SPL Season 5 EU Recap: Spring Split (Week 1)
SMITE Pro League
We just closed out the first week of the SMITE Pro League’s Spring Split, and your favorite EU players are already off to a great start! This week, our 6 European teams met on the Battleground of the Gods for the first time in Season 5 and went head-to-head in best-of-three (Bo3) matches to test their mettle.
In case you weren’t able to catch some of the matches during our live broadcasts, we’re coming in hot to recap all the intense action that you might have missed. Here’s what went down for the EU region in Week 1 of the SPL Spring Split!
Match 1: Team RivaL vs. NRG Esports
Winner: Team Rival (2-1)
The first match of this week pitted two powerhouse EU team against each other — Team RivaL and NRG Esports. After RivaL’s dominant performance at HRX 2018 that knocked NRG out of the SMITE World Championship semifinals in a 3-2 set, everyone was wondering how this rematch would play out.
NRG started off with a vengeance and took Game 1 in spectacular fashion. Jungler Adapting picked up Camazotz and accomplished exactly what he’s famous for — play-making. This superstar jungler and the rest of NRG was able to put on the pressure and shut down Team Rival’s tactics at seemingly every turn. They were especially able to take advantage of Wlfy’s Poseidon pick and kept him from securing both objectives and kills with his Kraken.
Despite losing Game 1, Team Rival came roaring back in Game 2. This time around, Wlfy picked up Janus and dominated the map with a 6-2-7 scoreline. Support player KaLaS also got to pick up his most famous god, Fafnir — and doing so reminded his enemies and his fans alike why you should never let KaLaS have Fafnir. Nabbing this comfort pick turned the tides for Rival and helped them secure the Game 2 win.
With the set tied up, Game 3 was a winner-takes-all brawl. Rival did their homework in picks and bans, opting to ban away Da Ji. Although iceicebaby had been playing this assassin all set, he opted for a Nemesis pick after Adapting went Susano for NRG. As the game played out, both these junglers made huge impacts. But unfortunately for Adapting, he and his troops just couldn’t handle the pressure that Rival put on throughout the game — and NRG fell yet again to their Season 4 archnemesis, Team Rival.
Match 2: SK Gaming vs. mousesports
Winner: mousesports (2-1)
Next up on the EU docket was two new partner orgs with some recognizable faces in their rosters — SK Gaming and mousesports. SK’s newly formed roster featured Duck3y (Solo), Faeles (Jungle), Lawbster (Mid), Badgah (Support), and Funballer (Hunter), but all eyes were on Badgah in particular. This Norwegian support player has been on a long hiatus since his last competitive game during the Season 3 Spring Split.
In Game 1, Badgah opted for a Cu Chulainn support. But he got off to a rough start, as mousesports’ team composition was equally as aggressive with a Ravana support from Dardez . Meanwhile in the mousesports mid lane, fans were keeping an eye on BigManTingz, who made the switch from support to mid this year. Luckily for SK, he didn’t disappoint and played like it was his natural position all along. Piloting Discordia, BMT ended Game 1 with a victory screen for mousesports and a 5-0-7 scoreline.
After losing Game 1, SK needed to find an answer to mousesports, otherwise they would get swept in this series. They opted to strip Camazotz away from Nika and give it to their solo laner Duck3y — and this seemed to be an effective strategy, as Duck3y pulled out an unstoppable MVP performance with 7 kills, 1 death, 3 assists, and top player damage at 26K. Ultimately, this signaled the victory for SK Gaming and they tied up the set.
Game 3 played out very differently. With the set tied up, everything was on the line. SK picked up Discordia for themselves to see what the response would be from mousesports. Without the Goddess of Strife on their side, mousesports opted for a Raijin pick instead.
Starting things off with a bang, Duck3y’s Osiris hit Level 5 first and solo killed Nika’s Camazotz. But despite the early lead, Duck3y and the rest of SK never took advantage of the level differential in the solo lane. Instead, they let the game drag on long enough for Nika to catch back up. Once Jermain’s Anhur landed a triple kill and BigManTingz’s Raijin hit top player damage, mousesports was ultimately able to close out the game after a Fire Giant kill at 40 minutes.
Match 3: Team Dignitas vs. mousesports
Winner: Team Dignitas (2-0)
Team Dignitas’ roster for Season 5 is the same as Season 4 — and despite not making Worlds last year after an abysmal performance at Super Regionals, Dig looked to be back in top form like they were in the S4 Summer Split.
In Game 1, Nika’s solo Camazotz struggled against Variety’s Osiris and ended up getting first blooded. But more important than the solo matchup was the jungle. QvoFred picked up Nemesis, who has been revered recently in the SMITE meta. Mousesports tried to be innovative with a Janus jungle in response, but ultimately this didn’t work out in their favor. A lack of frontline pressure led to the downfall for mousesports in Game 1.
