As any Smite Pro League fan knows, the SPL has a large amount of roster changes after each split. Some players have simply changed teams, others leaving the SPL all together. Some players are from the Challenger Circuit, while others are just high level ranked players. Here’s what we know.
North American Roster Changes
Flash Point finished in last place during the Spring Split. Due to this, they decided a player change was needed. They replaced their ADC, Mid and Solo laners, keeping Erich “ShadowQ” Grabowski and Eugeen “Mirage” Mathew on the roster. Their new players are “Sops”, Jon “Sheyka” Sheyka and Kevin “DanteLeFargo” Doobay as ADC, Mid and Solo respectively. This change really appeared to benefit Flash Point, as they looked very strong coming out of Relegations and reclaiming their spot in the SPL.
Noble is another team that had to fight through Relegations to keep their SPL spot. To do so, they felt they needed to part with their Jungler Andy “Elchapo” Leon and their Solo Laner Arthur “Uzzy” Ashurov, who were teammates in the Smite Console League. Noble replaced them with Mat “Copebby” Irish and Ryan “Aquarius” O’Neill, who were good enough to get them through Relegations and back in the SPL. Noble however felt they still didn’t have the right fit in the Jungle, and parted ways with Cope for David “Skeeledon” Dougherty from the former SPL Gatekeepers Challenger Circuit team.
Allegiance is a team known for roster changes. They’ve had six over the past six months in fact. When Mike “PolarBearMike” Heiss left ALG just before the Gauntlet, they needed to scramble to find a new Support, and ended up with James “ViviaNx3” Murphy. With the SPL Gatekeepers getting knocked out of the running for an SPL spot, ALG jumped at the chance to grab world class shot caller Neil “Neirumah” Mah. His performance at the Gauntlet drew a lot of attention, and he should be a significant improvement to ALG.
In Memory of Gabe
In Memory of Gabe came into the SPL at the start of Season 4, and took everyone by surprise. They cooled off towards the end of the Spring Split, and ultimately their Solo Laner Mark “Whalrus” Maloney decided to leave. In his absence, IMOG picked up yet another former SPL Gatekeepers player Ismael “KikiSoCheeky” Torres to play the short lane.
eUnited has a history in the SPL, including a second place finish in the Season 2 Smite World Championships. This was all done with the general, Louis-Philippe “PainDeViande” Geoffrion running the team. With eUnited losing to SoaR and NRG in the Gauntlet and missing out on a spot at the Masters LAN, they decided the best course of action was to change the mainstay from the organization. Replacing General Pain is the formerly retired PolarBearMike. PBM brings a completely new attitude to eUnited, one that should keep the squad motivated for the Summer Split.
Also, Lucas “Virizial” Spracklin changed his name again. He goes by “Scream” now.
After a disappointing 3-0 loss to Team Dignitas in the Masters LAN, Eager moved away from Cody “djpernicus” Tyson. A roster change often results in a culture change, and EGR is looking for exactly that by picking up top ranked player Samuel “sam4soccer2” Waxman in the Jungle. While they are looking for a culture change, the one culture they don’t want to change is the winning culture they’ve developed. While Sam isn’t exactly a household name in the SPL, EGR wouldn’t just pick up a player they knew could play the game, they got someone they knew they could win with.
Just a quick note here. SoaR Esports parted ways with their Smite roster. The roster held their SPL spot, and no changes were made. They will be competing under the name Monkey Madness during the Summer Split.
European Roster Changes
Challenger Circuit Teams in SPL
The top four European teams are arguably the best four teams in the world. Because of that, the bottom half of EU is playing a little bit of catch up, and that allows for new faces to get a shot in the SPL. Both of the Challenger Circuit squads, The Papis and Optimus Gang, qualified for the SPL, knocking off Novus Orsa and Sanguine Esports. It’s worth noting that the Papis have tried on multiple occasions to qualify for the SPL, finally getting in during the Summer Split, keeping the roster intact.
As previously mentioned, the bottom half of Europe is playing catch up with the top half, and Eanix felt they needed to make some changes to keep up. They have acquired an SPL proven Solo Laner in James “Duck3y” Heseltine, which should give them a boost in the Short Lane. The interesting pick up is stealing away Daniel “Faeles” Evans from Elevate in the Jungle. Again, the bottom half is trying to not fall behind, so both Faeles and Eanix felt the best way to do that was to team up.
With Faeles leaving, Elevate was left with a pretty big void, as he was a hard carry for them during the Spring Split. Luckily for Elevate, the stars seemed to align for them, as Sanguine was bounced from the SPL. This allowed them to pick up Nika “Nika” Pataraia to play the role he’s most comfortable in, the Jungle. The question now is can someone step up to replace the force that Faeles was for this roster?
Feature Photo by Hi-Rez Studios