Following a year of fierce competition, four teams have descended upon the ESL Arena at PAX Australia for the SMITE Oceania Regional Finals. Top seeded teams from the Oceanic Pro League Avant Garde and Dire Wolves have fought it out with top Challenger Cup seeds Integral Nation and SYF Gaming respectively. The first day’s competition having heated up the Melbourne Exhibition Centre, day two is sure to set the venue alight.
With AUD$65,000 in prize money up for grabs along with a chance to represent the region at the SMITE World Championships, everything will be on the line for these Oceanic hopefuls. One thing is for sure - SMITE’s Oceania Regional Championship has already made proud the title of the biggest one-day esports prizepool Australia has ever seen!
The story so far
Wrapping up the first day’s play, we had Avant Garde prove to the Oceanic scene that they can replicate their ferocity at a LAN by taking out Integral Nation after a tightly contested best of three. The first map saw Integral Nation really bring it to the tournament favorites. However, unfortunately for them, the boys in black and blue were too strong, with Avant Garde carrying their winning momentum into the second map and comfortably taking the first semifinal of the tournament.
In the second semifinal, everything was to play for as second-seeded Dire Wolves came face to face against the third-place SYF Gaming. In what was expected to be the closer of the two semifinals, the first map started off as most would have predicted, with the Dire Wolves roster taking a comfortable lead. Controlling most of the game, SYF were not able to counter the pressure and eventually succumbed to their opponents. The second map started quite differently as SYF showed their mettle starting off in similar fashion to Dire Wolves in the first. It was almost a story waiting to be told, however, as Dire Wolves brought back the game and put themselves into the grand final match against their regional rivals.
Day two will see Integral Nation play SYF Gaming in the bronze match, preceding the much-awaited LAN encounter of Avant Garde and Dire Wolves. Before today’s matches, let’s take a closer look at each of these teams who could be representing the region in Atlanta in January and playing for their share of US$1 million!
There’s only one word to accurately describe Avant Garde, and that is untouchable. Completing their OPL run without losing a single game (14-0), Avant have indisputably earned their place as the first seed. Riding on a wave of sheer individual skill and experience, the team particularly shines when it comes to teamfighting and objective control. When it comes to drafting, the team remains reserved, preferring to play to the meta and follow cookie-cutter compositions.
Although the entire Avant roster are some of the best in their role, there are a few notable standouts. Look for Rowe and Biggy to leave their mark in the jungle and support roles respectively.
Since their mid-year formation, Dire Wolves quickly began their surge to the top of Oceanic SMITE. Ending their OPL season with an admirable 12-2 record, they flaunted their superiority over the rest of the teams. Outside the league, Dire Wolves have been the only team to take the fight to Avant, taking maps off Oceania’s titans on the odd occasion. At PAX, Dire Wolves will be looking to cause an upset and finally end Avant Garde’s dominion in the region.
Dire Wolves are the opposite of Avant’s reserved style, finding a home in unrelenting aggression and an in-your-face playstyle. Prioritizing high mobility gods with a wealth of stuns, slows and disables allows their intimidating playstyle to succeed. Look for brothers Kikiomeo and RichardCastle to take the spotlight alongside their informed solo laner Yada.