Obey Smite had a double-header in week four of the SPL Fall Split. On Thursday, September 28th, Obey took on NRG eSports and on Saturday, September 30th, they duked it out with Valance Squadron. Going into the matches, Obey were the favored pick, as no team had been able to take even one game off them. Obey have been victorious in the votes on the Season Ticket, collecting 79% of Smite players’ votes for them to 2-0 NRG and an astonishing 90 percent of the players’ votes for them to 2-0 Valance.
In the first match, Obey were up against NRG, and though their opponents are two-time world champions, their recent performances have been lackluster, to say the least. Even still, Obey did not take their opposition lightly, drafting total early pressure. Sure, NRG had gods like Camazotz and Osiris, but the combination of Cabrakan, Ratatoskr, and Ah Muzen Cab was so much level one pressure to handle. Obey made their strategy clear, starting the game with PrettyPriMe alone in the duo lane versus iRaffer, EmilZy and Ataraxia in the mid lane, and CaptainTwig and Xaliea in the solo lane. By sending their support to deal with the duo lane’s waves, NRG put themselves in a pickle because even though two carries would outclear a hunter and a support, EmilZy was not so keen on just clearing. Instead, he hammered Emilitoo so Ataraxia’s damage could end the enemy hunter’s life in just under a minute. At the same time, CaptainTwig and Xaliea were able to outclear their opposition and headed into the enemy jungle to snatch away the buffs, giving Obey a nice lead.
The game played out calmly until Adapting’s speed respawned. Obey, having the timer for the buff, made sure to be ready for when the buff spawned. As soon as it did, NRG were there and already had it started, though CaptainTwig engaged to get them off it. The rest of Obey followed, and though no kills were claimed by either team, speed did end up going the way of Obey. Ataraxia, having been on the other side of the map, was already heading toward the enemy red buff, meeting up with a fleeing CaptainTwig to take it down. All in all, the engagement was huge for Obey since they were able to grab every buff on the map.
At 10 minutes in, Ataraxia was huge, being ahead of everyone in the game by at least a level, most notably his direct opposition, who was the highest net worth on his respective team. Looking to stretch their lead, Obey attempt to bait out the Gold Fury. However, the fight doesn’t quite go their way, seeing as the team had split and most of NRG was healthy. Obey then decided to back off, slinking toward the Fire Giant’s pit in an attempt to sneak away the Portal Demon while NRG had their back turned. At 14 minutes, the objective fell without contest. However, NRG were aware of the situation, heading directly to the Gold Fury. An excellent Through the Cosmos from CaptainTwig scared NRG right off the objective, worrying that if the jungler was there, the rest of Obey would soon follow suit. Another several minutes passed before there was more action, the focus being the unclaimed Gold Fury. Obey attempted to bait the Gold Fury, but instead sent most of their damage at Yammyn, who was very squishy since his Hide of the Urchin had not been completed. While Obey didn’t manage to kill Yammyn, they instead went after iRaffer, who had split from his team and was easily cc-chained and killed. Obey then turn back to the objective and take it down at 20 minutes, followed by the Portal Demon not a minute later.
The next big objective was the Fire Giant, and though Obey had been able to secure the Portal Demon, NRG had respawned. Rather than return to their lanes, Obey began to bait the Fire Giant and ended up creating a team fight that quickly went their way, thanks to their near 10,000 gold lead. Though PrettyPriMe took a spill, the Fire Giant fell just as quickly as NRG did, giving the four remaining members of Obey the bright orange belt that would bring them one step closer to ending the game. All that stood between Obey and NRG’s base were a couple towers and of course, the line of phoenixes. On their way to take down the remaining duo lane tower, Obey opt to take down the Gold Fury. NRG couldn’t pick a fight under the remaining towers, so they poked their opposition for as much as possible while staying far enough away from Obey to avoid a full-on skirmish. Every tower fell by Obey’s hands at 27 minutes, so rather than push further, Obey opted to grab the Portal Demon.
There was enough time left on Obey’s Fire Giant buff after slaying the Portal Demon for one last push, so Obey make for NRG’s middle phoenix. On their last legs, NRG threw all they could into keeping Obey out, but the sustain from the Fire Giant buff was just too strong. Obey were able to keep healthy and grab the phoenix safely, leaving NRG with a gaping hole into their base. The Fire Giant’s buff had worn out just as Obey had retreated, giving the team time to return to base and spend their hard-earned gold. As Obey were gearing up for the next Fire Giant, NRG aimed to farm up what they could and make sure their middle lane wasn’t in danger of being ravaged by the incoming fire minions. At 30 minutes, Obey claimed the Fire Giant and sped toward NRG’s base. Though NRG were ready for the enemy assault, the gold and experience difference was just too much, and Obey managed to take down the titan at 33:21.
