ATLANTA – JANUARY 10 2022 – All weekend long, hundreds of thousands of fans all around the world tuned into the SWC, the SMITE World Championship and the game’s yearly esports culmination. The best professional players faced off in a fierce single-elimination, best-of-five LAN tournament – with the grand finals held on Sunday, January 9.
There and then, in front of a crowd peaking above 120,000 concurrent Twitch and YouTube viewers, the Atlantis Leviathans prevailed over the Tartarus Titans.
Here is the replay of the finals
The Tartarus Titans, led by Captain Paul ‘Paul’ Berger, were certainly a colossal foe and in terrific shape in recent months. They qualified straight into the SMITE World Championship semi-finals after winning the latest two playoffs – including a finals where they defeated the Leviathans themselves.
But in yesterday’s SWC finals, they were met with ruthless skill, and revenge. It took three high-intensity rounds, including two nearing the 30-minute mark, for the Atlantis Leviathans to win. They became the new SMITE World Champions and took home a tidy $300,000.
The Leviathans could draw their strength from the support of the highly engaged Latin American community, with most of their roster originating from that continent. Solo laner Libardo ‘Jarcorrr’ López was voted MVP of the competition, while the team captain and Carry player Steven ‘Zapman’ Zapas confirmed his SMITE legend status as he secured his third consecutive World Champion title.
This seat-grabbing SMITE World Championship concluded this year’s Pro League, the SPL, which used an unprecedented structure in 2021. All eight participating teams were owned and operated by Hi-Rez, leading to major improvements to league sustainability, pro players’ revenue opportunities, and overall quality of life.
As that format proved successful, Hi-Rez intends to build upon it and refine it in 2022. On the back of the SWC, the studio revealed significant structural changes sure to make the upcoming SMITE Pro League’s Season 9 even more breathtaking for fans and more supportive of all professionals involved.
2022 SPL Play-ins & Playoff Improvements
The first major change affects the qualification phase for the 2022 SPL, now at hand. While the most unquestionable teams will be selected by a council, others will get to fight their way into the remaining spots through a special SPL play-in tournament.
Even better, Season 9 will see the revival of the beloved SMITE Masters, bringing together again the Pro League and the Challenger Circuit (SCC) during playoffs at the end of each SPL phase. This will make playoffs refreshing and more meaningful for the fans. Full of aspiring semi-pro, the SCC is the highest region-based SMITE action and a breeding ground for tomorrow’s esports champions.
Finally, the coach role is getting a revamp. Should teams opt for one, their coach will benefit from both a pay increase and more designated managing duties, helping them develop career skills beneficial to them long-term.
Here are all details about the strategy update and the SPL format.
Special reminder – A plethora of exciting announcements and reveals about Hi-Rez games for 2022 happened last Wednesday during the yearly Hi-Rez Showcase.
Check it all out here.
Press Kit: https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1N5BKCWTiA8_EBHc91RRleJffRdf76MEv
For media inquiries, assets, and interview requests, please contact:
Henrique Fajardo – PR Specialist