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NEWS
SMITE Tournament Series: NA Weekly #31

By Thom 'Fdot' Badinger
Dec 9, 2013 20:50


ImageLots of new blood in this week's tournament, with the win going to Exertus eSports. Their roster might be fresh, but all of the people on this team have experience, and they proved it this week.

1st Place: Exertus eSports
2nd Place: Denial eSports
3rd Place: Team Dignitas

Full Brackets Here


Exitium Gaming vs. Last Resort
Bans: Chang'e, Mercury, Zeus, Sun Wukong

Exitium Gaming: HellDragonX68 (Athena), Daekin (He Bo), The458thNinja (Apollo), GeneralDeath198 (Sobek), Scrafted (Odin)

Last Resort: Forky91 (Tyr), ZeroGarz (Agni), Hero (Neith), CycloneSpin (Guan Yu), Eonic (Bacchus)


This game started and ended with a bang. Forky's Tyr got a 2nd minute first blood, putting Daekin behind to start off the match. Unfortunately for Daekin and his team, this kind of set the music for the rest of the match. Exitium is a new team just joining the tournament scene, and the growing pains can definitely be tough to handle. All lanes were really owned by Last Resort, their team completely outmatched Exitium's.

Nothing unexpected though; Exitium is a fresh team whereas most of Last Resort has been playing in the competitive scene for some time now. Exitium's lack of surrendering shows promise though; you could see that every time they made a misplay or got ganked that they were trying to learn from it. If more new teams stick to this mindset, we'll see a lot more success from them. Daekin had a rough game in particular, but a few members of Exitium really showed promise. With some practice Exitium has the potential to be a real player in the SMITE NA scene.

Cognitive Gaming vs. Denial NA
Bans: Chang'e, Mercury, Zeus, Athena

COG: Shing (Bastet), Nick (Agni), Snoopy (Artemis), Incontinentia (Sobek), Ozymandias (Sun Wukong)

Denial NA: PonPonULaLa (Thor), MacetodaFace (Zhong Kui), PainDeViande (Anhur), JeffHindla (Bacchus), Rushed (Guan Yu)


This was a closer matched game than the last one, but still fairly one sided. Incontinentia is new to support, and he was laning against one of the better duo lanes in all of SMITE. JeffHindla and PainDeViande really outclassed COG's duo lane in this game, but in the future look for a big improvement from Incontinentia.

Denial snagged a 7 minute gold fury to bring them into the lead, while PonPon continued his reign of hell in the jungle. PonPon definitely was the MVP of this match, with a slash line of 10/2/8, the whole time defying the broadcasters who said his build was old, using a voidblade.

Incontinentia will be practicing support, so I don't think this situation is something that COG needs to worry about. Cognitive Gaming has fallen off a lot since they were virtually Dignitas' only competition, but they have been climbing back to where they were. Transitioning from a powerhouse into a rebuild phase is always tough, but once people get more comfortable with their new roles, it's very possible that we will see a return to greatness for Shing's crew.

Team Dignitas vs. Exertus eSports
Bans: Ao Kuang, Agni, Mercury, Guan Yu

Team Dignitas: Lassiz (Athena), TheBest (Anhur), Zapman (Neith), ShadowQ (Sobek), AnatoLiy (He Bo)

Exertus eSports: Andinster (Thor), MLCSt3alth (Zeus), BaRRaCCuDDa (Apollo), DaretoCare (Sun Sukong), Omega (Chang'e)


XTS came out to PLAY for this one. Even though Dignitas very obviously weren't on their A game, Exertus eSports performed extremely well regardless. Even if Dignitas were working on all cylinders, this would have been a tough match to pull out a victory in. Exertus has been climbing the ranks lately and this week showed people that their recent weekly wins weren't a fluke, and that they are the real deal. The wins this week catapulted them to the front of the points race of the NA weekly series, as well as the front of everyone's minds as they showed the entire scene just what big wins look like.

XTS won this game a lot earlier than it ended, with a very early 10 minute solo tower helping that early victory. XTS took that lead and ran with it, and the game never came within Dignitas' grasp after that. That 10 minute solo tower turned into a 20 minute Fire Giant-to-Minotaur push, securing the quick win for Exertus.

Dig tried sending TheBest in mid with Anhur, something that's not completely unviable and not the first time the NA Weekly Series has seen it. TheBest definitely plays mages better than hunters (despite the fact that Anhur is TheBest's most played god), and while he got a few kills, it definitely wasn't as smooth as Center lane usually is for Dignitas. Looking forward to seeing more of the dual hunter strategy (especially Anhur mid with his 1v1 kill potential) working out in the future.

