WuKong) and MandoWarrior(bellona) cleaning up a kill into Weak3n(Osiris). That would not be enough to deter Weak3n, though, as he would improve to 3/1/4 by the 12 minute mark, bullying DayToRemember on the skadi. Oceans piloted Chiron as the mid ADC and partnered with Weak3n to carry their early game advantage into a 10k lead by 27 minutes. SPl Gatekeepers could never slow Oceans down and would drop the game in 32 minutes.
The final set of the day was SpaceStation vs eUnited. Artio is allowed through once again, for ScaryD who take it to the solo lane. Early on eUnite placed pressure on Zapman(Apollo) in the duo lane, getting first blood there. eUnited win a big fight in the midlane and start to build a lead, then they split the duo and mid lane opening up the lead to 4k gold. eUnited do a great job keeping the pressure on all game and not giving SpaceStation a chance to regroup. Andinster(Thoth) hits a great ult to slow eUnited down, but they regroup and end the game in 31 minutes. Game 2 starts of very aggressive on the solo lane side as eUnited let Artio through onto ScaryD again. Scream takes nemesis in response and makes life hard on ScaryD. PolarbearMike(Fafnir) is all over the map, and manages to steal away gold fury around the 12:50 mark. Around 20 minutes in Zap(Jing Wei) and ScaryD turn the game around with a strong 3 for 1 exchange but after a poor fight at Gold fury eUnited take the fire giant and eventually the game.
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