A Simple Guide to the Smite Pro-League

If you’re new to Smite and want to start getting into the pro scene, here’s a simple explanation of how the tournament structure works.

Smite Pro League

Watching pro games and keeping up to date with which gods and tactics that are being used by the best teams in the world is important for your own play, as it allows you to keep on top of the meta and make sure that you are constantly learning high-level strategies to apply in your own games.

The casters during pro games also have a wealth of information and frequently point out little-known aspects of how certain gods and items work. Apart from this obvious gameplay benefit, the SPL is an incredible amount of fun to watch. Smite is an extremely dynamic and unpredictable game, and on any given week there will be countless exciting matchups to sink your teeth into.

Each series of matches is divided between North American and European teams, and these two continents do not clash very often. The result of this is that NA will often employ a vastly different meta from EU, so it is always exciting when teams from the opposing continents meet up at a LAN event and we get to see whose style of play will prove superior.

Smite Pro League Qualifiers

The season begins with the Smite Pro League Qualifiers, which are three weeks’ worth of matches in which eight soft-seeded teams from each region challenge each other to try and make it into the SPL. The top two teams from NA and EU are allowed into the SPL, where they will contend also with two teams from the previous World Championships.

The Three Splits

In Season 2 of Smite, pro teams have to battle their way through three splits: Spring, Summer and Fall.

Spring Split

During the Spring split, the top six teams fought it out for five weeks in best of three competitions, and the top two teams for each region then faced off at in the Spring Finals to win a cash prize. These finals were held in Atlanta at a LAN setting; something always guaranteed to produce some crazy plays.

If you want to witness Smite teams at their pinnacle then LAN events are always the place to turn to, as the close proximity to team-mates coupled with lack of lag and immense pressure mean that the teams can often perform at a level far beyond what they usually are capable of.

The bottom two teams from each region had to play in the Summer Qualifier Tournament to try and retain their place in the SPL; this tournament also contained the four top teams from the Challenger Cup. The Challenger Cup is a great concept that often produces surprising results, and is essentially a lower-ranked tournament running alongside the SPL which gives emerging teams the opportunity to fight their way into the pro league.

If you think because these teams haven’t made it into the SPL that they must be weak then think again; the current indomitable juggernaut of the EU scene Epsilon were until recently a Challenger Cup team themselves.

Summer Split

The Summer Split lasted seven weeks and saw eight teams (four from the Spring Split and four from the Summer Qualifier) play each other in best of two games.

The top three teams from this split advanced to the Summer Finals, which was a huge event bringing together the best teams from both EU and NA in an epic clash which saw teams fighting for their share of a $171,500 prize pool. The winning team from each region also received a bye heading into the semi-finals.

Fall Split

During the Fall Split eight teams from each region played off against each other, in a furious set of clashes which provided more ups and downs than a rollercoaster. This is the point in the season where things really begin to heat up, as teams now have the upcoming Smite World Championships in their vision.

The Fall Split went for ten weeks, and was made up of best of two matches. The top six teams from each region advance to the Regional Championships, and the top two receive a bye heading into semi-finals.

Smite Super Regionals

The next big upcoming event for the Smite season are the Super Regionals, which provide teams with the opportunity to secure a place for themselves in the Smite World Championships. The six top teams from the Fall Split in each region clarify for the Regionals, which as always are split into an NA and EU section.

The semi-finals, quarter-finals and grand-finals for the Regionals are best of five matches, which means that insane comebacks and incredible upsets are far from an impossibility. The top two teams from each region as determined by these games will advance to represent their continent at the Smite World Championships, and the third placed team receives an SWC wildcard which means that they too can proceed to the championship.

Smite World Championships

The Smite World Championship 2016 will be held in Atlanta from January 7-10, and is going to be a hell of an event. The four NA and EU teams will be joined at the SWC by two teams from China, one team from Brazil, one team from South America and, for the first time ever, a team from Australia.

This wide variety of international teams ensures that different metas are going to be clashing in a big way, and guarantees a thrilling ride for the viewer. Last year’s world championships were absolutely mind-blowing, and saw some of the most unbelievable Smite plays that the community has ever witnessed.

The grand final of Cognitive Prime vs Titan came down to the fifth game out of a potential five game set, and had viewers all over the world on the edge of their seat as the players gave it their all. Ultimately, Cognitive Prime won the championship, and judging by their recent strong performances will this year be likely returning to the SWC as Cloud9 to try and retake the title for a second year running.

The SWC is the absolute most the Smite has to offer, and with a million dollar prize pool up for grabs we can certainly expect to see some amazing performances.