Denial NA vs. Last Resort

Bans: Agni, Mercury, Zeus, Sobek

Denial NA: PonPonULaLa (Thor), MacetodaFace (Zhong Kui), PainDeViande (Xblanque), JeffHindla (Bacchus), Rushed (Chang'e)

Last Resort: Forky (Athena), ZeroGarz (Ao Kuang), Hero (Neith), Eonic (Sun Wukong), CycloneSpin (Guan Yu)


Denial must have taken serious offense to how much Last Resort stomped Exitium, because they turned around and delivered it right back at Last Resort. There was a level 1 engagement where Denial traded PonPon's life (and red pot) for Athena, Neith and Wukong. Forky hadn't popped his magic pot yet, but it still wound up being a favorable trade as Denial got to start the game off up 1.5K gold essentially.

Denial took a solo tower in the first 7 minutes with a 4 man rotation, and lead directly into a gold fury. At this point the lead was too big, too furious for Last Resort to even think about coming back. The game ended in a 26 minute victory that Denial earned with flying colors. Keeping the Agni off of ZeroGarz definitely impacted the game a large amount, as Zero's Agni is something that everyone knows is to be feared. Great ban choice there.

Finals GM 1
Exertus eSports vs. Denial NA

Bans: Agni, Zhong Kui, Thor, Mercury

Exertus eSports: Andinster (Tyr), MLCSt3alth (Zeus), BaRRaCCuDDa (Apollo), DaretoCare (Sobek), Omega (He Bo)

Denial NA: PonPonULaLa (Athena), MacetodaFace (AoKuang), PainDeViande (Anhur), JeffHindla (Guan Yu), Rushed (Chang'e)


Denial got off to another fantastic start, getting 2 kills in the first minute, one of which was Andinster who had already popped his red potion. He bought another one, putting him even further behind. The early team lead was quickly deleted though, as XTS picked off a few Denial members to even it up. Much different than the last few games, 15 minutes in we saw zero towers down, zero gold fury attempts, just two well matched teams vying for position.

At 20 minutes, XTS won a team fight and amassed a 2500 gold lead. In an effort to erase that, Denial started opening up on the Gold Fury. Exertus sniffed this out and completely demolished them, taking their deicide and pushing hard to secure a Fire Giant immediately after. Not content to just sit with this, XTS pushed mid lane hard, getting both towers, JeffHindla a second time, as well as the phoenix. All of this happened in just 3 minutes, and essentially was the entire game. Exertus returned to the Fire Giant as soon as it spawned, and secured the victory by pushing right lane all the way to the Minotaur.

Finals GM 2
Exertus eSports vs. Denial NA

Bans: Agni, Zhong Kui, Thor, Mercury

Exertus eSports: Andinster (Tyr), MLCSt3alth (Zeus), BaRRaCCuDDa (Apollo), DaretoCare (Sobek), Omega (He Bo)

Denial NA: PonPonULaLa (Athena), MacetodaFace (AoKuang), PainDeViande (Anhur), JeffHindla (Guan Yu), Rushed (Chang'e)


This game was very uneventful for a finals match. The laning phase lasted a long time, and Exertus was perfectly fine with that, as they slowly picked off kills and slowly amassed a lead. After 20 minutes the lead was just simply too big for Denial NA to come back from, so they surrendered rather than opt to play it out all the way through.

***

This week we saw finals mainstay Dignitas knocked down to third place, getting knocked out by the eventual winners, Exertus eSports. It can't be said enough how real Exertus is and how well they play together. Every team is already aware of how painful their lineup can be and the fact that they gel well is even scarier. There are a lot of teams that have great individual players, and the reason that Dignitas wins time and time again is because their chemistry is completely on point--Exertus' chemistry is right up there with them. MLC and Andi work so well together, that their ganks almost seem to come out of a single person's kit. This team will be very scary for a long time to come.

It's always good to see new teams on the scene, but they are usually short lived. Exitium came out to play and not only showed up strong in game with the no surrender, but also showed up strong out game with a quality reddit post. They caught a lot of flack from the fans for not being up on the same level as the more established pro teams, and Exitium essentially said they weren't planning on backing out no matter how hard they lost or got bad mouthed. Regarding all the negative attention, HellDragon had this to say, "I actually enjoy this type of attention, why? Because it makes me want to work harder, it makes me want to make myself better and my own team better. BM? Better Motivation. Expect to see us next week. And the week after that, and the week after that. Because we will improve, and we will keep going until we think we're good, and then we're going to work harder to get better."

That's a great thing to take home with you. BM: Better Motivation. Hopefully all the amateur teams out there take HellDragon's example and run with it--SMITE can benefit a lot from new teams and it's great to see a new team be so forceful with their commitment to growing and winning.


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