Smite Pro League: Smite Masters LAN Preview
With the Gauntlet behind us, it’s now time for the LAN everyone is waiting for: Smite Masters.
Coming into Masters, we all probably thought we had a good idea of what was going to happen. The Gauntlet taught us a few things that we weren’t prepared for. On top of that, there are a few teams coming to Masters that maybe not too many Smite fans know about.
The teams participating in Smite Masters are as follows:
- Obey Alliance
- Team Eager
- Team Dignitas
- Luminosity Gaming
- Team Rival
- SoaR Gaming
- Isurus Gaming/Valorous Team (Winner of match at 11am Thursday, April 27th)
- NRG Esports
- LG Dire Wolves
- Black Dragons
Smite Masters will start Thursday, April 27th at 11 AM EST with the two LatAm finalists fighting for the 7th seed. This will be a best-of-5 match. Then, NRG Esports will play LG Dire Wolves, followed by the LatAm winner facing Black Dragons in a best-of-3 format. These matches will determine top 8, and will set the stage for the rest of the weekend. There will then be four best-of-3 Quarterfinal matches played Friday. The winners will move on to the Semifinals on Saturday which will be best-of-5, followed by Finals on Sunday. Each day will begin at 11 AM EST.
What to Watch For:
Which Favorite Will be the First to Fall?
Team Eager and Obey Alliance are the two favorites for Smite Masters, and for good reason. Both put on a show in the Spring Split, finishing first in NA and EU respectively. Obey’s first game will be against NRG. Way back in week one, Obey shocked the Smite world and beat NRG 2-0. Before you would say Obey is unlucky to end up with NRG in their first match, realize it’s the other way around.
Eager, on the other hand, will end up with the LatAm winner, or the Black Dragons. This game is likely going to be a stomp no matter who they face. Eager will then be matched up with either Soar or Dignitas. Both of whom will be tough matches, but both winnable for the NA squad.
If Eager and Obey both make it to the finals, then you can’t really say that either team failed, now can you?
Will NRG bounce back?
A big question on the minds of every Smite fan, and most likely every player, is which NRG team will show up? Will it be the two-time defending World Champions, or will it be the team that finished 3rd at the Gauntlet? Personally, my money is on the World Champs showing up and taking care of business.
NRG showed in the Wild Card game that they’re still a force to be reckoned with. Sure their recent performances have shown a chip in the armor, but don’t sleep on NRG. Their first match is against LG Dire Wolves, a team that went unbeaten in the Oceania Pro League. They were underwhelming at the Season 3 World Championship, and will likely be a pretty easy warmup game for NRG.
The big test will be the next round against Obey Alliance, a rematch of the 2017 Smite World Championship. This is a set to be on the lookout for, and you can expect NRG to want to take the title of top EU team back.
Who Will Win the Region War?
Will it be EU, or will it be NA? There is an opportunity, again if the seeding holds true, for three NA or three EU teams to move on to the Semifinals. We could also end up with two EU and two NA, both on opposite sides of the bracket. This means that the Finals could end up being EU versus EU or NA versus NA. So what will it be?
Based on the recent performances from the EU teams, it wouldn’t be much of a surprise to see three EU teams.
For NA however, it’s a bit of a tougher road. Eager should be fine, but Luminosity will have to play Team Rival, who put on a show at the Spring Gauntlet. SoaR will have to play Team Dignitas, and after their match against Team Rival, they’ll have their work cut out for them. The EU versus NA rivalry is fun, so whatever happens, it’ll be sure to be exciting.
Gods to Look Out For
The Spring Gauntlet gave everyone a good look at the meta that will be played at the Masters LAN. We saw the rise and fall of a few picks, and we’ll see more of the same this weekend. Last time I took a look at the Gods we’re likely to see, I called out Ah Puch. I’m not going to make that mistake again, thanks Deathwalker.
Bellona is back! Expect to see a lot of her, along with Osiris and Herc. Every Warrior was played at the Gauntlet, with the exception of Sun Wukong. When it comes to the short lane, your guess is as good as mine. Terra, Cabrakan, and Sobek could also see some time there as well.
Lots and lots of Susano. Bans. With how he performed at the Gauntlet, teams should be banning out the mobile Jungler unless they have first pick. Hun Batz saw his stock fall a bit, but not enough that he won’t be played. Surprisingly, Ratatoskr wasn’t played at the Gauntlet, but he’s still a strong pick, so if someone is feeling Rat he’ll get played. Cabrakan is still really strong, and Cody “djpernicus” Tyson from Team Eager is here, so you know you’ll see Chang’e jungle.
Thoth performed very well at the Gauntlet, and he will likely be just as strong this weekend. He’ll be joined by the old standby Gods like Zues, Ra, and Janus. Poseidon has dominated in Season 4 as well. Mid lane Hunters are also a possibility with the prospect of Magical Junglers so be on the lookout for that.
Fafnir was a strong pick up for teams at the Gauntlet. Sylvanus and Khepri were obvious choices as well. There will be more of the same played this weekend at Masters. These Gods all have the ability to separate players in a teamfight, and each has great support abilities for their team. Expect to see some of the Guardians mentioned for the Solo lane in Support as well, just to get them on the team.
Any Hunters truthfully. Cupid, Rama, Medusa, Skadi, Hou Yi, and Anhur are all really strong picks. We saw Ah Muzen Cab and Chiron at the Gauntlet. Honestly, any of these Gods shouldn’t surprise anyone when they’re locked in.
Smite Masters Predictions
There are a lot of good teams playing in the LAN this weekend, each with the ability to win. Almost every game this weekend will feature close sets that anyone can win.
I’m expecting the four Semifinalist teams to be Eager, Obey, Luminosity, and Dignitas. Truthfully however, Obey, Luminosity, and Dignitas could all end up losing their quarterfinal match and I wouldn’t be surprised.
I’ll take Eager over Dignitas in five games, and Obey over Luminosity in four games to make the finals. I think the finals will be a really close set, with Obey edging out Eager in five games in one of the best sets in Smite history.
No matter the outcome, we’re in for an exciting weekend of Smite.