New Orleans held host to console Smite’s first major competitive LAN event October 16-18, the perfect addition to MLG’s lineup for their 100th event. With much more than the $25,000 prize pool at stake, 16 aspiring teams battled it out over 3 days to determine who would be the final 8 challengers selected for the 1st season of the MLG Pro League.
After being unable to participate in one of the final online events, Onslaught fell to 8th overall in Pro Point standing and were placed into Group A with favorite and 1st overall seed Team Eager (eGr), 9th-seeded Vexx Gaming, and late replacement 16th-seed Nerd eSports. In a heavily contested group stage, Onslaught’s first test would be against Vexx Gaming in a match to kickoff the entire event. Below is a recap of each days exciting events.
Friday October 16th, 2015
Day one brought excitement and a little bit of nerves as the LAN rookies on Onslaught flashed both brilliance and inconsistency. Game 1 saw a furious Onslaught rally lead to an improbable win as oS fought back despite being down 15k in gold and in kills 20 to 9. Vexx stormed back in Game 2 to even the series with an early game win, knotting up the series 1-1 and foreshadowing just how close our two match series would ultimately become. Game 3 saw Onslaught obtain a comfortable lead with a clean first 30 minutes of play, only to watch it slip away with some assistance from massive frame rate issues on MalvadoPollo’s Geb. Between a questionable decision to not restart his Xbox, and some miscommunication during an attempt to end the game, Onslaught put themselves into a tough position and allowed an opportunistic Vexx squad to sneak back into the lead and ultimately take down our Titan to advance in the series 2-1. Vexx had earned a hard-fought opening night win in easily the most entertaining series of the day, setting the tables for a possible Saturday showdown with both team’s Pro League aspirations at stake.
Saturday October 17, 2015
Despite carrying some lingering disappointment from their Day 1 inconsistency, Onslaught had no time to dwell on their opening round loss as they were faced with a do-or-die situation – another series loss would mean an early exit home. After arriving early to the venue, Onslaught prepared to face Nerd eSports who had lost their opening match to Team Eager on Friday 2-0. Finally playing up to their talent level, Onslaught quickly overwhelmed Nerd to win both games in dominating fashion, knocking Nerd eSports out of the event and advancing to play the loser of the Eager vs. Vexx series.
Shortly thereafter, Vexx finished out a loss to Eager laying the groundwork for what you all knew was coming – an incredible, winner-takes-all rematch with Vexx. One series set to decide who would advance to become professional Smite players, and who would face a long trip back home. The high stakes environment, coupled with how tightly contested the first series was made this the must-see match for the event – and the producers agreed, tasking Hi-Rez Bart and Scott Ghandi to cast the streamed match for all to see.
As expected, Game 1 was another tightly-contested match as Onslaught eventually pulled away at the end leaving them only one win away from making the final 8 and achieving pro status. History tends to repeat itself, and Game 2 saw Vexx win a back-and-forth affair with more consistent lane pressure, tying the series up and forcing a deciding Game 3 as it seemed destined from the beginning. By this time, everyone in the massive event center was beginning to take notice. Players and curious onlookers from Call of Duty, Smash, and DOTA began to crowd around the two teams, knowing what was at stake and sensing the tension in the air.
“The Best Moment In eSports History” – Scott Gandhi, 2015
First blood did not come until well after the 10-minute mark when Onslaught nabbed a heads up pick. Then…stalemate. The first 40 minutes could be summed up as being nothing more than inconsequential trades, as neither team wanted to make a critical mistake. Onslaught was playing for late game, and Vexx refused to force the issue. As the game continued to progress, towers began to more quickly fall and fights starting breaking out, leading to some sloppy play that left both teams down phoenixes.
Then, it happened.
Vexx, in a perfect position to end the game, went for the final assault. Janus ult-dropshipped the entire Vexx team onto Onslaught’s Titan. Abilities started flying as Onslaught started backing in a seemingly futile attempt to save their entire LAN, and possibly their professional careers. Sending 4 guys back to base while F4ilurebydesi9n split push with Bastet, the 4v5 situation demanded that Onslaught throw everything they had at the final Vexx push. Team captain and support MalvadoPollo hits a 5-man Geb ult, holding Vexx for a few crucial seconds. Callowzx then lands a perfectly placed Isis ult, vaporizing Hun Batz and chunking the remaining Vexx members still flailing at the oS Titan. Hypercarryx drops from the heavens, dismounting Apollo’s glorious chariot straight into the fight launching autos at the nearest enemies. With the oS Titan’s health rapidly falling, Callowzx picks up a double kill, then a triple while FreaksterDave is furiously healing and bursting as fast as Hel is capable. MalvadoPollo finishes a kill while the casters are losing their minds. “Three percent!” Only Son Wukong is left. “One percent…oh my God, they [Vexx] did it!” shout the casters as Onslaught’s Titan hits 0%. Wukong evaporates as MalvadoPollo picks up the double kill. “Oh NO! They held, they held, they f****** held!” scream Bart and Gandhi, fighting back delirium with each second, contemplating just how close this game was. Miraculously, Onslaught manages to Deicide Vexx as their own Titan remains at a staggeringly impossibly 50 TOTAL hp, or less than 0.5% health. With the casters, including DMBrandon (who has jumped onto a chair by this point) officially losing their minds and the crowd going ballistic, a stunned Vexx team watches in complete shock and disbelief as Onslaught finishes off the Vexx Titan, winning the game and the series 2-1 in the most heart-pounding way possible. Everyone is stunned. Scott Gandi, through literal tears of amazement, can only utter “This is the best moment in eSports history.” And with that, by the absolute slimmest of margins, Onslaught advances to the first season of the MLG Pro League and sets the standard for our never-say-die, super entertaining brand of Smite game play.
Sunday October 18, 2015
While it is hard to believe that any match could ever top the level of excitement from the Saturday Onslaught/Vexx match, Sunday brought another great match up against one of the best Smite teams in the world in eLevate. While hype from the victory against Vexx was still in full form, the cold reality was that the team had been under-performing and had barely managed to sneak into the Pro League. Any more lackluster performances would not cut it against a team as talented as eLevate. After morning prep and a encouraging scrimmage against Juice, another pro team, Onslaught was ready.
Game 1 featured many back and forth trades, with each team countering anytime the other thought they had gained an advantage. Both teams played at a very high level, trading kills and objectives and eventually prompting a killer 4-for-0 trade after an engagement at Gold Fury at roughly the 30-minute mark. Eventually, eLevate began to slowly distance themselves after capitalizing on some key Onslaught mistakes, finally bringing down the oS Titan 40-minutes into the game. Game 2 saw some interesting picks and bans, and Onslaught having a rough start after giving up first blood on an invade. After a brief recovery, Onslaught eventually could not quite catch up to the early lead and lost Game 2, finishing their run in the MLG New Orleans Smite Invitational event. Onslaught could take some solace however in knowing that eLevate played brilliantly on Sunday, eventually reaching the finals and knocking off top-seed Eager to claim the championship. While the loss hurt, the entire event was a fantastic experience and provided an excellent launching point for the newly crowned professional Smite team to have continued success in the inaugural MLG Smite Pro League.
We’ll leave you with this. The future looks bright for Onslaught Smite, and after clutching up the best moment in eSports history in our very first event, there is no telling what else we have in store.