SMITE: The Jade Dragons Have Split Up

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SMITE: The Jade Dragons Have Split Up

One of the most popular teams of the SMITE Pro League, Jade Dragons, decided not to compete together in the 10th Season.

Year 10 of SMITE has just begun, with the new Conquest map, balance changes and the 124th God, Surtr, hitting the Battleground of the Gods on the 24th of January. With the new season, the 10th year of the SMITE Pro League is coming as well, with the teams having until the of the week to submit their new lineups. While new teams haven’t been revealed yet, one of the existing squads has fallen apart: the official Smite Pro League Twitter account has shared that the Jade Dragons will not be playing together in the next year of competitive SMITE.

Jade Dragons call time

This announcement comes as a shock and as expected at the same time. The AD Carry of the Jade Dragons, Maksim “PandaCat” Yanevich announced his retirement right after the team has been knocked out of the 2023 SMITE World Championship. He tweeted that with the loss, it was the end of his road, thanking everyone for their support and his teammates from the years they spent together. Three days after PandaCat announced that he’d be stepping down, the midlaner of the team, Daniel “Pegon” Qiu tweeted that he was looking for a new SPL team in Year 10. This came as the first surprise of the offseason, as Pegon won Rookie of the Year award at the Golden Bolts.

But soon after Pegon’s Tweet, the SmitePro account dropped the bomb on the community, saying that the whole squad has broken up to go to play for different teams. Michael “PolarBearMike” Heiss didn’t comment too much on the announcement on social media, but he had a stream on the day of the SmitePro Tweet answering all questions, stating that the post was not a troll, and the Dragons are indeed going their separate ways. Alec “fineokay” Fonzo had a longer response, stating that PBM and PandaCat were his best friends in the last years and that he was thankful for the Dragons, as they let him play on a top team even when his performance wasn’t worthy of such a shot. The – now former – jungler of the team, Lucas “Screammmmm” Spracklin only had one comment on the matter: he said he ruined the Dragons, as the team disbanded in the year he joined the squad.

Former Jade Dragons SMITE Team Midlaner Pegon

However, Screammmmm’s statement is as far from the truth as it can be, as the Dragons have been one of the strongest teams of the past few years, and especially the 2022 season. As fineokay said in his tweet, the team has won 5 tourneys, got silver medals at the SMITE World Championship, and finished 1st in multiple split of the SMITE Pro League. This year, the Dragons got 1st place in the Phase 1 and won the Masters Seeding Lan. After getting 3rd place in the Spring Masters, they bounced back after Phase 2, winning the Summer Masters tournament of the SPL. They came in 2nd place in both Phase 3 and Phase 3 Playoffs, then went on to the semi-finals of the SMITE World Championship.

So far, it’s unclear whether any of the players will stay with the Jade Dragons franchise or if the team will have to sign 5 new members. The whole SMITE pro scene is going through huge changes in the coming days, but two things are certain: any team should be happy to acquire any of the former Dragons, and that the 10th year of the SMITE Pro League is shaping up to be one of the best yet!

SMITE: The Jade Dragons Have Split Up
Bence Loksa
Bence "Atreus" Loksa is a freelance journalist and League of Legends shoutcaster, covering all things esports and gaming, also yelling loudly at big plays happening on the Summoner's Rift. While his main focus is Riot Games' hit MOBA, he also dabbles in Call of Duty, VALORANT, and as of recent, the tabletop wargame Warhammer 40,000 - where he looks to make some grudges with his Leagues of Votann army.