The game itself involves betting in a form of a promotional giveaway. The system offers a simulation of a well known home-draw-away market and allows players to win fantasy points (FP). Accumulating points rewards a player with unique ingame content. Gems were not used, since the ingame currency can be bought with real money and the game has a PG13 rating. A simulated betting, in which it is impossible to lose, and players do not use anything tradable for a real currency, was all they were able to implement.
However, this implementation lays the groundwork for real gambling, as the ingame table, that shows the previous win ratio of each team and the result of the match could be used as a viable proof of score. During the events, the table is being updated on the fly.
SMITE Betting events include the official SPL tournaments and sponsored tournaments, both open bracket and invitationals. Although all of these are transmitted on HirezTV official Twitch channel, the sponsored tournaments usually use third party sites to register players and display scores, which might pose a challenge when it comes to following scores, opening and calculating odds.
As it was mentioned before, the only scores visible in game come from the official SPL matches. The battles are usually 2 games each and can end in a win, lose or a split, which is a 1-1 situation, similar to a draw. The situation changes during the World Championships, where eight teams are arranged in the Placement Stage, which is a single elimination bracket (best of one), followed by the Quarterfinals (best of three). The Semifinals and Grand Finals are best of five matches.
The markets in Smite betting are similar to those on Dota2. The main two that come to mind are match bets, where you can place a stake on the winner of a single battle (or a split if the game is a best of two), and outright, long term bets. These allow you wager on a winner of the whole tournament or a season split, offering a greater risk and reward than match Smite bets.
Other possibilities encompass a great variety of special wagers, including bets based on a country and highest total-lowest total. The former can be helpful to players, who find it difficult to choose between two teams from the same country, but one should keep in mind that odds for a certain country will vary greatly, depending on the tournament. World Championships 2017 are the perfect examples because four out of ten competing squads come from North America. The latter are popular in sports and allow you to predict clubs with the most and the least single wins.
It is also possible to place Smite bets on a specific team’s or even player’s score. In a situation, where a crew has to play eight matches in an event, one could bet on the exact number of wins or the number of wins in a streak.
The only problem with these is the lack of official, detailed player statistics, so an eSports Sportsbook would have to closely follow a tournament and provide their own tables. Although time consuming, it would allow players to bet on specific ingame events, like first blood, match time, player kill ratio, objective control, and many more.
Betting on Smite doesn’t require extensive knowledge of the game. Every MOBA player should find it fairly easy to understand, but since the game is faster and more action packed than its competitors, it is slowly but gradually attracting more audience. Between July 2015 and May 2016 its user count has doubled and is now at over 20 million.
Along with it, the Esports viewership increases because people have played the game themselves, which allows them to understand it better and feel more confident placing their Smite bets. The market is relatively young and the largest betting sites still don’t offer permanent sections dedicated to it, like they do for CS:GO for instance, but the possibilities should not be overlooked.
Smite is currently one of the youngest and fastest growing Esports, mainly because of the increased awareness caused by its release for the Xbox One and Playstation 4 consoles, which made them the first of the big MOBA titles to become playable on a console.
Even though Smite is a relatively new game (official release in 2014), none of the teams that played in the first season have made it to the third one, due to several reasons. One of them being that tournaments are nowadays held on three separate platforms: PC, XBox One and Playstation 4.
The console versions, released between late 2015 and early 2016 quickly gained popularity, with many professional players choosing the new platforms over the original. As a result, most teams dissolved or swapped their rosters in 2015, right after the championships, in what was later called “roster apocalypse.” Frequently changing meta, that required players to constantly adapt their playstyle, could be named as another reason.
Since the release many items were completely reworked or even removed from the game, forcing players to look for new strategies and sometimes also new teammates. A good example could be Team Eager, that played together since Beta under the banner of Dignitas (a well known English organization), achieved second place in the Smite Launch Tournament (March 2014) and won the prize of $52,000. Later that year they again finished second during SPL NA LAN (September 2014) and won 12,5 thousand dollars.
Eager ended up splitting, with former captain and mid player Lassiz and jungler DaretoCare forming Flex, while ADC and brand owner Zapman created a completely new roster. The new organization features a popular Xbox One crew, with a high score of 13 wins in a row and even one for Overwatch. The new Team Eager, with Zapman, by many referred to as one of the best hunters in Smite, has qualified for the SWC 2017 by defeating SOAR Gaming. They are certainly one of the three best North American squads and have shown a consistent performance this year.
