North America dominate as EU left floundering on Hi-Rez Expo finals day

All of the build-up, hype and anticipation at DreamHack Atlanta and the HiRez Expo 2018 ultimately boiled down to one day – Championship Sunday. Across Paladins and SMITE, console and PC, teams battled hard. Many teams came so far, but only four would walk away victorious.

North America had the chance to claim four world titles whilst Europe had multiple chances to stop them. Former champions would fall, underdogs would triumph, but most importantly, SMITE & Paladins fans got to see some top-level esports.

Day three saw the Grand Final across SMITE and Paladins as their respective seasons come to a climactic end.

The Paladins trophy awaits

Full day VODS for both SMITE and Paladins can be found in the prior links.

For all of our prior Hi-Rez Expo content, see below:

SMITE World Championship 2019

Splyce v Team RivaL was not the final anyone expected but it was the one we deserved. The two teams, seeded fourth and sixth overall respectively coming into the event both punched above their weight for the entire event. Splyce beat the tournament’s number one seed Dignitas, whilst RivaL took down Trifecta, the seventh seed but prior conquerors of SMITE Championship holders eUnited.

The series was back and forth throughout and undoubtedly an enthralling contest. It looked like Splyce would claim the title in game four – despite losing for most of the game they had held out long enough for the game to be at an even footing with RivaL pushing endlessly while Splyce always managed to hold them back. However, the break came when RivaL landed a clutch ultimate to break the Splyce defence and steamroll the base to victory tying the series up 2-2 going into the fifth and final game.

Splyce had game five in their hands, doing to RivaL what they’d had done to them in the previous game with endless fighting and constant pushing. Splyce always looked like the winning team, however, and they finally pulled the trigger at the 28-minute mark and destroyed RivaL and thus the hopes of Europe.

SMITE Console World Championship 2019

Astral Authority v Flash Point eSports was the fixture for the 2019 Console World Championship Grand Final. The series was close, with Astral always having an answer to clutch situations. Flash Point took a map, but it was ultimately all settled in the 40th minutes of game four with Astral picking up a big triple kill to settle the series 3-1.

Astral Authority has been a dominant force in SMITE since 2017. They’ve picked up seven first-place finishes and have always finished in the top three since their inception. This years’ Grand Final victory will mean a lot to a side that came second in the same fixture last year – whilst the team will now look to 2019 to build on this dominance.

Paladins World Championship 2019

This was one of the closest series of the weekend at HRX. With the match finely poised at 3-2 to Team Envy, Na’Vi, the Paladins 2018 Champions had it all to do. The series to that point had been tight as the storyline dictated, with both teams going blow for blow as one would expect from a World Championship finals. 

Going into game six Na’Vi were expected to pull it back after dropping to a game behind Envy. Envy, however, had other plans. What came next was total dominance from the North American organisation. Their execution was near flawless as they took the game, the series and the title out of EU hands and claimed yet another HRX title for NA.

Paladins Console Wars 

Vexed had it all to do, as Europe’s final hope in the Paladins Console World Championship. The team managed to take a game off Elevate but it was not to be for the EU side as they fell 3-1 to the NA powerhouse. The Paladins Console Wars only had four teams at these DreamHack Finals, but they provided one of the most diverse and balanced sets of matches we’ve seen at HRX. Vexed put up a good fight, but Elevate were simply too strong.