NRG were the first pick in game two, and as such, they made it very clear that this game would be different. Firstly, they banned away Ataraxia’s Ah Muzen Cab, then passing a ban to make sure the gods they wanted would still be available come their selection. Erlang Shen was selected for ManiaKK, but that just gave CaptainTwig an excuse to pull out his Serqet. With PrettyPriMe on Raijin and Xaliea on Cu Chulainn, it seemed as if Obey had simply drafted what they were comfortable with. However, Obey did run into a bit of a wall, seeing as NRG counterpicked Awilix for Adapting. Awilix would have been an excellent pick regardless of CaptainTwig opting for Serqet, especially since the Goddess of the Moon was paired with a Sobek and an Erlang Shen.
NRG were able to make it out of the early game alive, especially since they slew Xaliea for first blood. This gave NRG the pressure they needed to secure their own buffs, even if they didn’t get much of a gold lead from the kill. Where NRG were lacking was in the duo lane, where this time it was Ataraxia against iRaffer. Even though Sobek has fairly decent clear for a support, it’s not even comparable to the clear from Cernunnos, or really any hunter. As such, Ataraxia was able to invade NRG’s red and purple camps, giving the Horned God a huge advantage. Though Obey’s hunter may have had a lead, the rest of Obey struggled against NRG’s Sobek/Awilix/Sol combo. NRG were able to pick a couple members of Obey in the early game, but their deaths were not timed well with any buffs, so NRG’s lead didn’t increase much at all.
14 minutes in, the game was still dead even, so NRG decide to spice things up by attempting the Portal Demon. CaptainTwig’s beautiful Last Breath sent Adapting out of the objectives range, leashing it and making it immune to the Supernova from Yammyn. The rest of Obey followed CaptainTwig’s lead, preying on those whose ultimates had just been used. While the Portal Demon didn’t fall, Ataraxia made sure ManiaKK and Adapting did, though the hunter fell himself to a well-placed auto from Emilitoo. After such a fight, Obey thought it best to return to their jungle and farm up. NRG, noticing that Obey hadn’t backed after the fight, make a mad dash to the enemy red and quickly slay three members of Obey, only iRaffer falling in exchange. Even though NRG had the clear man advantage here, they opt not to take the Gold Fury, instead going to the Portal Demon and claiming its life at 19 minutes in.
The game is still nearly even until about 24 minutes when iRaffer pushes too far as he tries to engage a fight, allowing Ataraxia and PrettyPriMe to shred him to bits. As this is going on, the rest of NRG are pushed away by Xaliea and CaptainTwig, who use everything in their kits to take down Adapting and Yammyn. Celebrating this 3-0 trade, Obey quickly claimed gold and hustled to the Fire Giant, which would have nearly been stolen away by ManiaKK if EmilZy wasn’t there with a quick silence to keep him down. With the Fire Giant buff in hand, Obey quickly sent ManiaKK to his grave and then secured the Portal Demon.
At this point, Obey still had some towers to take down, so they rushed for the mid tier two tower and ushered minions into its range. NRG threw all their might into keeping them out, but weren’t totally able to stop their invasion. Emilitoo fell as the tower crumbled, forcing NRG to back up to their phoenix. Obey, feeling daring, then pushed into the phoenix right away, picking a fight rather than solely targeting the objective. One by one, NRG fell, leaving only a half health iRaffer to watch as the mid phoenix was reduced to ashes. Obey then retreated, taking the solo side phoenix on their way out. After claiming the lives of all three jungle bosses once more, Obey pushed down all structures in the duo lane. NRG put up their best fight, but with fire minions rushing down two lanes, they couldn’t keep their full focus on the fight. NRG could do nothing as their lives and then their titan were claimed by the triumphant Obey at 32:25.
