With all the changes coming to the SMITE Pro League in Season 5, we know fans are wondering about the Challenger Circuit and how it will operate this season.
Last year, we announced some changes to the Challenger Circuit to better improve the amateur scene. Today, we’re excited to announce more changes coming to this tier of the SMITE competitive scene. This post will outline all the details you need to know about this year’s Challenger Circuit.
First things first, let’s recap the changes that are coming in Season 5:
- The Challenger Circuit will now be called the SMITE Minor League
- Increased prizing for the entire season
- Four spots increased to six spots
- Increased visibility of the SMITE Minor League
- All games will now be broadcast by Hi-Rez Studios
SMITE Minor League Qualifiers
The bottom two teams from the SMITE Pro League Fall Split and the top two teams from the Challenger Circuit 2017 have guaranteed spots in the SMITE Minor League for 2018. We’ve invited the following teams to join the Minor League:
- Team CryptiK
- Team Allegiance
- The Papis
- Burrito Esports
- Spacestation Gold
- Salsa Squadron
- Victorious Secret
- Mans Not Hot
Note: Should the invited teams find themselves unable to field a roster, the spot will be given to either the team captain or a member of the team as appointed by the organization.
In addition to these teams, we will be holding two weeks of competition to determine the final two teams in the SMITE Minor League. Here’s how those two weeks will run:
Week One: Open Bracket
Teams will compete in an open bracket tournament to determine the top eight participants, who advance to the knockout group stage.
- Europe: Saturday, February 24 @ 11:00 AM ET
- North America: Sunday, February 25 @ 11:00 AM ET
Week Two: Knockout Stage
The top eight teams will be split into two groups of four based on their seeding from Week 1:
- Group A: Seeds 1, 4, 5, & 8
- Group B: 2, 3, 6, & 7
Each group will play a best-of-three round robin format, where the top team will qualify for the SMITE Minor League in North America and Europe.
- Europe: Saturday, March 3 @ 11:00 AM ET
- North America: Saturday, March 4 @ 11:00 AM ET
If you want to participate in the SMITE Minor League, you can do so during our open bracket qualifier on Saturday, February 24. More details on that can be found in our guide to participating in the SMITE Minor League.
SMITE Minor League Spring Split
The SMITE Minor League in North America and Europe will be a closed system throughout Season 5. However, we will be running a combine tournament below the SMITE Minor League for newer players and teams to hone their skills. More details on that will be coming in the near future.
Spring Split Dates: March 24 – April 29
The Spring Split will see six weeks of online play, and these matches will be broadcast on Hi-RezTV according to the following schedule:
- Saturdays (1:00 PM ET): Europe
- Sundays (1:00 PM ET): North America
The format for these games will be as follows:
- Double round robin
- Best-of-three matches
- Five matches per day
These six weeks of online play will culminate in the SMITE Minor League Finals in May. The top NA and EU teams from the SMITE Minor League will be invited to compete in this event and battle for their share of the $10,000 prize pool.
SMITE Minor League Prizing
Like we mentioned above, we’ll be increasing the prizing for the SMITE Minor League to $37,000 per split in Season 5. Here’s a breakdown of the prizing, which will remain consistent all season long, per region:
- 1st Place: $12,500 + additional prizing at SMITE Minor League Finals
- 2nd Place: $12,500
- 3rd Place: $3,500
- 4th Place: $3,500
- 5th Place: $2,500
- 6th Place: $2,500
That’s all we have for now, but there’s a lot more SMITE esports news coming up for Season 5. In the meantime, be sure to check out all the details for the SPL Spring Split, and follow us on Twitter (@SmitePro) for more updates on the SMITE Minor League as this season kicks off!