We are thrilled to announce a new opportunity for our pro console players who are participating in the 2019 season. Now that crossplay has hit the Battleground for SMITE, we’re also bringing crossplay opportunities to SMITE esports! This new aspect of competition will give our SCL pros the chance to test their mettle against the PC players and possibly earn some extra tournament prizing in the process!
Both of our major LAN events this year — the Mid-Season Invitational and the SMITE World Championship at HRX — will feature these crossplay opportunities for our console league teams. Keep reading for more details about how crossplay will be incorporated into these events.
Why We’re Introducing Crossplay to SMITE Esports
Here at Hi-Rez and Skillshot, we believe that there’s pro-level talent on every platform — and after so many years of console vs PC rivalries, we want to give our console teams the chance to prove that they can compete alongside the PC players. Introducing crossplay for our major 2019 LAN events will allow the SCL pros to compete against their SML and SPL counterparts to see who really is the best on the Battleground — all while being able to earn additional prizing and LAN experience.
We realize that this is a huge initiative for our esports scene, so we want to test the waters in a controlled LAN environment where we can closely monitor how crossplay works at a professional level and how it impacts the competitive integrity of our leagues.
Mid-Season Invitational Crossplay Format
Our pilot event for crossplay will be the Mid-Season Invitational at the end of Phase 1. In this event, our top SML and SCL teams will face each other in a play-in bracket to see which teams will place in the main bracket to compete against our SPL teams.
Format details for this placement bracket are as follows:
- Single-elimination format
- Best-of-three (Bo3) matches
- Top SCL team from each region/platform
- Top 2 SML teams from each region
The following teams will be invited to compete in the placement bracket:
- Xbox NA #1
- Xbox EU #1
- PS4 NA #1
- PS4 EU #1
- SML NA #1
- SML NA #2
- SML EU #1
- SML EU #2
Each first-round match of the placement bracket will feature a Console League team vs a Minor League team.
The top two teams from this bracket, regardless of what platform they play on, will be given the bottom two spots in the main bracket for the Mid-Season Invitational. More details on that bracket will be released when we make our full announcement about the Invitational later on in Phase 1.
Crossplay at the SMITE World Championship
The placement week of the SMITE World Championship will include a dedicated SMITE Console World Championship, as well as a crossplay bracket that will allow SPL, SCL and SML teams the opportunity to enter the main SMITE World Championship bracket. In this way, the pinnacle event of Season 6 at HRX will feature the absolute best teams from the SPL and the placement round winners, regardless of what platform they play on.
More details on crossplay at HRX will be released closer to the end of Season 6.
How will this affect the current league structure for 2019?
Aside from the specific changes happening on LAN outlined above, the introduction of crossplay for the Mid-Season Invitational will not in any way affect the regular phases of either the SCL or the SML in 2019. Both leagues will remain on completely separate circuits throughout Phase 1 and Phase 2, and crossplay will only be happening at the two major LAN events we have scheduled for this year.
How will this affect HRX and the SMITE Console World Championship?
Although we are looking to have some crossplay between SPL, SML, and SCL at HRX 2019, there will still be a separate SMITE Console World Championship. In addition to having their own championship, SCL players will also have an opportunity to compete against SML and bottom-seeded SPL teams for a spot in the main SMITE World Championship bracket at HRX.
Will console players be allowed to use keyboard and mouse during the Invitational? Or do they have to use controllers?
During crossplay events like the Mid-Season Invitational and HRX 2019, console players will be allowed to decide whether they use a mouse/keyboard setup or a controller to play their games. However, they must use a controller during their regular season matches.
Although keyboard and mouse support are currently not implemented in-game for Xbox or PS4, that option will be available to SCL players when they play on LAN.
How will this affect prizing for SCL and SML teams?
The introduction of crossplay will have no detrimental affect on the prizing available to SCL and SML teams. All teams will still receive dedicated prizing for each regular phase of the season, as well as prizing for LAN events like the Console World Championship. However, there will be opportunities for SCL and SML teams to earn more in prizing if they perform well in our crossplay brackets and place into the main brackets for the Mid-Season Invitational and the SMITE World Championships.