After an incredible SMITE World Championship, CaptainTwig finally got his ring after 9 years of playing professionally.
January 15 marked the end of the Season 9 SMITE World Championship! After winning the Phase 3 Playoffs of the SPL, and going undefeated in the SWC, the Camelot Kings became the last squad standing, and achieved the title of 2023 World Champions!
8 teams entered the SWC Group Stage: the last 4 teams of the North American SPL, and the 4 best teams of the SCC, 2 from Europe and 2 from NA. After groups ended on the 8th of January however, only 4 remained standing: Hex Mambo, who knocked Oni Warriors down to the Loser’s Bracket; Tartarus Titans, who beat the Eldritch Hounds; Highland Ravens, who sent the Hounds home after a heartbreaking 3-0 victory; and Oni Warriors who stopped the Solar Scarabs from clearing their name.
These 4 teams joined the quartet of the best teams in the world, namely Jade Dragons, Olympus Bolts, Atlantis Leviathans and Camelot Kings. European teams Highland Ravens and Hex Mambo fought valiantly against the Kings and Bolts respectively, but were unable to secure wins against the SPL Teams. While both of the matches ended in a 2-0, it was far from a blowout, as both the Mambo and the Ravens were close to even the score out in their second matches.
The second half of the quarterfinals brought the biggest surprise of the World Championship. After Jade Dragons had a relatively easy 2-0 victory over the Oni Warriors, with Daniel “Pegon” Qiu getting a quadra kill on Ullr, it was time for the Titans and last year’s Champions, the Atlantis Leviathans to clash. The series ended in a quick 2-0, but not for the team most would’ve expected, as the Titans beat the Levis, mostly thanks to the performance of Brooks “Cyno” Mattey on Thanatos.
Semis rolled around on Saturday, but the Camelot Kings gave no quarter for the Olympus Bolts. While many of the fans were rooting for John “Barraccudda” Salter to get his second title, the Kings blow the Bolts off of the Battlegrounds of the Gods by beating them 3-0. Libardo “Jarcorrr” Lopez surprised the fans and the Bolts with a Bellona ADC, which proved to be extremely effective, and Benjamin “CaptainTwig” Knight has whipped his signature Hun Batz out for Game 3. On the other branch of the bracket, the Jade Dragons and the Tartarus Titans fought the most exciting game of the SWC. The Titans showed the world and the Dragons that they deserved to be in the Main Event. But the Dragons were not going to go down that easily, and with a godlike performance from Lucas “Screammmmm” Spracklin, they were back in the series. After a bit of a back and forth, they managed to get to Game 5, but in a usually Jade Dragons fashion, Alec “fineokay” Fonzo and his team choked in the 5th match of Semifinals, only finding 2 kills, while DeVaughn “Stuart” Lewis went 6/0/3 on Danzaburou.
It all came down to this
The Camelot Kings then stepped on stage against the Tartarus Titans in the last match of Season 9. While the Titans has stepped their game up after the SPL, they proved to be no match for CaptainTwig and co. The first match ended in less than 25 minutes, with the Kings taking the first Phoenix at 19 minutes, only dying 3 times in the whole game. In Game Two, Paul “Paul” Berger picked one of his signature Gods, Tiamat, but the Camelot Kings knew exactly how to shut him down, and the Titans couldn’t find any leads in the other lanes either. In the last match, Tartarus started out stronger than before, taking first blood and then another kill. They kept up with the Kings for a while, but come midgame Twig and Jordan “BigManTingz” Theaker came online, then Jarcorrr became a threat as well, and the Titan of the Titans fell. And just like that, the Camelot Kings became the Season 9 World Champions, and CaptainTwig got his first ring after spending 9 years chasing one.
With more than 55 thousand concurrent viewers during the Finals, this SWC was one of the best in terms of viewership and spirit alike. The crowd went wild multiple times each match, showing that there’s still some more in this game. And with the keynote and Season 10 showmatch previewing the changes coming for SMITE’s 10th anniversary, the next season is shaping up to be one of the best – or the most fiery, if you look at the next God of the mix, Surtr.