Catch up with SMITE’s $1,000,000 world championship

    
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Catch up with SMITE’s $1,000,000 world championship
The world of e-sports and competitive gaming has seen a massive explosion in recent years in terms of both viewership and prize money. Top competitive gaming tournaments now routinely sell out large arenas and venues, often attract higher viewership figures than some real-world sports, and collectively dish out millions of dollars each year. Third-person MOBA SMITE is no exception, packing out Atlanta’s Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre this past week for its second annual World Championship tournament. Eight top teams from around the world battled it out over $1,000,000 in prize money from January 7th to January 10th, with the first place winners taking home $500,000.

Last year’s champion COGnitive Gaming disbanded some time after its big win, but the team’s entire roster was picked up e-sports organisation Cloud9 for this tournament. They joined the other qualifiers Enemy, Paradigm, Epsilon eSports, Fnatic, AVANT-Garde, paiN Gaming, Isurus Gaming, Oh My God B, and Qiae Gu Reapers in a tense four-day competition. Reveal winner

In the end, first place went to European newcomers Epsilon eSports, with North American contenders Enemy and Cloud9 coming in second and third place respectively.

Interestingly, the 2015 SMITE World Championship actually had a larger prize pool of around $2,612,260 million. Hi-Rez Studios has since decided to cap the prizes for the World Championship at $1,000,000 and disperse the remaining funds throughout the competitive season in an effort to make professional gaming more stable as a career for a larger number of people. If you missed the action this week or just fancy seeing what a million dollars worth of SMITE looks like, head over to the official SMITE Twitch page where all four days of the action are available to watch on demand.

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fakepants
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fakepants

LusitanGaming I see no issue with PC players competing on Xbox. These big event tournaments ideally pit the most capable teams and players against each other. If you can be defeated by somebody that has split their attention between two platforms, then you lack in talent and did not deserve to win. I don’t see a workable alternative, unless you make teams choose a platform at the start of a season – then you risk teams strategically choosing based on the competition/reward on each platform.

If I always intended on competing on Xbox, should I be banned from doing so just because I have played on PC?

The winning teams’ complete lack of grace is, of course, inexcusable.

Kalamari
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Kalamari

rottenrotny lol. not more than all the poker, football or dart player.

LusitanGaming
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LusitanGaming

MikedotFoster LusitanGaming was a Smite player since early beta i was very upset with it. Not only they took the money prize but also basically laughed at xbox players. For me they just killing teh scene before it even starts. whats to stop to them doing the same next year, and what motivation will Xbox players have to join the scene when they know much more experienced players can just come in and take theirs top prizes. Hopefully Hirez will make some rules so this wont happen again.

MikedotFoster
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MikedotFoster

LusitanGaming  I’m not a SMITE fan but I heard there was some general grumpiness about the Xbone finals — is this why?

MikedotFoster
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MikedotFoster

breetoplay Zulika_Mi_Nam MikedotFoster  And as esports catches up, I think this will start to balance out — huge corporate sponsors are starting to dip their toes into the market. Sponsorships are already lucrative, but over the next few years will move closer to parity with actual sports (or, closer-ish). Plus, there’s the ever-constant discussion around player salaries (on this I am not an expert).
Increasing prize pools every year isn’t super scalable. Companies hoping to see their game last over a decade (like StarCraft, the gold standard) quickly see that if the story is the prize pool every year, it gets out of hand real quick. Instead, smart companies should be focused on forging relationships with new sponsors and media that can help players compete for more than a check from the people who make the game.
As an aside, The International’s prize pool is kind of a massive outlier because Valve is a singularity in the games industry. Valve figured out a long time ago that monetizing the community was way more profitable than making stuff and selling it, and the Compendium is sort of a symbol of the company’s approach to revenue generation. That’s not to say it’s wrong or right or anything (though I’ve never been a fan of the 75/25 split, and that’s coming from a Dota player with 1600 hours), just that you can’t get far comparing Dota to SMITE or HotS or Hearthstone.

LusitanGaming
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LusitanGaming

The only issue i had with this years SWC was the Xbox Finals, where a team of PC Pro players won it (they had failed to Qualify to the finals on PC), due to their superior knowledge of the game, and then boosting how easy it was to win it. Note that HiRez didnt organize this tournament but it done just before the PC finals in their Twitch channel.

rottenrotny
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rottenrotny

Who needs college or a job, kids? You can be a pro gamer!

melissaheather
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melissaheather

I want to see the equivalent to “Hoop Dreams” for this generation of gamer, seeking fame and money.   How many will succeed, how many will fail, how many will crash and burn and so forth.

Nyphur
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Nyphur

playerxx Expecting prize pools of over $10m is way off base. In fact there have only ever been two e-sports tournaments with prize pools in excess of $10 million, the 2015 Dota 2 world championship with a world record $18m and the 2014 Dota 2 world championship with just barely over $10m (a world record at the time). The next highest bunch are all in the $2-3m range.
http://www.esportsearnings.com/tournaments

Sorenthaz
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Sorenthaz

playerxx Yeah and Smite’s peak viewership on Twitch was only like 65k or so as a result (down from 84k or so).  But they did also partner with Azubu, Youtube, and apparently two other streaming sites (guessing that included the Chinese and Latin American streams) so I imagine the overall viewership was higher thanks to the multiple viewing sites.   Also Smite this year had to compete with Awesome Games Done Quick (which regularly got 150k viewers) and I believe a DotA 2 event was going on as well (as there were 120k viewers or so at one point on DotA 2).   
But really 1 million is still a solid number.  League of Legends did a prize pool of “over $2 million” with the first place winning team splitting $1 million.   DotA 2 is the only one that does anything stupidly high, and that’s because of the crowdfunding efforts via The International Compendiums and a lot of stretch goals for reaching X in funds.   Every other big esport keeps their prize pools between $1 million to like $3 million at best.
And another factor of course is that prize pool model for Smite has been changed to where pro teams are getting more money from the Smite Pro League seasons and the various Invitational events.   Similar to how LoL’s Worlds prize pool is smaller because players/teams are given salaries and prize money for the regular League Championship seasons.