Alongside the core of the game, SMITE 2 Esports are also getting revamped with the end of developer-owned teams and a return to more open formats.
The 2024 SMITE World Championships started out with a bang, and not just because of the insane action happening on the Battleground of the Gods. Developers Titan Forge Studios and publisher Hi-Rez Games have announced that a sequel is on its way called SMITE 2. SMITE 2 will be an extended remake of SMITE 1 in Unreal Engine 5, with all the possibilities of the game engine used. The new game will revamp the item system, rework gods and spice up the game – but that’s not all SMITE 2 does for the community.
Competitive SMITE Haven’t Been Doing All That Hot
SMITE 1 once had a thriving esports scene with various organizations across multiple continents. A few years ago, Hi-Rez decided to move everything to Atlanta, Georgia and basically run all the teams, narrowing the competition and the chance for players to get into the SMITE Pro League outside of the US. This decision has been criticized by the community on many occasions, prompting Hi-Rez to open the SPL a bit more, putting more emphasis on the SCC, the 2nd division of the league with a competitions solely for EU players.
Even though Hi-Rez has made some questionable decisions about SMITE esports, the competitive scene is still big for a 10+ year old game. While the online numbers are not that impressive (with the first day of the SMITE World Championship having a viewer count of around 25,000 on the first day, compared to the League of Legends World Championship’s 100k+), it still managed to fill the Esports Stadium Arlington with in-person fans. This shows that SMITE esports are still popular, even after years of stagnation – and even slow decline.
SMITE 2 Esports Will Be More Sustainable
As announced yesterday, the playable Alpha of SMITE 2 will launch sometime this spring – which marks the beginning of SMITE 2 Esports as well. The first big change is that the developer-owned teams will be a thing of the past, with new teams and organizations getting the chance to hop in on the competitive side of the game.
The first SMITE 2 tournament called SMITE 2 Founders Series will take place during Alpha testing, as the first year of SMITE 2 will be a transitionary period in not just gameplay, but the esports as well. The format of this tournament will be Open Online Qualifiers on playtest weekends followed by LAN Majors with appropriate prizing, so there’s an incentive for everyone to compete, as described by Alex Cantore, the Executive Producer for SMITE 2 in an exclusive interview to Esports Insider.
The SMITE 2 Founders Series will expand the regions as well, with at least 2 LANs held: one in the US and one in Europe, possibly in London. This will be the first European SMITE LAN tournament since 2017, and is a big step of introducing the game back to EU, as it has been an American esport for years now.
The developers and producers seem to have learned their mistake, with Cantore promising that the changes to both the game and the esports scene will be more community focused, giving a chance for everyone to rise. It will also be an opportunity for console players to shine, as SMITE is the biggest MOBA on Xbox and PlayStation, with half of the total population located on consoles.
SMITE 2 should be arriving in a few months, and with it, a completely new era for the TPS MOBA. Follow ESTNN for all the latest news about the first and second iterations of SMITE!