Well, it’s official: Steven “Zapman” Zapas is finally stepping away from the SPL. He’s played for five years now and decided that it was time for him to take a break. This is a big hit to the Smite Pro League, as many fans started watching because of him. Zap has said it’s just a break and that he’ll be back for the Fall Split, but that doesn’t mean his absence won’t be felt.
Zapman’s history in the league
Zap has been around for five years, since the start of the SPL, and has made an impact ever since. He placed first in three tournaments prior to the SPL forming, playing alongside his current mid lane Jeremy “TheBest” Dailey. He also placed first in the Season Two Masters LAN alongside current Team Allegiance members Kurt “Weak3n” Schray and Jarod “CycloneSpin” Nguyen while filling in for David “Allied” Hance. And finally, this past year Zapman finally made Worlds with Team Eager.
Zapman has been part of Team Eager now for two years, ever since he formed it back in 2015. Since then, he has left his mark on the SPL, earning an MVP in Season Three. He and Team Eager have been one of the most dominant teams in not only North America, but the world, since their formation. Because of this, Zap will forever be looked at as a pioneer in the professional Smite scene.
Impact on the current SPL
Unfortunately, Zap leaving isn’t just about honoring his accomplishments. He will leave a very big hole for not only Team Eager to fill, but the SPL as a whole. Zapman has put together a very competitive SPL team over the last two splits, and that is in large part due to his ability. Team Eager has competed for the top NA spot side by side with Luminosity Gaming recently, and the two squads had formed a rivalry that was very fun to watch.
This rivalry existed because Zapman was always able to surround himself with talented teammates like Max “Aror” Jackson and TheBest. But on top of that, it was due to his ability. Zapman has long been regarded as one of the best, if not the best, hunter in the world. And the rivalry with Luminosity put him up against John “BaRRaCCuDDa” Salter, another fan favorite, and his equal in talent. You never knew who was going to win, but you always knew you were in for a show.
Who will take his spot?
This is meant both figuratively and literally – There are a few players out there who could join Team Eager, and take over the ADC role. Nathan “XenoTronics” Hewitt, former carry for Flash Point is available and has lots of LAN experience to go with it. There is also the idea of bringing in a ranked player like Marvalz, or their current sub, Tmoney.
Team Eager will have to get a replacement in the short term, but who will fill in for him in terms of popularity? The door has opened for a player to step in and show they can be the next Zapman, and the North American SPL really needs a big name to step up and be their new face. The easy answer is BaRRaCCuDDa, but he’s already there when it comes to being a fan favorite. Not to mention, he doesn’t currently have any rivals to push him. The player who immediately comes to mind is Aleksandr “Oceans” Brudnyi of Team Allegiance. ALG is sitting pretty tied for first with Luminosity, and have already tied them 1-1 this split, and Oceans was a big part of that win versus Lum. Another player is Maksim “Pandacat” Yanevich of eUnited. He has shown the ability and has been a top player on the eUnited roster ever since he joined.
In the end, the Smite scene is really going to miss Zapman. We wish him all the best and hope he’s back to Zapulate some players really soon.
Feature Photo by Hi-Rez Studios