Smite Pro League Spring Gauntlet Preview
The regular season for the Smite Pro League Spring Split has come to an end, which means it’s finally time for some LAN tournaments!
Smite Masters will take place at the end of April, with Team Eager and Luminosity Gaming already punching their tickets by finishing first and second respectively out of North America. Across the pond, Obey Alliance and Team Dignitas qualified after their strong splits, overtaking the two-time reigning world champion NRG Esports.
Luckily for NRG, they still have a shot at making Smite Masters through the Spring Gauntlet LAN. This grueling tournament is set to start this Friday, April 14th at 11 AM EST, running through Sunday for the last chance to make the Masters LAN.
The teams participating in the Gauntlet are as follows:
- SoaR Gaming
- In Memory of Gabe
- Team Allegiance
- Noble Esports
- Flash Point
- Oxygen Supremacy (Challenger Cup)
- NRG Esports
- Team RivaL
- Lion Guard Esports
- Sanguine Esports
- Optimus Gang (Challenger Cup)
The Gauntlet will start with a Smite Challenger Cup team from each region (Oxygen Supremacy in NA and Optimus Gang in EU) facing off against the team who finished in last place (8th) in each respective region (Flashpoint in NA and Sanguine Esports in EU) in a winner-take-all one game set. The winner will then move on to face the 7th place team, and they will then play a best of 3 set, with the winner advancing, and so on. The winners of the final match in each region will then play each other for seeding in the upcoming Masters tournament, while the runners-up will play each other for a final chance at the wildcard spot.
Gods to Look Out For
Season 4 has seen a plethora of Gods being played in its current meta. Because of this, and because certain teams like to get cheeky when it comes to picks and bans, don’t be surprised if someone pulls out a God that isn’t played all that much. I’m looking at you, Ah Puch. However, as long as nothing has changed in the most reason scrims, it’s safe bet that these are the Gods we’ll be seeing the most of:
The solo lane has been seemingly dominated by Guardians this season as opposed to the traditional Warriors that we’re used to. As a result, expect to see a lot of Terra, Xing Tian, and Cabrakan in the short lane. Guardians are the types of Gods that can be left alone to farm in the early to mid game, and then make their rotations and be virtually immortal with the level lead they’re likely to have. Come late game these three Gods have a lot of lock down with their Crowd Control abilities. Expect to see Odin to counter any Healing heavy team comps.
The jungle has seen a lot of different Gods played in it as well, from Chang’e to Ymir. What you should expect is the old standby picks for this LAN. Ratatoskr, Susano, and Thor are all likely to be picked or banned very often this weekend. The mobility out of these Gods make it easy to gank with them, as well as the global pressure from Rat and Thor. And if Cabrakan can make it through bans, expect to see him played in the jungle role as well.
Middle lane doesn’t have as wide of a pool as the two previously mentioned lanes. Poseidon has seen a return to glory this season, and that’s unlikely to change at the LAN. He’ll be joined by Zeus, Ra, and Janus. The meta is controlled by Mages with burst ults that can be used for objective secure. Unless a team comp is specifically set around the God, you’ll likely on see these types of Mages locked in at mid.
Support is probably the role with the least amount of diversity. All season long we saw lots of Khepri and lots of Sylvanus. Expect more of the same, along with Geb. These three Gods all have strong peel, and the ability to separate an enemy team in a team fight. Each of them also has an ability to protect their squishy team members when needed.
Hunters. The day’s of the magical ADC have passed, for now, leaving the long lane to be controlled by Hunters again. Medusa has performed exceptionally this split and there’s no reason the think that won’t continue. Almost any Hunter is viable in the current meta, so you can honestly expect to see whatever God each player is feeling. This will be the first time we’ll see Cernnunos played at the pro level, that you can be sure of.
With the way the Spring Split played out, the Gauntlet is anyone’s tournament to win. It’s possible for one of the Challenger Cup teams to make a deep run. North America has eUnited, a former World Championship runner-up (under Enemy at the time), and Team Allegiance, who just played in the World Championship LAN a few months back. Of course, NRG is the favorite when it comes to the European scene.
I’m predicting eUnited to win in NA, beating In Memory of Gabe 2-1 in their set. In EU I’ll take the easy way out and go with NRG over Eanix 2-0. You’d be hard pressed to find anyone who didn’t think the same. As far as the wildcard goes, IMOG has my vote in a 2-0 over Eanix. At the end of the day though, none of my predictions really matter, there’s a reason why they play the game, it’s a great time to be a Smite Pro League fan.