The quarterfinals of the 2016 Smite World Championship passed in a flash of four swept best-of-two matches, including the brutal but not unexpected elimination of both Chinese teams and the boys from Brazil.
There's not much I can say about the first match of the semifinals between European first seed Paradigm and China champions OMG, as I was outside being belligerent about Cobb Energy Center security not letting me bring my preferred energy drinks into the Red Bull-supplied press room.
Yes, I can be a little bitchy about my beverages. So while Paradigm triumphed, I was outside playing games on my iPhone and ultimately throwing away $US10 ($14) worth of beverages. Jerks. Security, that is. Not Paradigm. They're fine.
At least I was on hand to see my team, Enemy, walk all over Brazil's Pain gaming. It was pretty brutal, and not simply in the scoring-all-over-their-faces sort of way. Enemy, under team captain PainDeViande — the guy who dropped his entire team in mid-season and formed a new one that could get the job done — indeed got the job done, obviously toying with their prey before going in for the kill.
PainDeViande is setting himself and his team up as the "heel" of Smite pro gaming, or so everyone keeps telling me. Being a big fan of evil, I approve.
If Enemy are the heel of Smite pro gaming, then returning champions Cloud9 G2A led by charismatic local favourite BaRRaCCuDDa, are the shining heroes, fuelled by friendship and hope.
As it turns out, friendship and hope is a prime factor in completely steamrolling China's QG Reapers. They really didn't stand a chance. I was sitting behind the Chinese press contingent during the match, and I felt embarrassed for them. It was a good time to wander off to the food trucks parked outside, as you wouldn't have missed anything.
While Friday's matches ended early, they did end on an exciting note, as a pair of seemingly evenly-matched European teams took to the battlefield to see exactly evenly is evenly.
Second seed Epsilon and wildcard Fnatic scrimmaged against each other regularly leading up to the championship, and for a brief moment it felt like it could be either team's round. Then Epsilon gently brought the hammer down, taking the first round.
And then Epsilon completely destroyed Fnatic in round two, because gentle takes a really long time and everyone was hungry.
Four quarterfinal matches, four 2-0 sweeps. Not the most exciting day of third-person MOBA battles, but the stage has been set for some major confrontations in tomorrow's semifinals.
Can Enemy's borderline evil triumph over Europe's finest? How will Epsilon's technical master fare against Cloud9's Care Bear Stare? Will the whole affair end with an epic battle of good against not-so-good?
If I knew, I would write all of that up and spend the next couple of days eating sandwiches or something. Instead, I wait and see. And maybe still eat those sandwiches.
You can hit up the Smite Twitch channel to check out all of today's games. Then come back tomorrow for more pictures of BaRRaCCuDDa superimposed on My Little Pony scenes.