Viva la visa!
The Renegades SMITE squad were victorious at the SMITE Pro League Mid Season Invitational last week, claiming the MSI Championship with a compelling 8-0 undefeated run over the next-best in the SPL by a significant margin.
“I think we can win Worlds with this team, obviously we went to this LAN not dropping a single game let alone a set - everyone played lights out, everyone’s an MVP in my eyes. If all five of us were alive we would just win because we were all talented - everyone popped.” - Craig ‘iRaffer’ Rathbone
It was a LAN of stomps with both finalists winning out in each of their series in the lead up to the final but the Renegades shone through, outplaying and outdrafting all in commanding fashion in their first LAN as a team, and just six weeks after their first match in the league.
“For us three [Cherryo, Dardez, Nika], it’s our first LAN win, it feels amazing. It’s such a great boost of confidence that we’ve all proven ourselves now and we can build on that and get to Worlds.” - Nika ‘Nika’ Pataria
It wasn’t a smooth start to the SPL for the boys, who spent the first seven weeks sidelined due to visa & travel issues. RNG got right to work in week 8 though, opening their SPL account with two 3-0’s over Trifecta and SK Gaming before an incredibly tight 3-2 win over the league leaders & previously undefeated Team Dignitas.
“He [Cherryo] hadn’t won a LAN game yet... to be honest I just wanted Cherry, Niko and Dardez to win a tourney. It does feel nice to actually win again. I have so much freedom in this team to do what I want.” - Kieran ‘Funballer’ Patidar
The Renegades finished Stage 1 at 5-4, clinching the bottom-seeded SPL spot at MSI where they got right to work on the opening day of the main event - outdrafting the Pittsburgh Knights and extracting revenge for the 3-0 loss during league play with a flawless 2-0 - before locking in their spot in the MSI final with a titanic 3-0 whitewash of Dignitas.
“It means a lot. I thought it was going to be too good to be true to get to a LAN finals and be on a winning team for once. It doesn’t feel real to me yet. [Against Dignitas] I think the draft was pretty much how we wanted; I think we were happy with our comp in every single game.” - Mohaned ‘Cherryo’ Walied
Their finals opponents in Splyce had a similar run through the main event of MSI with clean wins over eUnited and Armada Esports but the Renegades would not relent, starting strong with a 33 minute 23-10 win.
If game one was over after 30 minutes, then game two might as well have been done in half the time; RNG shot out to a 15-1 kill lead after 15 minutes and were over 10,000 gold ahead in a dominating 27 minute 23-4 stomp.
The boys were the definition of unity, sustaining throughout fights and applying constant pressure upon Splyce who were doing what they could just to keep pace. It took 17 minutes in game three before a kill was found but RNG’s mobility, teamwork and sustain kept them ahead and soon enough the kills flowed.
“I’m just glad I was able to change my playstyle for this LAN. My old playstyle wasn’t working in a lot of the teams so I decided I needed to switch it up. Since we had a break I had some time to practice again and I was able to change up for this event.” - Mohaned ‘Cherryo’ Walied
It would be a low-kill game but the Renegades were immaculate in their game plan & execution. Keeping Splyce cornered for the entirety of the third match, RNG pushed in and wiped out Splyce in a 26 minute 11-1 win to claim victory at MSI.
“This is amazing to experience this with a team. I’m glad these guys have won their first LAN. I just enjoy this team so much.” - Craig ‘iRaffer’ Rathbone
Phase 2 of the SPL begins on August 1 as the Renegades aim to hunt for an invite to the SMITE World Championships. While there is plenty before Worlds, you can be sure the Renegades will aim to back up their result here at MSI. You can catch the SPL Phase 2 matches at mixer.com/smitegame.
Written by Nicholas ‘Taffy’ Taifalos
@TaffyAU on Twitter