We’re getting down to the wire at this year’s SMITE World Championship, and the four teams who have made it this far don’t have much further to go in their quest for the coveted world champ title. But today, that journey ended for two teams who couldn’t make the cut in the semifinal round.
After two hard-fought Bo5 sets, Team Rival and eUnited will be moving on to the Grand Finals at HRX 2018 — which means that NRG and Obey have officially been knocked out of the running for the ultimate title in Season 4. Let’s recap what went down today and what we have to look forward to in the final day of the tournament.
Match 1: Team Rival vs. NRG
Winner: Team Rival (3-2)
In the first of two semifinal sets, Team RivaL took on NRG in a brutal head-to-head battle. The entire set was a rollercoaster of emotions for players and fans alike, and it seemed as though the action was never going to end.
In the first match, NRG initially looked like they were in control after securing two early Gold Furies. But at the 25-minute mark, RivaL took NRG by surprise in a teamfight that led to RivaL securing the first fire giant of the game. And once the RivaL boys were in control, they never let go of the map pressure and sieged NRG’s Titan quickly after.
Game 2 went in a pretty similar fashion for NRG — they got off to an early lead and had complete control of the solo lane. For the first 22 minutes, NRG dominated RivaL. But an overly aggressive phoenix siege caused NRG to wipe, and afterwards Rival just couldn’t be stopped. Athena, Poseidon, and Nemesis made it practically impossible for NRG’s frontline to survive, and what had seemed like a simple misplay for NRG ended up turning into a nightmare as they watched Team Rival boost their lead in the set from 1-0 to 2-0.
By Game 3, NRG knew there was no more room for mistakes. Quickly internalizing everything that had gone wrong for them in the first two games, the defending world champs were able to finally strike back against Team RivaL and remind them why NRG holds two championship trophies. Game 4 fell in NRG’s favor once again, and it became very clear to Team RivaL that they were in hot water as NRG rang in another victory to tie up the set 2-2.
Both teams’ dreams were on the line as they entered into Game 5 of the set. For NRG, there could be no greater glory than achieving the first threepeat World Champion title in SMITE history, and RivaL wanted nothing more than to continue proving to everyone that they really are the best team in Europe. Tensions were high in the arena for the first 20 minutes of back and forth, until finally RivaL started distinguishing themselves as the superior team. Winning teamfight after teamfight, RivaL slowly but surely began to crush NRG’s dreams of another championship win — and after a little more than 2 years, NRG’s reign finally came to a close as RivaL defeated them 3-2 in the first set of the semi-finals.
Match 2: EUnited vs. Obey
Winner: EUnited (3-0)
The other half of the semifinal bracket pitted eUnited against Obey. The general public perception of this match-up seemed to be heavily in Obey’s favor — but by the end of Game 1, uncertainty began to arise in that consensus.
eUnited simply could not be contained, even by veterans like Obey Alliance. In all three matches, eUnited seemed to effortlessly dismantle Obey at every turn — leaving zero opportunities for this highly-rated team from EU to make a comeback.
After 2-ish years of multiple losses to European powerhouses, a North American team was finally able to win a set over EU. The curse that had been placed upon NA by PBM could apparently only be lifted by PBM himself, and now it’s up to eUnited to serve as NA’s last hope as they move forward in the HRX bracket to meet Team RivaL in the finals.
Standings & What’s Next
There’s only one round left in this year’s SMITE World Championships — the all-important Grand Finals. This best-of-five match will determine once and for all who is truly the best team in Season 4. Here’s the start time for the winner-takes-all final on tomorrow’s docket:
- 3:00 PM EST – eUnited vs. Team Rival
Even if you’ve missed all the matches up until now, you definitely don’t want to skip out on tomorrow’s pinnacle set. So make sure you tune into the official HiRezTV Twitch channel and join your fellow fans in cheering on your favorite team as they try for the World Championship title. You can also follow us on Twitter (@SmitePro) to get by-the-minute updates on what’s going down.
See you tomorrow!