SMITE: Odyssey to a world championship

SMITE is a third person MOBA – one of a kind in that sense – that released in March 2014. With a growing player base, it is one of the up and coming games in E-Sports. Having launched in a launch tournament with around 200,000 dollars up for grabs, SMITE is now facing its biggest event yet. In January 2015 the top teams from around the world will go to Atlanta to compete for a prize pool of over 1.8 million dollars and that is still growing.

The prize pool is funded by player purchases. Hi-Rez Studios started a campaign called “the Odyssey” after the famous Greek poem, which led players on a twenty week journey leading up to the SMITE World Championship. Each week new skins and other cosmetic items were released which could be unlocked through the in-game currency called gems, which players can buy for real money. For each item purchased with these gems, money was added to the prize pool for the championship.

The Odyssey Map. Each point marks an unlocked (purchasable) item.

The Odyssey Map. Each point marks an unlocked (purchasable) item.

Showing their aptitude for running a free to play MOBA, Hi-Rez has released a slew of creative and exciting cosmetic content. And to crown the entire journey there is the Archon skin for a god called Thanatos, transforming the Hand of Death into an angel of such magnificence as the game has rarely seen before. The skin is extremely detailed and even evolves as the player levels up their character, something that no other skin in the game has done before.

Altogether SMITE has risen quickly compared to its humble beginnings in the early beta. Once there were many doubts voiced as to whether the MOBA market was even something that should be attempted to be breached at all: League of Legends and DOTA appeared so dominant it almost seemed useless to try. SMITE’s unique approach, as well as Hi-Rez’s incredible public relations management, however, seem to have done the trick. They are daring to go bigger and better and appear to be doing so with great success.

So if you like MOBAs and competitive E-Sports, SMITE is definitely a game to keep your eye on. Editor’s Note: For those of you new to SMITE and are wondering what all the hub bub is about, check out TVGB’s team review of the title here! The world championship will be broadcast over at twitch.tv/smitegame, where you can catch all the action live as it happens in Atlanta.

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