SMITE World Championship 2016 has concluded. Most event goers by now have likely returned home for some rest and relaxation, while I'm back here at Fort Hammer to go over some of the more interesting observations from the event. Starting from day one and concluding with day four, each match was followed closely by a jam packed arena and new for this year, many fans staring at the big screen in the expo hall, watching as professional players duke it out across both PC and XBOX One for the glory of the championship.
Compared to last year, there was roughly the same amount of people. One compliment I can directly give Hi-Rez is that in a venue that can hold nearly 3,000 people, there was little to no congestion anywhere. From the hotel elevators, to the entrance, and seating, there was never too long of a line for anything but the burger food truck, which let's face it - was actually really good and the line was a worthy compliment.
I was satisfied with the event, myself, and it showcased the growth of not only eSports, but competitive online gaming, to the point that a game like SMITE can "easily" (let's not devalue the hard work they put into the event) throw together an event with around 3,000 attending from around the world. There were a lot of fans I could find not only from Europe, but Asia as well, and of course Oceania in general.
The layout of the event was the same as the previous year, with the main stage being all SMITE and the secondary area being an EXPO type center with a few tables with people at them, and a big screen so you don't miss the action, along with lots of demo booths for Paladins and SMITE (and I think only one XBOX setup, but I could easily be wrong). Along with a demo station for Jetpack Fighter, which while I won't go into, had slap bracelets which I mean, are amazing in of themselves.
It wasn't that long ago I was at the SMITE Launch Tournament which was held at Center Stage Theater, which the main hall (which was mostly packed the times I was in it) holds roughly 1,000 people. Now, I almost feel like they're going to outgrow the Cobb Energy Center, which puts them in a weird posistion of where next? Part of me would enjoy the idea of having a second stage, especially next year when it's very likely that they'll have both PC and XBOX SMITE, plus Paladins, plus who knows what else they'll cook up throughout the year?
That's another thing. The XBOX tournament was a surprise for me. While the matches were fun to watch, it's also nice to see that part of SMITE grow, and that Hi-Rez is expanding its reach. One of the interesting things was 20+ teams brought themselves there to fight in the open bracket tournament. Which to me is rather neat that much dedication exists and the desire for people to break into the pro-league is definitely strong.
I'll have some interesting SMITE news coming your way tomorrow, with an interview about some of the season 3 changes and some Paladins map design talk. Until then, I'll see you around, or whatever.
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