On Saturday, September 16th, Obey SMITE took on Team Rival in the last set of the second week of the SPL Fall Split. Going into the match, many were unsure how the match would play out, considering Rival’s surprising 0-2 defeat versus Team Dignitas. However, their status as the “LANimals” of Europe, as evidenced by their impressive performance at Dreamhack, could create a challenge for Obey should Rival pop off. Even though, at this point, Obey has only played against The Papis, they dominated in both games and even shut out their opponents in game two.
Game one’s draft split relatively even on both sides in terms of meta and comfort, especially considering the mid mage selections of Raijin for Obey and Ra for Rival. Both of these gods have great early clear, despite the popular opinion that the Master of Thunder doesn’t have a place in the conquest meta. However, when it comes to objective play, Ra has a better time at both securing and stealing, not to mention his ability to sustain whoever the objective is leashed to. Rival brilliantly paired Ra with Medusa and Fafnir, two more gods that have excellent objective play because of the utility and damage potential from their ultimates. While Rival’s strategy was very potent, Obey were keen to use their “wombo-combo” composition to simultaneously cc and burst their opponents in mid game fights where their team is strongest.
At the start of the game, Ataraxia was left to fend for himself in the duo lane while EmilZy and PrettyPriMe cleared mid, sending CaptainTwig to the solo lane with Xaliea. Obey chose this start because they wanted to throw pressure toward the solo side of the map, knowing that even if EmilZy went with Ataraxia to the duo lane, they would get outcleared and most likely lose pressure elsewhere too. Since Rival knew EmilZy had gone to mid, Vote and KaLaS decided to invade the enemy red buff, getting within one auto of slaying Ataraxia for first blood. However, because Ataraxia avoided dying, he was safe to just sit under tower and farm for the next several minutes. Besides trading a couple buffs, the early game went relatively smoothly on both sides until roughly five minutes in, when Rival was able to sneak away the Gold Fury from under Obey’s noses. However, PrettyPriMe was able to secure first blood onto KaLaS, making the game ever-so-slightly in Obey’s favor.
Ten minutes after the unfortunate turn of events at the Gold Fury, Rival is back at the objective again, bursting it down with an excellent Searing Pain out of Wlfy’s Ra. Despite this, Obey refused to let them all leave alive, slaying Iceicebaby and proceeding to take down the Portal Demon. Directly afterward, they kill Deathwalker, who is out of position in the solo lane, also grabbing the solo tier one tower. As this was going on, Vote was able to push down the mid tier one tower and then head over to the duo lane, securing both towers without it costing his life. At the same time, he watched as his teammates try and fail to defend the tier two solo tower from across the map. Because both solo lane towers had been toppled, Obey’s lead grew to about 3,000 gold and gave them more breathing room around the Fire Giant’s pit.
At this point in the game, Hide of the Urchin has been either built into or finished by half of the players in the match, including both PrettyPriMe and Wlfy. These mid lane mages would normally never build into a defense item so early, but Hide of the Urchin is known for its efficiency in providing decent protections and health for a relatively low cost. However, even at 21 minutes, neither Wlfy nor KaLas had a single stack, making the item a relative waste of gold. It is at this point that Rival felt the need to pull the trigger on the Gold Fury yet again, and managed to secure it because of Wlfy’s incredibly consistent objective play. Obey, having lost another objective, turned to the Portal Demon, and though they ended up losing it to a hammer from KaLaS, the boys of Obey were able to take down three members of their opposition and the Fire Giant. Immediately afterward, Obey rushed down the mid lane and took out the remaining structures, including the phoenix. It took Obey another round of killing all three of the jungle bosses, but at 35:29, they sent both remaining phoenixes to the grave and triumphantly slew Rival’s titan.
Game two featured a completely new draft from both teams aside from Xaliea, who has yet to play any god other than Cu Chulainn this split. Rival opted to first ban Raijin away from PrettyPriMe, who is obviously very comfortable on the drum-wielding mage since he, like Xaliea, has yet to play another god until this game. PrettyPriMe decided to pull out his Janus, which has suddenly resurged in the meta after a long period of not really being picked or banned. Wlfy was also target banned, having his Nox, Ra, and Janus taken away. Also, despite the slight nerfs to Hel, EmilZy opts to pick her up for support after his phenomenal showing last week. Looking at both compositions as a whole, Obey’s seems blatantly stronger, yet it does lack a front line, which could prove challenging against Rival’s Athena, Erlang Shen, and Ravana. Rival also selected Poseidon, who is the long-standing counter to the mobility coming out of Obey’s composition, especially versus the Serqet and Janus. However, if Hel can get online before Poseidon can make a dent into Serqet or Janus’ farm, Obey will have a lot less to worry about, especially versus Rival’s triple tank composition.
This second game took a bit longer to get rolling, especially since Rival’s draft wasn’t as objectively focused. First blood came at eight minutes when Deathwalker got himself surrounded by four members of Obey, falling to EmilZy. Within the next couple of minutes, Obey take down the Gold Fury without any contention from Rival, though that’s because they took Portal Demon and Xaliea’s life. PrettyPriMe spent Through Space and Time to try to ship his team over toward the Portal Demon where most of Rival is weak, though Obey unfortunately end up losing four members to Rival’s two in that engagement. At 16 minutes, Obey trade the Gold Fury for Portal Demon yet again, though this time Rival attempt to slay the Fire Giant while Obey are still on the left side of the map. However, quick rotations from EmilZy and Xaliea shut down Rival’s plans.
At 19 minutes, both teams lost their respective mid tier one towers, though Obey came out of that engagement ever-so-slightly ahead. To remedy this, Rival started the Portal Demon at 22 minutes, sending two members of Obey to the grave before completing the objective. At this point, Rival felt it was safe to take on the Fire Giant, but it got stolen away by an absolutely perfect Unstable Vortex through the back wall of the pit. With the Fire Giant buff in hand, Obey took down most of Rival’s towers over the next several engagements, making sure to take the objectives and not the fights that Rival attempted to pick.
After the Fire Giant buff ran out, Obey decided to poke at Rival, seeing what actives and ultimates they would use without needing Obey to fully commit to a fight. Because most of Rival’s ultimates were used, Obey were able to take down the second Fire Giant of the game at 29 minutes. Obey then hoped to destroy a phoenix or two, but were unable to thanks to a great defense from Rival. Because that Fire Giant was relatively useless, Rival hoped to set up to take the next one by killing the Portal Demon at 34 minutes. Even though Rival got the objective, PrettyPriMe hurled a huge Through Space and Time at Rival, effectively splitting them up so they could be taken out one by one. Only after four members of Rival fell were Obey able to march down the mid lane, take out the phoenix followed by the titan at 38:21.
Obey had an amazing set, showing off their consistency and ability to win games that are practically even. With another impressive victory in the books, the boys of Obey will take on Burrito eSports next week, who are part of a three-way tie for 5th place. As always, thank you for your constant support and be sure to keep a lookout for Friday’s Match Preview for our set next Saturday versus Burrito eSports!
Written by Lermy: