Hi-Rez expanding eSports in New Zealand/Australia
In an exciting announcement made by Hi-Rez Studios, the producers of SMITE and Paladins, Oceania teams will now be able to compete and qualify for the upcoming international SMITE Masters and Paladins Masters tournaments. This will be the first time that teams in the Oceania region will be able participate in Hi-Rez’s mid-season tournaments.
Hi-Rez Studios Senior Esports Manager, Dan McHugh, explained how the recent attraction of SMITE and Paladins in Australia and New Zealand led to this decision:
“On the back of strong performances in the region, SMITE and Paladins esports teams in Australia and New Zealand will be guaranteed direct qualification for two international events this year. Building on already robust structural support for Oceania esports, we’re excited to see Oceania teams compete with our other teams from around the world, continuing the expand their skills at the highest level.”
Compromised of teams from Australia and New Zealand, Hi-Rez has been actively promoting their brand in New Zealand and Australia. Now that these teams have access to the full scope of international competitions, Oceania teams can now look forward to worldwide exposure and access to large prize pools. Oceania teams will also have more opportunities to scrim and compete against the best teams in the world.
Teams will qualify through the SMITE Oceania Pro League along with a new tournament that will include a $10,000 AUD prize pool. The Paladins Masters Qualifier will have a cash prize pool of $8,000 AUD.
The top teams from each tournament will qualify for the SMITE and Paladins Masters Final events that are held annually at Hi-Rez Studios in Atlanta, Georgia in April.
Stew Chisam, President of Hi-Rez Studios, also spoke about this opportunity for Oceanic teams, saying “We have long been proud to offer one of the best pathways in esports for Oceania region teams, with direct qualification to the global SMITE World Championship and Hi-Rez Expo. We are committed to a flourishing scene for both SMITE and Paladins, which in Australia boasts some of the strongest adoption rates in the world.”
Oceania teams have found recent success in SMITE tournaments, including a strong performance from Dire Wolves and a particularly strong showing from Abyss Esports last month at the Hi-Rez Expo in January.
Smite Oceanic Pro League
- AUD$10,000 prize pool
- Competition begins in Australia on February 11
- Qualifiers will be followed by seven weeks of OPL competition from February 18
- Smite OPL is broadcast every Saturday and Sunday from 7 PM AEST on the official Hi-Rez Smite Twitch channel
Paladins Oceania Masters Qualifier
- AUD$8,000 prize pool
- Competition begins Monday February 6
- Three weeks of qualifiers, followed by three weeks of Masters Qualifiers Group Stage
- Paladins Oceania Masters Qualifier is broadcast every Monday from 7 PM AEST on the official Hi-Rez Paladins Twitch channel