After those hard-fought wins against NRG, Obey had a couple days to breathe before being sent from the frying pan into the fire against Valance Squadron. Right off the bat, Valance took out Xaliea’s Cabrakan. Normally, Obey might’ve picked up something more aggressive for their solo laner, but they opted to put Xaliea on Sobek, a god whose time in the solo lane has supposedly passed. Though the God of the Nile doesn’t explicitly lose any solo lane matchups, he doesn’t win them either. However, with CaptainTwig back on Ratatoskr, it’d be unlikely that the pair would lose solo-side pressure, especially with how CaptainTwig loves to camp solo. Also, Ullr and Bacchus were pulled out of the grave for Ataraxia and BigManTingz respectively, both gods not really seen in professional play for a good deal of time due to their itemization and power curves not synergizing well with the conquest meta.
Surprisingly enough, the game starts with both sides opting to start with the hunters alone in the duo lane, which keeps the action on the low for the first few minutes. However, at two minutes, Duck3y got caught out by a quick rotation from CaptainTwig, and though Faeles spent much of hit kit and his active trying to chase the enemy jungle and solo down, he couldn’t secure a return kill. After this, both teams return to a slight lull of farming and rotating. At eight minutes, Faeles decides it’s time to act, making moves at PrettyPriMe under Obey’s mid tier one tower. Valance’s jungler does take out his enemy’s mid laner, though he does fall in return. While Faeles had been keeping PrettyPriMe busy, Lawbster attempted to join the fray to help his jungler finish off the Master of Thunder, though the Goddess of the Sun ends up getting cut off by more members of Obey and dies by CaptainTwig’s hand.
Both teams then returned to farming until about 14 minutes when there’s a skirmish around the Portal Demon. CaptainTwig and PrettyPriMe are sent back to base, so Valance decide attempting the objective would be good. Xaliea made the conscious decision to try and stop Valance from completing the objective, and though he gave up his life, he was able to keep the enemy from taking the objective: a mission success, in his mind. Right away, Obey make moves on the opposite side of the map, catching Funballer with his guard down and taking him out. Faeles, once again, tried to come to his teammate’s rescue, but was just too late and ended up nearly dying himself. Obey then rush to the Gold Fury, getting it pretty low before BigManTingz has anything to say about it. Though the God of Wine has great secure in his ultimate, he was unable to steal away the Gold Fury and ended up paying for his failure with his life as well. In response, Valance attempt the Portal Demon once more, though it’s stolen away by an absolutely brilliant leap from EmilZy.
With this objective in the hands of the boys of Obey, they make for the mid tier one tower. Faeles, once again at the forefront of the counterattack, tries to take out PrettyPriMe but is unable to thanks to the excellent peel and damage from EmilZy. As such, the tower crumbled, and Obey happily backed off with their 7,000 gold lead. While Obey’s lead is nothing to scoff at, Valance needed to find a way to come back, so at 23 minutes, they started up the Gold Fury. Unfortunately for Valance, Obey were able to capitalize on their enemy’s focus being divided between the fight and the Fury. Eventually, Obey managed to shoo Valance from the Gold Fury’s lair and triumphantly claimed the objective. Obey rush across the map toward the Portal Demon without a second thought, taking it and the Fire Giant down before Valance can even react. At this point, all there is left for the boys of Obey is to siege, and because Valance can’t fight into such a lead, the tier two mid tower crumbles.
The last step for Obey was to break the base, and so they aggress on the mid lane phoenix and burn several ults to kill Duck3y and Faeles before slaying the fire bird. They quickly transition to the solo lane, where nobody is left to defend the phoenix. Obey then take a pause to return to base before piling down the duo lane. The final fight ensues when Obey were lurking at the edge of the duo lane phoenix. CaptainTwig shot to the sky in his ultimate to zone away Valance’s carries, and the rest of Obey were able to eliminate Faeles and Duck3y in an instant. With no phoenixes remaining, Valance’s titan was open to assault and eventually fell at 28:36.
Looking toward game two, Valance refused to give CaptainTwig the squirrel god he had just dominated on, reasoning that he was the root of many of their troubles. Also, Obey surprisingly banned out the Fafnir even though EmilZy had just dominated on it, not wanting to risk giving it to BigManTingz. Instead, EmilZy last picked Terra, whose potential many were unsure about after losing the root on her Monolith in the most recent patch. However, Terra’s Blessing is still an amazing and versatile ultimate, and she does slightly counter the Awilix strategy from Valance. Also, Funballer pulled out his He Bo adc, which he’s shown a couple times in earlier games this split. Besides having loads of knockups, Valance’s main goal was to get He Bo clean setup via a Neith or Awilix ult onto Ataraxia so he could take down the bee man with little trouble.
