It was a finale nobody predicted. Both Epsilon and Enemy had only begun to step from beneath the shadows of vastly more popular competitors. Now they were contending to be named the best SMITE team on Earth.
The first, a quietly classy European team becoming known for their mechanical precision. The second, an unapologetic rogue’s gallery of young Americans new to the pro scene. Neither had been projected to stand on the stage of SMITE World Championship 2016’s Grand Final, but both had come out of nowhere to contend for the ultimate glory on the pro SMITE scene, along with a cool $500,000.
The championship was scheduled for a best of five, but Epsilon decided the bout in three. From the first, it was all too apparent what the story of the fight would be. Enemy, having gained so much of their momentum through sheer force of personality, was unable to account for opponents happy to watch and wait for a single sign of weakness.
Each round was a mountain built from a thousand tiny stones, but the running theme remained unbroken. Enemy was vicious, aggressive, and never less than all-in. Epsilon allowed them to exhaust their wild charges, watching for a single opportunity to exploit. When they spotted it, they collapsed inward with the sort of fatal elegance normally reserved for medieval duels of honor.
At the end of three straight rounds, there was no room left for argument. Epsilon had gutted a visibly shaken Enemy and claimed international renown on the stage of one of the most popular competitive games in the world. The arena erupted in a cacophonous roar of battle cries and applause, euphoric chants of “EP-SI-LON” in a blizzard of confetti.
In the aftermath, Enemy’s summary of events was tight-lipped and restrained. Statements were curt and clipped. They had “made a lot of mistakes,” but “[couldn’t] really complain” about their position as second best in the world, considering how little had been expected of them from the beginning. The last time Enemy captain PainDeviande was disappointed in his team’s performance, he wiped the slate clean and recruited an entirely new roster. This time he was a bit more reserved, citing “silly mistakes” as the reason that Enemy “gave [Epsilon] the win.” When asked what they might have learned from the experience, they very bluntly “[didn’t] want to talk about it.”
Gracious in victory, the newly-crowned best Smite team in the world allowed that in almost every circumstance of the fight, Enemy had “comeback potential.” They chalked up their victory primarily to Enemy’s inexperience as the reason they “failed to capitalize” on points in the match where they might have secured a lead. They left the Smite World Championship the same way they arrived — with a quiet and confident bearing, polite and unassuming even as they carried away one of the most coveted titles in eSports.
Editor’s note: Hi-Rez Studios paid for travel and lodging accommodations in attending the SMITE World Championship 2016.
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