Yesterday was the first day of the Smite World Championships in Atlanta, Georgia. For those who are unfamiliar with the game, Smite is made by HiRez based out of Atlanta, and is available on the PC and Xbox One. Console availability makes this a pretty unique title in the MOBA market already, but its third person perspective is what really makes the title stand out. The third person perspective changes the entire way you play, and as a seasoned MOBA player it really took some adjustments before I felt comfortable playing, but for someone like my wife who has never played a MOBA before she thought it was easier to understand. Without a top down view of your area, you can only rely on what you see in front of you and on your minimap, like most other traditional third person shooters. So besides playing the game how does this help viewing? With players limited to third person perspective the fights seem to be easier to watch, there is less going on in multiple locations, and things are just easier to keep up with. The 2 minute team fights that spread across half the map in other MOBAs don’t happen here because with the limited perspective an enemy running around a corner or “juking” around some minions will force everyone to disengage, and usually stop the fight. Another nice part about the tournament is that it’s being held on the east coast, which means most of the games will be during the hours of the day where a healthy portion of the eSports watching world is awake. (Sorry Russia and SEA but waking up at 6am to watch a tournament is rough!) Another interesting part of this tournament is that it’s actually two tournaments at once, with both Smite PC and Smite Xbox One teams facing off in separate tournaments.
As someone who follows MOBAs and eSports its a pleasure to watch the tournament, the casters have done a great job, the analysts are on point, and the production is top-tier. If I had to compare it to another tournament, the closest would be The International 3, the Venue, the fans, and the teams all have that level of excitement and “up and coming” feeling. Do yourself a favor and head over to the official stream at some point today, I promise you won’t be disappointed!