Unfortunately for the God of the Yellow River, he was up against PrettyPriMe in the duo lane rather than Ataraxia, so the two were relatively even. At the same time, Ataraxia and Lawbster were equal in the mid lane, especially since both hunters have excellent early clear. Everybody just wanted to farm up rather than fight, not pushing any slight advantages either team had gotten. However, come four minutes in, PrettyPriMe made a daring move by Thunder Crashing onto Lawbster near Valance’s speed. Thankfully for the mage, his team was there to follow up and successfully took out the Weaver of Fate for first blood. Capitalizing on this early kill, Obey were also able to snag away Faeles’ speed buff, though the gold was still nearly dead even. Lawbster and Faeles pair up in the mid lane after his respawn, but the two were almost immediately jumped on by Obey and bursted down, having been caught en route to the mid lane from the red buff. At the same time, Funballer got incredibly aggressive with Ataraxia, using Crushing Wave as a way to close the gap between the two and ultimately grab the solo kill onto his opponent.
Even though Ataraxia had been disgraced in the 1v1 matchup, he didn’t fear aggression, though it did come back to bite him when Valance spent multiple ultimates in an attempt to kill the God of Bees. Luckily for the hunter, he was able to retreat under his tier two tower while the rest of Obey rotated to clean up the over-extenders. Obey then decided it was a good idea to go for the Gold Fury since they’d pushed their opponents away. Lawbster showed his face to try to steal it away, but got cc’d to death before he could even use an ability. Obey then return to the Gold Fury and secure it at 13 minutes in, inching their lead ever further. Wondering how much more they could take for free, Obey wander to the Portal Demon and tentatively start it, leashing it as soon as BigManTingz ults in an attempt to steal it.
A couple minutes later, a fight broke out on the duo side. Nearly every ultimate is expended and so much damage is done to each player, but everybody is able to squeak out alive. While getting ultimates for nothing is nice, the more important victory for Obey in that fight was getting Valance to use most of their actives, especially the defensive ones. Since those vital relics were on cooldown, after a quick dip in the fountain, Obey return to the duo side to take down the Gold Fury, which they get with no contest at 22 minutes. Valance didn’t want to give up the objective for free, even though they were quite far behind, so they took what, from the outside, seemed like a foolish fight. Valance took a quick slap to the wrist and retreated, but Obey didn’t let them off the hook so easily. CaptainTwig reengaged by jumping under Valance’s mid tier one tower, claiming the life of Funballer. On the back side, EmilZy aggressed onto Lawbster, making sure the Weaver of Fate would be locked down so she could weave no longer. With three members of Valance taking a time out, Obey knock down both mid towers and head over to the Portal Demon, slaying it with ease.
After a quick back, Obey started up the Fire Giant. Valance were completely aware of Obey’s plan, and sent Duck3y and Faeles to try to buy time for the rest of Valance to get in position to contest or to simply steal away the objective. Obey’s objective secure and general damage was just too much for the members of Valance to do anything about, and so Obey claimed both the Fire Giant and the lives of the enemy jungler and solo laner. Valance had no ability to fight anymore, being a staggering 14,000 gold down in just 26 minutes, not to mention the recent acquisition of the Fire Giant buff to Obey’s side. Obey returned to base one last time to spend the remainder of their gold, trotting their way up the duo lane at their own pace, even taking the time to kill the Gold Fury before moving on. After toppling the remaining towers, the final objective for Obey was to take down at least one phoenix, and so the boys set their sights on the one in the duo lane. Of course, Valance met them at the structure, though even when they spent every ultimate and relic in their possession, it wasn’t enough to stop the onslaught from Obey. One by one, the phoenixes met their match and turned into ash, letting the members of Obey into Valance’s base to claim the titan’s life at 29:53.
Once again, Obey proved that they wholly deserve their top seed. Every player had their shining moments, especially when it came to playing on a new patch. The boys have consistently shown their mastery of the changes in each patch, dominating with different picks and builds that other teams might not be so willing to try on the professional platform. This week, Obey are going to have a second rough double header versus Team Elevate on Thursday and, in what could be the most important set of the split, Team Dignitas on Saturday. As always, thank you for your constant support and be sure to keep a lookout for Wednesday’s Match Preview for our set next Thursday versus Team Elevate!
Written by Lermy: