In a major development for Australian esports, Hi-Rez Studios – the developers behind SMITE and Paladins – have today that Australian and New Zealand teams will for the first time be able to qualify for international Masters events, and a prize pool of $195,000 USD.
The announcement guarantees direct qualification for two international events this year, granting access for Oceania teams to compete in qualifying tournaments that pave the way to the international SMITE and Paladins Masters finals events, in Atlanta, Georgia. The SMITE Oceania Pro League and the Paladins Masters Qualifier have respective prize pools of $10,000 and $8,000 AUD.
Hi-Rez Studios Senior Esports Manager, Dan McHugh, stated, “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.”
President of Hi-Rez Studios, Stew Chisam, had particularly praised the Australian esports community stating, “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.”