But is it possible to choose the best Smite team?
In my opinion no, but there are ones that have performed extraordinarily well over the years.
The award of best overall performance should undoubtedly go to Cognitive Prime, one of the two crews owned by Cognitive Gaming from California. The team competed in professional Smite since 2013 and achieved the greatest success after acquiring a new roster of Omega, MLCSt3alth, Jeffhindla, BaRRaCCuDDa, and Andinster in December 2013. Thy ended up being unbeatable at the End of Year and Launch Qualifiers tournaments.
Since then, it wasn’t hard to notice their outstanding synergy and coordination. The squad fought together for two years, achieving the title of NA Regional Champions of 2014, followed by Smite World Champions in January of 2015 and taking home a prize of 1,3 million dollars. COG eventually changed the sponsor to Cloud9 and finished 6th at Summer Finals tournament in July 2015, after which Omega decided to leave the team and his place in the solo lane was taken by Baskin.
This was the first big change in their composition. With the new roster, the boys of Cloud9 slowly pulled themselves back to the top, finishing third at NA Fall Season tournament and first at Super Regionals 2015 with the prize of 75,000 dollars. In March 2016 the team underwent another big change and this time in both the sponsor and the line-up. The new roster included former champions BaRRaCCuDDa and Jeffhindla, backed by Masked (from Denial eSports) ScaryD and Xenotronics. The last two were relatively new to the professional scene.
The newly formed Team Luminosity is doing very well this season with a record of 20 wins and 6 losses and will fight for the championship. If I were to make a Smite bet on a crew that has a chance to win the world title twice in a row they would be the first squad I would think of.
This was a European team that defeated the Enemy Esports and won World Championships of 2016, taking home $500,000. Since then, thy underwent two name changes and is now playing under the banner of NRG eSports. Known in Season 2 as Pantera, they won Smite Masters 2016 and crushed the competition in the SPL Fall Split with a score of 27-1. Their most recognized member, Adapting, is credited as one of the best players in the world.
In September 2016 the crew signed a contract with an American organization NRG and is currently first in the European Bracket, with a score of 22-4 in the Fall Split. They also managed to finish the SWC 2017 qualifiers undefeated and will compete for the prize pool of $,1000,000 in Atlanta. They are playing with a lot of determination and you can see it is not just fun, but a serious business for them.
Formerly known as HFM (Hungry For More), it was created by two former members of Titan, the squad that won second place at SWC 2015.The organization disbanded after it failed to qualify for the 2016 Championships. The highest earning eSports player in The United Kingdom Ataraxia and PrettyPriMe, his teammate from Titan, formed a new roster, that managed to secure them a ticket to the Championships. Considering they have one of the best one on one (Joust) players in the world, we should expect a good performance from this crew.
Another European squad worth mentioning here is Orbit, formerly known as Paradigm and earlier TRIG Esports. Formed in March 2015 by experienced Smite players it quickly became known after finishing first at EU SPL Spring tournament. TRIG reformed to become Paradigm, but the roster remained the same. In November 2015 they won $70,000 at EU Regionals and lost in the Semifinals of Smite World Championships to Enemy. In August the players moved to Orbit, a Swedish eSports organization after their former one has been banned by Hi-Rez in a controversial decision.
They have been performing great this season and are ranked first in SPL’s European Bracket with a score of 22-4. Unfortunately, they lost a game to Obey Alliance in the SWC qualifying round and with it a chance to compete in Atlanta. As far as the tables go, they were the EU team with the highest score this year and hopefully, in future, we will see an even better performance from them.
Competitive Smite rules
The rules are similar to what fans of the genre are used to, which is two teams, comprised of five players each, brawling on a three-lane map. The map features a jungle, full of neutral creeps, towers, and creep waves, that allow you to farm gold, and buy items. The goal is to level up your characters, defeat the enemy team, and conquer their base. Sounds typical? Yes, but here comes the uniqueness.
First of all, it has a different camera placement from the well known MOBAs like Dota and LoL. Here, instead of a top down view (also called isometric), allowing you to see your character from above, you are watching the battlefield from behind its back and controlling the movement with a keyboard. This makes it really easy to sidestep and juke while attacking. The mouse is used only to aim and execute your strikes, which brings to mind Nexon’s Vindictus.
