The third-person deity, demigod and familiar mythical monster multiplayer online battle arena, developed by Hi-Rez Studios, makers of Tribes: Ascend, is currently the third most-played MOBA behind League of Legends and DOTA 2.
Hi-Rez announced it had reached 10 million players in July, a million of which belonged to Xbox One by the end of beta testing.
The console’s first attempt at the genre, SMITE is free, but players will need an Xbox Live Gold account to play online. There is an in-game store where players can buy all available content in the Founder’s Pack for $30 until September.
Players also have until the end of August to transfer select content (progress and items) from PC to console if they would like.
MLG doubles down
SMITE will continue to carve out its niche in the competitive scene with the help of Major League Gaming.
Alongside the release of SMITE for Xbox One, MLG announced it would be adding SMITE for the console to its fall lineup with prize money totaling $225,000.
Last year’s inaugural SMITE World Championship for PC had a $2.6 million pool, the third-highest of any eSport tournament at the time. The total currently sits at fifth all-time.
Almost three million unique viewers tuned in over the three days to watch NA’s Cognitive Prime take home a winner’s share of $1.3 million.
This year’s upcoming World Championship has already surpassed its million dollar prize pool.
MLG has decided to cap this year’s total at $1 million, preferring to divert additional funds now to players and teams throughout the season.
After shelling out more than $300,000 over the summer, MLG announced it was doubling that number for the fall split.
The deity is in the details
The MLG season started on August 22 and ends on September 27.
Along with a $225,000 prize pool, players can earn a chance to play in pros at the MLG World Finals on October 16 through 18 in New Orleans.
The winners will earn a spot in the MLG Pro League (6 to 8 teams) and a large share of the $25,000 prize.
The NA Pro League will run from October 26 to November 20, with the finals taking place on December 4 through 6 in Columbus, Ohio with $50,000 in winnings and a chance to qualify for the second annual SMITE World Championship on January 7 to 10 in Atlanta.
Hi-Rez on the rise
While Smite may be the MOBA of now for the console, Hi-Rez’s Paladins: Champions of the Realm may be the future of free-to-play.
Announced earlier this month and already in alpha testing, the first-person shooter style MOBA for PC, Xbox One and PS4 is soaked in fantasy lore and set to launch in 2016.
Breaking from the MOBA mold, Paladins’ gameplay is king of the hill style, with teams attempting to capture the flag, unlocking the ability to control a powerful siege engine headed towards three layers of enemy base.
Similar to SMITE, Paladins is a skill-shot heavy, even more ranged base, but with more ground to cover. Which means mounts.
World of Warcraft meets SMITE, with a Hearthstone enchanting element, what’s not to love?
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