If there’s anything that veteran Smite players have learned over the years, it’s to expect the unexpected. Games at the Smite Pro League level can be won or lost in a single team fight, and they’re never over until they’re over. That philosophy can be applied to this past weekend’s Smite Pro League matches, where quite a few unforeseen victories and upsets took place. (Unless you’re Obey Alliance, in which case, your pattern of losses continued.)
Here’s a rundown of the matches from week 5!
Match 1: Renegades vs. Radiance
Considering the win rates of Radiance and Renegades prior to this match-up, you’d be forgiven for thinking that Radiance would’ve dominated. However, this was not the case. They certainly performed well, but sheer, raw perseverance on the part of Renegades saw them outlast Radiance and actually claim the victory.
There was no indication that Radiance would lose the set as early as Game 1, as they were ahead throughout much of that game. However, Renegades unexpectedly adapted to Radiance’s strategies, shutting down Radiance’s early game in Game 2. Game 3 was definitely back and forth as both teams struggled to adapt to each other, but the Renegades’ drive to prove themselves gave them the tenacity needed to eke out a set win.
Match 2: Team Rival vs. Obey Alliance
There really isn’t much that can be said about this one. Kurt “Weak3n” Schray had to act as Obey Alliance’s jungler once again due to the team’s inability to find a replacement in time. The other members of Obey have noted that Weak3n wasn’t scrimming with them as a result. While the team of Obey Alliance as a whole have shown remarkable improvement during their time in Season 7, this match can be summed up in one tweet:
Don't worry @Weak3n we'll make this quick…
We face @ObeyAlliance in the #SPL after Renegades vs Radiance!
📺: https://t.co/bIu9zgFb9J#FearTheReaper pic.twitter.com/CbgOeOWNap
— Team Rival (@TeamRivalGG) May 1, 2020
Match 3: eUnited vs. Pittsburgh Knights
While both teams didn’t exactly have the most winning of records in this match, it certainly didn’t impede the match quality. eUnited were ahead of the Pittsburgh Knights prior to this match, but PK’s victory over eUnited here made them dead even. A lot of proverbial blood, sweat, and tears were shed in Game 1, which lasted almost a whole hour! However, after much back and forth slogging, PK ultimately found the Game 1 win.
PK took what they learned from Game 1 and used that to their advantage to get a win for Game 2 in a significantly shorter time. Two things that helped: Anders “QvoFred” Korsbo’s late game Fire Giant secure, and Ronald “ScaryD” Belair III’s quadra-kill near the end.
Match 4: Spacestation Gaming vs. Team Rival
Spacestation Gaming seem to be getting back into the swing of things, if their close victory against Team Rival was any indication! There was no way to foresee SSG’s impending set victory in Game 1, where Team Rival steamrolled over them as they’ve done with most teams. Game 2, on the other hand, saw a strategic counterattack from SSG. They banned gods favored by Samuel “Sam4soccer2” Waxman, and in turn picked up a Kali (an unusual pick in the SPL) to get some late game pressure. This helped them snatch a Game 2 victory from Team Rival’s jaws.
Game 3 was the complete opposite of Game 1, as the shoe was on SSG’s foot now. Taking advantage of an early lead, SSG caught Team Rival off guard with their pacing. While Liam “Vote” Shanks was struggling early this season, this game saw him take revenge with a triple kill that enabled SSG to win Game 3.
Match 5: Obey Alliance vs. Renegades
As you probably might’ve predicted by now, Renegades took this set over Obey Alliance. However, Obey Alliance have been putting more and more of an effort with every match in the series, and it shows. The losses for Obey Alliance haven’t been the blowouts of early in Season 7. Game 1 was proof of this. The game was Obey’s to win, but one unfortunate call – to not go for killing Renegades’ Titan when they could have – sealed Obey’s fate:
Today we found three structures called "Phoenix". We got one but we didn't know that after the phoenix you have to kill a monster called "Titan". Kinda unlucky. GGs Renegades 🤠
— Ksier (@MrKsier) May 3, 2020
Game 2 saw Renegades take it easily, as that one bad call probably shook Obey’s morale. Renegades easily dominated Obey and took the set 2-0. Here’s hoping the next game is Obey’s lucky game.
Match 6: Sanguine vs. Radiance
It was a battle of Godzilla-like proportions as these two teams butted heads to determine who would sit at the top of the Smite Pro League leaderboard. The set was a nail-biter. In Game 1 the pace was slow and tense. Eventually Sanguine blinked, and Radiance took advantage to take Game 1 after nearly an hour of play. Game 2 swung things back into Sanguine’s favor, as Rafael “Panitom” Guerra popped off on his Thor pick.
Game 3 was for all the marbles, and it was as explosive as it could get. Radiance was in firm control of the team fights, as they disengaged from Sanguine pretty much whenever they wanted to. One quadra-kill from Jarod “CycloneSpin” Nguyen later and Radiance were able to utterly destroy Sanguine and take the set 2-1.