This year’s Hi-Rez Expo, which took place at DreamHack Atlanta, was Hi-Rez Studios‘ most-stacked event to date. Not only housing the world championships for both Paladins and SMITE, there were community initiatives and a bevy of exciting announcements that outlined the future of the studio’s roster of games.
Now that the event has been and gone in what seemed like a flash, there’s a lot to unpack. Join us as we go through the busy weekend and see what went down.
Paladins World Championship
$300,000 (£231,360) was on the line at this year’s Paladins World Championship and it was Ninjas in Pyjamas that took home the lion’s share, though it wasn’t easy by any means.
The top eight teams all deserved to be at the event in their own right but only one could come away with the trophy – it came down to which team was the best on the day. Ninjas in Pyjamas route to glory wasn’t an easy one either, starting with Renegades in the quarterfinals. A grueling 4-2 victory pushed the eventual victors forward into the semifinals where they’d face a relentless Virtus.pro, though another 4-2 win saw Ninjas in Pyjamas put themselves in a good position to take it all.
Pittsburgh Knights were the other grand finalists, having taken down Natus Vincere and Team Envy on their way. When it all boiled down to this tense best-of-seven finale, Ninjas in Pyjamas were the ones to show up and cement themselves as the best Paladins squad on the planet.
Here are the complete standings for this year’s Paladins World Championship:
1. Ninjas in Pyjamas
2. Pittsburgh Knights
3-4. Team Envy, Virtus.pro
5-8. Kanga Esports, Renegades, Spacestation Gaming, Natus Vincere
SMITE World Championship
SK Gaming emerged victorious in this year’s SMITE World Championship, showing that they peaked at the perfect time in the season. After finishing both of this year’s phases in seventh place, they managed to fight their way through the bracket to take home the trophy.
It wasn’t necessarily plain-sailing for the side, however. Facing off against Splyce in the quarterfinals, the series finished 2-1 in their favour to allow them to progress. From there, they faced a hungry Renegades side, and while they overcame them, was a grudge match that finished 3-2 in their favour. Their grand finals match-up was against Team RivaL in which they had less problems than in their previous series, managing to come out with a 3-1 victory and the title of SMITE world champions!
Here are the complete standings for this year’s SMITE World Championship:
1. SK Gaming
2. Team RivaL
3-4. Renegades, Dignitas
5-8. eUnited, Splyce, Pittsburgh Knights, Sanguine Esports
Throughout 2019, Paladins slowly but surely unleashed four new champions for players to have fun with, and that trend will continue into 2020. For those who are impatiently awaiting these new additions, however, Tiberius, the Weapon Master is on the horizon. Coming in January 2020, the damage champion is full to the brim with wit, sarcasm, and dangerous weaponry.
Next year, fans will also be able to rock four new skins as designed by the community itself. Dark Monarch Lian, Monkey King Talus, Soulbriar Grover, and Ska’Drin Ash are all on their way in 2020 and will be available in the first battle pass of Season 3.
Hi-Rez Studios will also continue the Hunt in the new year, addressing more issues to ensure Paladins is at the top of its game.
Paladins isn’t the only game that’s receiving new playable characters! A trailer for the next God – who’s a viking, nonetheless – was released, with Hi-Rez Studios unveiling Heimdallr, The Vigilant.
More Gods will be coming to SMITE too, though they’re only hinted at through a 2020 God Lineup teaser. Who can you spot?
The Joust map is getting a visual update in Season 7, aiming to bridge the gap between the classic and current versions of the map.
SMITE also announced that it has teamed up with Red Bull Records for a new soundtrack, bringing in exclusive music themes from AWOLNATION and Beartooth.
To find out about more of the announcements made at this year’s Hi-Rez Expo – including updates on Realm Royale and the upcoming Rogue Company – check out the full Hi-Rez Presents keynote presentation below.
Disclaimer: This is a sponsored article