The lore is based on mythological creatures and gods, with each hero taken straight from well known legends, myths and stories. Playable characters are grouped in pantheons. At the moment there are 9 pantheons and 83 unique gods to choose from, each having one passive ability and 4 active ones.
Apart from the pantheon, heroes are classified according to their role and attack type. Mage, warrior, guardian, hunter and assassin are the five dedicated roles, each with their individual tasks and positions in a match, as well as difficulty. Magical and physical are the attack types that decide on the items that character can use and the ones his opponents will use to protect themselves.
Last but not least, the gameplay is fast paced with a great dose of humor and a lighthearted approach to mythology. Gods tell jokes, wave, dance, and each features two unique animations after a match, that depend on whether you scored a victory or a defeat.
Being-free-to-play, the game offers a diverse purchasable content, including skins, voice packs, announcers, background music and more. All of this can be acquired using Gems, a currency that can be either bought with real money through the online store or won in various game events.
There are three competitive modes to choose from: Duel, Joust and Conquest, with each battle starting with a picking and banning phase. New gods, added in the recent patch, are automatically banned.
Duel is a typical one versus one match, where two players are facing each other on a single lane. The map features a small jungle with three camps and a powerful neutral creep called Bull Demon King. Killing the King buffs the player and disables one of the enemy towers. Killing the second tower, which is in the form of a phoenix, turns regular creep waves into more powerful fire creeps (similar to mega creeps from Dota).
Joust takes place on the same map as Duel with the only difference being the size of each team. This 3 vs 3 match is the newest game mode here.
Conquest is what every MOBA player loves. Two crews, with five players each, divided between three lanes. These lanes are called solo, mid and duo and a typical squad comprises of an ADC (damage dealer) and his support, a mid player, which usually is a high burst mage, a solo laner (usually with a self-sustain ability), and a highly mobile jungler. Out of the three, Conquest is by far the most popular and is the official Smite betting tournament mode.
How does a typical Conquest match look like?
After each team has decided on their picks and bans, they are given control of one god for the game and a role. This role determines what items they will focus on getting and what lane they will be guarding.
Players usually begin the battle with starter items, that offer a huge boost at low cost, but can not be improved later. Upgradable items give a smaller initial boost but usually offer a special bonus when fully upgraded. They also grab an active item, which is free, but can’t be changed until the end of the game. Among the most used actives are beads that make you immune to crowd control effects and aegis that grants invulnerability for two seconds.
Before the match begins players usually clear some jungle camps to start a game with a buff. In the current meta buffs are taken by the solo laner (mana regeneration), jungler (movement speed) and mid (damage). In the first couple minutes of the battle, the players focus on gaining a level advantage over the enemy by clearing creep waves and jungle camps. They are also trying to time their rotations to neutral camps, to get the experience and buffs as soon as the creeps spawn. Of course, nothing helps with leveling up like getting some kills and assists, so early fights and surprise ganks are not uncommon.
There are two strong neutral monsters, one on each side of the jungle, that give special rewards when defeated, much like Roshan in Dota. In the mid to late stages of the game, the stronger team will usually try to control the neutral spawns and kill the monsters to gain even larger advantage, while their opponents will try to secure the rewards by scoring the last hit and stealing the objective.
In time, the teams will stop defending their lanes and start joining up and fighting together, to make the most out of their synergies and auras. This stage of the game is the show of skill and each player’s ability to adapt. They have to find an opening and a player to initiate on, usually one of the most squishy ones like an ADC or a nuker, and the crew that is being initiated on has to try to protect their damage dealers and, possibly, turn the tides of battle.
A lost teamfight will usually lead to the loss of some towers in the nearest lane and two or three lost teamfights in a row will usually lead to a defeat. The final stage of the game is the defense of the base and the Titan. The Titans of Order and Chaos can be found in the middle of each base and are invulnerable, as long as all of their Phoenixes (towers closest to the base) are still alive.
Once at least one of them is destroyed the path to the Titan is open and each offensive skill used on it will bring the squad closer to victory. There are two ways to approach this last stage. A crew can focus on destroying all the Phoenixes, which weakens the Titan and allows the creeps from all three lanes to flood in and help with the attack, or they can try to rush the Titan after just one tower has been destroyed.
Hopefully, this guide has helped you, see you next time. Good luck!