Upsets abound on Day 1 of SMITE and Paladins World Championships - Dexerto
Paladins

Upsets abound on Day 1 of SMITE and Paladins World Championships

Published: 17/Nov/2018 2:07 Updated: 17/Nov/2018 4:37

by Wyatt Donigan

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The first day of the 2019 World Championship for both SMITE and Paladins is in the books, with the just four teams remaining in each bracket.

Both World Championship brackets were single-elimination, meaning that the pressure to perform was higher than ever with just one loss sealing each team’s fate.

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Despite the fairly standard affair of the Paladins quarterfinals, there was a pair of big upsets in the SMITE quarterfinals.

The biggest upset across both games by far came during the day’s third match between eUnited and Trifecta. eUnited came into this tournament looking to repeat as champions, but the road was cut short almost immediately when Trifecta, a North American team that snuck into the World Championship through the qualifiers, did the unthinkable and eliminated eU.

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Trifecta struck first in the best-of-3 series and even though eU managed to push the series to a third game, Trifecta were determined to walk away the victors and took out the World Champions in a 29-minute match.

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That wasn’t the only upset of the day, however, as NRG Esports was taken out by Team RivaL, another team that got into the World Championship through the qualifiers. Despite being the second seed from Europe, NRG couldn’t prevent a convincing sweep from RivaL to close out the day.

Dignitas opened the day with a fairly solid 2-1 win over Spacestation Gaming, while Splyce won a surprisingly close 2-0 series over Obey Alliance to round out the quarterfinal matches.

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Dignitas will be up first again on Saturday to take on Splyce in the first semifinal, while Trifecta will look to continue their cinderella run against Team RivaL.

While there were plenty of close matches over in the SMITE bracket, the Paladins quarterfinals featured a multitude of one-sided matches as the top seeds ruled the day.

Three of the four No. 1 seeds in attendance walked away with very convincing wins over their competition, with Kanga Esports being the only top seed to not advance into the semifinals.

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Natus Vincere – Europe’s top seed and defending World Champions – opened the day with a big 3-1 win over Virtus.pro, Team Envy – North America’s top seed – made easy work of Kanga Esports in a 3-0 sweep, and Spacestation Gaming – Brazil’s top seed – took down Ninja in Pyjamas 3-1 to close out the day.

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Fnatic pulled off one of the more surprising results of the day, taking out North America’s No. 2 seed in G2 Esports in a quick 3-0 series despite being Europe’s No. 3 seed.

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Na’Vi and Fnatic are set to face off in the first semifinal of the day, while Team Envy and Spacestation Gaming will battle for the final spot in the grand finals shortly after.

The semifinals for both SMITE and Paladins kick off at 8:15am PST / 11:15am EST. You can find all the matchups down below: 

SMITE

Match PST EST GMT CET AEDT
Dignitas vs Splyce 8:15 AM 11:15 AM 4:15 PM 5:15 PM 3:15 AM
Trifecta vs Team RivaL 12 PM 3 PM 8 PM 9 PM 7 AM

Paladins 

Match PST EST GMT CET AEDT
Na’Vi vs Fnatic 8:15 AM 11:15 AM 4:15 PM 5:15 PM 3:15 AM
Team Envy vs Spacestation Gaming 10:30 AM 1:30 PM 6:30 PM 7:30 PM 5:30 AM

For everything you need to know about the SMITE and Paladin World Championships, be sure to check out our official hub with streams, brackets, and more. 

Paladins

NiP Paladins champion isbittenner on emotional grand finals win

Published: 18/Nov/2019 1:36 Updated: 22/Nov/2019 21:53

by Scott Robertson

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Ninjas in Pyjamas claimed the Paladins World Championship over the Pittsburgh Knights in a near reverse sweep. After the finals, NiP player and Paladins champion Leander ‘isbittenner’ Aspestrand spoke to Melissa ‘TheBestTaco’ Posada and Dexerto on the Ninjas’ emotional win, and how they bounced back from a mid-season slump and two-game deficit in the finals.

Before the SMITE finals, the two best teams in Paladins squared off on Championship Sunday at Hi-Rez Expo. A dominant contender in Ninjas in Pyjamas met an underdog Pittsburgh Knights squad that had taken the long road through the lower bracket of the PWC qualifier.

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But despite grabbing a 2-0 lead, the Knights couldn’t hold on as their adversaries borrowed some NiP magic from their CSGO division to win fourth straight games to raise the championship trophy.

Following the raising of the trophy, the young NiP damage star from Norway, isbittenner, could barely keep his emotions in check, telling TheBestTaco and Dexerto that he “would just go up in tears” when he’d try and think back on the hard-fought series.

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NiP were forced to climb out of a 2-0 hole in the grand finals, but isbittener said that the roster was no stranger to having to reverse their fortunes themselves. They had a very strong Phase 1 of Paladins Premier League, but started off slow in Phase 2 with a collection of tough losses.

Isbittenner said he was really happy that the team was able to pull themselves out of that slump, and make their way to the championship finals. One of those tough losses during the PPL season was to Pittsburgh Knights, who they would meet in the grand finals.

When asked if they expected to meet the Knights again in the championship series, he responded,

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“If you asked me two months ago? Never. But now? For sure, they’ve become a lot better.” He also said later in the interview that he expects the Knights roster to improve even more.

The NiP star praised the Knights’ ability to outdraft them, but credited the words of his coach and the energy of the crowd as being instrumental to gaining back momentum.

As the secondary drafter, isbittener said his leadership strength emerges pre-game, but his ability to be a playmaker during matches was instrumental to the Ninjas’ success as well.

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As for the champion, he says that the immediate plan is for the team to go get “a nice dinner” and then go out and have fun to celebrate the title. As for next season, he says that NiP will take their time to “relax and re-group” after the long campaign, and come back strong for next season.