was in open beta for well over a year prior to its
in March, so it's easy to forget that it's still a relatively new addition to the MOBA milieu. But Hi-Rez Studios is going all-out to make its presence felt: It announced today that the first Smite World Championship will take place in January 2015, with more than $600,000 in prizes up for grabs.
The debut Smite World Championship will run from January 9-11, 2015, at the Cobb Energy Performing Arts Center in Atlanta, Georgia, and feature the top two teams from North America, Europe and China, as well as the top teams from Brazil and Spanish-speaking South America. "As Smite continues to grow, it is quickly becoming a leader in professional competitive gaming," Hi-Rez COO Todd Harris said in a statement. "With teams from North America, Asia, Europe and South America, this will be a truly global championship."
that new players can get in on the action by signing up for weekend online tournaments at
. "A less experienced team would likely participate in the Challenger Cup rather than the Pro League series but each provides a path to the World Tournament," he said. "NA teams play on Saturdays and EU teams play on Sundays. These online tournaments earn your team points toward various LAN invitational events as well as the World Tournament." Latin America and China will have their own separate qualification processes, he added.
The Smite World Championship prize pool currently sits at $600,000, but community contributions and exclusive content sales are expected to increase that amount significantly by the time the tournament rolls around. Half of the final prize pool will go to the winning team, while the second-place finisher will claim 25 percent; the rest of the prize distribution is still being worked out.