Welcome to the second part of Breitbart Tech’s coverage of the SMITE World Championship. Thursday’s placement rounds were a series of outright massacres. Victories were early and decisive, as each team fought to establish their place in the Quarter Finals.
Epsilon Esports made exactly the sort of statement they wanted in their battle with Isurus Gaming. While Epsilon is a hot new rookie team in Europe, Isurus dominates the Latin American scene. Epsilon had lost the European Regionals, while Isurus was undefeated in theirs. The result seemed all but inevitable. Still, after the clash of gods, it was Epsilon left standing with a decisive victory.
Last year, OMG.B made it to the Smite World Championships only to face defeat at the hands of Brazil’s INTZ. This year, paiN gaming usurped Brazil’s place in the SWC — but once again, OMG.B faced defeat at the hands of Brazil’s best. OMG.B’s sudden stoppage comes at the tail end of a magnificient run at the Chinese Regionals, where the only win given was to fellow Chinese competitor QG.
In the wake of Louis “PainDeViande”s total reconstruction of Enemy Esports for the Fall Split, the new team fought tooth and nail to make it to the World Championship. Enemy may have been considered the underdog at first, but once they handed a violent loss to Oceania’s undisputed best, Avant Garde, heads began to turn.
Although managing to stay at the top of the Chinese competition all season, QG finds itself struggling to rise through the SWC ranks for the second year in a row. First to be eliminated last year, the Reapers got off to a rocky start with a loss to fan favorite Fnatic. Consumate showmen Fnatic delivered on fan anticipation with a solid victory over QG, reminding everyone why their name is synonymous with e-sports.
After the first round of games, competitors had settled in and were ready to get to business. Stage 2 was everything the first had delivered, cranked to 11.
Riding the momentum of their earlier win over Latin American dominator Isurus, Epsilon took the fight to Brazilian Champs paiN Gaming. In the first match of the Stage 2 preliminaries, Epsilon retained their dominance and progressed to the next stage of the competition.
Fnatic was forced to admit defeat in the face of Enemy‘s unrelenting assault as they once again defied expectations with dynamic and aggressive play in a matchup with the renowned Europeans. The victory ignited even more excitement behind Enemy as they ended the competition preliminaries undefeated.
Coming off a loss to rookie Epsilon in the first stage of placement rounds, Isurus Gaming fought to remain in the competition as they faced OMG.B. However, after a discouraging start for the underdogs out of China, OMG.B was able to secure themselves a chance to compete in the quarterfinals for the first time. After the heartbreaking defeat, Isurus once again turned toward home.
In the closing brawl of the SWC 2016 placement rounds, the Qiao Gu Reapers defeated Avant Garde and claimed the last spot in the quarterfinals. After spending seven weeks undefeated in the Pro League, Avant Garde’s second consecutive defeat has taken away their chance for international glory.
Editor’s note: Hi-Rez Studios paid for travel and lodging accommodations in attending the SMITE World Championship 2016.
Follow Nate Church @Get2Church on Twitter for the latest news in gaming and technology, and snarky opinions on both.