It's the final day of play at Hi-Rez Expo. Starting at 10:00 EST/16:00 CEST and continuing throughout the day, Atlanta will host the conclusion of the biggest Paladins tournament to date followed by the third Smite World Championship grand finals. Here's what you need to know about the teams and how they got here. You'll find the livestream, as ever, .
Smite World Championship finals: Obey Alliance vs. NRG
Obey Alliance's semifinal slugfest against NA top seed eGr was one of the best series of this event so far. Two confident wins for the European team suggested that they might sweep the set, sustaining the unstoppable momentum that has carried them through the event so far. But a set of mistakes and a strong recovery by eGr cost them two games in a row, evening out the score line and leading to a nail-biting finale. Obey found their form and triumphed in the end, but it was a closer-run thing than they'd like.
The European metagame has been hugely influential at this year's world championship, despite there being more NA teams in contention. This is almost certainly a factor in Obey's success: they've played phenomenally well, but they've also been playing a kind of Smite that their opponents having seemed ready for. Eager got closer, finally banning out Nike, but too late to change their championship fates.
On the other side of the semifinals bracket, Luminosity vs. defending champions NRG also went to five games - and again, the European team prevailed. The swing in momentum in this match was less dramatic, with both teams trading wins starting with an early lead for the NA hometown heroes. NRG triumphed when it counted, however, suggesting that they're still in championship shape. Even so, this is a team that many expected to sweep their way into the grand finals - the fact that they didn't suggests that we might get a grittier grand final than expected.
NRG vs. Obey Alliance isn't just an EU vs. EU showdown. It's a rematch of the 2016 European Regional Championships, where NRG saw off Obey 3-0. It's also a throwdown between scrimming partners: these two teams practice together and the metagame they're playing is something that developed between them. As such, this is likely to be a different flavour of Smite to what we've seen so far. There'll be no more struggling to adapt: this will prove which team is the master of the meta that won Worlds.
The Smite finals begin at 17:00 EST / 23:00 CEST.
Paladins Invitational finals: Burrito Esports vs. District69
The Paladins scene is still very young, but District69 have emerged as one of the game's strongest early squads. They've picked up plenty of titles over the last year and as such it's not necessarily a surprise to see them make it this far. They're the team that managed to arrest the seemingly-unstoppable advance of Abyss, the Australian squad that surprised everybody with a fantastic performance in the early days of the contest.
Their opponent is Burrito Esports, another strong European team that has earned their place in the finals with a striking 4-0 victory over top NA seed MatchPoint. They're extremely confident for a team that started out as a running joke, and don't seem to have broken a sweat while breaking the best of North America. Yet District69 and Burrito are scrim partners and know each other extremely well: today's game is likely to be much closer-run. That's right! Both the Paladins and Smite finals are all-EU contests between practice partners.
Bonus fact: Burrito Esports captain Bird was previously the analyst for SWC 2015 finalists Titan. Given that there are two more former Titan members in Obey Alliance, that means that every PC final taking place today includes somebody from that old Smite squad.
The Paladins finals begin at 10:00 EST/16:00 CEST.