Wildcard Wrap-Up

by Hirez Duke | Mar 05, 2013

Check out the brackets from all of last weekend’s tournaments here:

Massive Turnout

At PAX East 2013, we're going to be holding a high-profile, invitation only tournament for Smite, with a prize pool of $10,000! In the spirit of competition, we invited seven of the best, most accomplished teams in the world to compete in an eight team bracket. In the interest of fairness, we held a WILDCARD event, in which the winner would receive the final coveted spot for the Invitational!

Last Sunday, we held that 39 team, single elimination event! Teams from all over the globe competed online to face the veritable juggernauts in the $10,000 event! Some veteran teams, some newer players and everything in between, close to two hundred players came with new strategies, cookie cutter grinds, and a ton of passion!

The Battles Begin

The day started off big with team IIIII Gaming proved their salt with a massive win over fan-favorite Worth it! Their amazing offense lead the way to a squeaky clean victory, ending the game at 33 minutes with a score of 22-4. Unfortunately, the Cinderella story was squashed early on in the next round against a relatively unknown team, The Cat’s Meow. TCM went on to a strong victory in the next round over Backfire gaming, only to fall victim to VexX NA in the Semi-finals, in an extraordinary back and forth lasting sixty-one minutes. Unfortunately for the fledgling (yet, still amazingly talented) TCM, VexX NA’s teamwork was a tad too solid, and the overall damage output from VexX was just something they couldn’t handle.

On the opposite end of the Bracket, little pressure was applied to SK Gaming and BLG EU as both teams went largely uncontested until the semi-finals. There, it would be the two teams both favored to win the tournament, facing off in a very anticipated grudge match. BLG EU housed former members of SK, and at the same time, most of the current roster of SK was originally sponsored by BLG. Needless to say, there was a bit of bad blood here, but the game was bound to happen eventually. Playing for one of the most prestigious prizes to date, the two teams set off.

Commonly believed to be the heart of the team, SK’s Captain Psiyo was largely the target throughout the game. But amazing snipes from Psiyo’s Ra from the jungle brought this team into an early lead. SK’s carry player Smek originally thought to have topped the damage charts, only to see that support player GetFit with his versatile Ares play gave him top honors in that category. Try as they might, BLG EU was completely unable to keep up with the damage and teamwork displayed by SK’s veteran stylings, and in the end, SK Gaming solidified their win after a clutch fire giant, ending the game after a 42 minute exchange.

An Epic Finale

The finals pit the two teams against each other in a best of one challenge. VexX NA’s win of the coin flip awarded server choice, which was the first in a series of disadvantages for top seeded SK Gaming. Luckily for SK, an early game invade net them a stolen blue buff, earning experience and a large amount of control for right lane player Smek. Smek’s blue buff on Anhur granted them amazing space control, and a six-minute tower kill. In mid lane, MLC_Stealth did a great job on keeping the seemingly unstoppable Psiyo locked down, but in a kill attempt (and being a tad bit too greedy) MLC earned himself a trade, but giving up first blood to SK in the process. The snowballing continued for Psiyo, who quickly starting peeling away from the pack in gold lead.

But their ride wasn't going to be easy, as a few minutes into the game, the support player Kairis disconnected from the game and was unable to reconnect for close to five minutes. In that time, SK’s teamwork and hunger shone out, as they banded to keep the game afloat as a 4-man squad. Psiyo again broke out, which we saw at the post game screen with an amazing 25k+ in both damage and healing, completely out healing the damage from any player on VexX, minus Stealth who topped the damage charts at a whopping 32 thousand. In the end, the fire giant fights, and the phoenix rushed from SK were a bit outside of the scope of the new roster of VexX NA, and with that, SK become not only the winners, but the 8th and final seed for the Smite 5v5 $10,000 Invitational!

The Aftermath

Or maybe something better. Soon after, invited team Vivacity EU came to us with some disappointing news. It was initially established that all teams must remain whole to be able to compete in the event, as any changes to the roster would ultimately result in a new team, which was against the rules. Vivacity was dropping too many members, and were re-establishing as BLG EU. Because of Vivacity’s team not having that invite, SK Gaming moves up to 7th seed, which instead of Root, will pit them against second seeded Copenhagen Wolves.

With the 8th spot open again and no time to organize another WILDCARD, it was down to two choices:

1. Allow the the newly altered BLG.EU roster this one-time roster change of two people. (Which other teams were already denied.)

-or-

2. Give the 8th seed to the second place WILDCARD finishers, VexX NA.

Both not entirely fair to either team, we came up with a third option, one that was much more exciting and much more definitive.

Vivacity won the "Second Chance Showdown" best of 3 series and re-entered the Invitational as the 8th seed. Now they are set to face their biggest challenge to date in the first round of the 10k against top-seeded ROOT Gaming.

More Tournament Action to Come

With the Aphrodite reveal, Curse’s third win during their series of tournaments, the massive WILDCARD event, and BLG NA’s first tournament win (during the MyRevenge cup this week!), it has been a gigantic week for fans of Smite!

Stay tuned for the PAX East coverage of the $10,000 5v5 Invitational!