In Game 2, the innovation kept coming from mousesports. Cherryo opted for Athena jungle, which is nothing new if you’ve followed this pro in the last few years. But the rest of his team’s composition was rather unique. Dardez is known to play unorthodox mage supports, and this time he opted for The Morrigan — which didn’t serve him quite as well as he hoped. BigManTingz was riding high on some incredible performances in his earlier set, but his Chaac mid pick wasn’t very successful versus Dignitas.
Dignitas went into Game 2 with a plan — and that plan was to shut down Jermain’s Ullr as much as possible. Trixtank capitalized on his aggressive play style with a Cu Chulainn pick and helped Arkkyl dominate the duo lane, taking full advantage of the lack of crowd control immunity on Jermain. Team Dignitas easily swept this set to start off clean in Season 5!
Match 4: Team Rival vs. Obey Alliance
Winner: Team Rival (2-0)
Obey kicked off their SPL Season in an interesting fashion with an Arachne pick for CaptainTwig. But the rest of the team went for a more traditional comp that included Sobek solo, Raijin mid, Sylvanus support, and Ullr hunter. Unfortunately for Obey Alliance, they simply weren’t able to stand up to the insane pressure that Rival brought to the Battleground — and Obey was only able to get one kill for the entire game. In the end, the sustain from Wlfy’s Ra allowed Rival to siege at full speed until Obey’s Titan was taken down.
Obey tried to continue their innovation in Game 2, as they locked in Hel for Xaliea and Cu Chulainn for iRaffer. Ataraxia opted for Izanami in the hunter role, and picked up a third item Magi’s Cloak to make up for a lack of natural CC. But with a lack of damage and frontline presence, this comp was almost destined to fail in the long run for Obey Alliance as they never got any early game momentum to build off of. Ultimately, Obey would fall in an 0-2 sweep to Team Rival.
Match 5: Obey Alliance vs. Team Dignitas
Winner: Team Dignitas (2-0)
After suffering a hard defeat in their previous set, Obey was hoping to find more success as they faced Dignitas in the latter half of their double-header. But they weren’t able to grab any victories in this series either.
In Game 1, iRaffer took a lot of abuse from Team Dignitas. His Sylvanus struggled to survive against the warrior support Amaterasu that Trixtank brought out. With three deaths at 13 minutes for the new Obey support, iRaffer was struggling at 3 levels behind his counter opposition.
On top of that, Team Dignitas had intense objective control that Obey just couldn’t mitigate. Obey’s Chang’e pick for Xaliea in the solo lane didn’t provide the front line presence that the team needed, and couldn’t create a buffer zone that would allow the backline to survive Dig’s constant aggression. With only 6 kills on Dignitas’ board at the 24-minute mark, they were still able to secure three Gold Furies, two Fire Giants, and the duo lane Phoenix. The game would end just two minutes later after Dignitas wiped out all three Phoenixes and secured themselves the first Titan of this Bo3 set.
Obey got off to a much better start in Game 2 with higher numbers in the kill department, but couldn’t convert that into objective control. Dignitas mid laner Zyrhoes stole the first Gold Fury with a single Unstable Vortex at just 10 minutes in. Even so, Obey felt confident enough to go for another Gold Fury at the 20-minute mark. But unfortunately for them, they lost the objective and two members in the ensuing scuffle.
After securing multiple Pyromancers between their Gold Fury steals and crumbling some Tier 1 towers, Dignitas accumulated a comfortable 5,000 gold lead. Eventually, Obey’s 11-5 kill advantage became meaningless after Dignitas wiped out all 5 Obey members at 26 minutes. After that brutal deicide, the black and yellow squad moved in to clear the final objectives and close out the set with a clean 2-0 victory.
Although Week 1 is over for our fans, these EU teams are already preparing for whatever Week 2 has in store. To see how their next round of matches play out, you’ll want to tune into our official SMITE Mixer channel and watch the action! Here’s what the schedule looks like for the EU bracket next week:
Tuesday, March 27
- 1:00 PM ET — Team RivaL vs. Team Dignitas
- 2:45 PM ET — Obey Alliance vs. mousesports
Thursday, March 29
- 1:00 PM ET — Team Dignitas vs. SK Gaming
- 2:45 PM ET — NRG Esports vs. Obey Alliance
- 4:30 PM ET — NRG Esports vs. SK Gaming
Be sure to follow us on Mixer or keep up with us on Twitter @SmitePro to get updates, match results, broadcast announcements, and more as the SPL Spring Split gets underway.