These five gentlemen, collectively known as team Enemy, clawed their way into the 2016 Smite World Championship grand finals only to lose three straight games to Europe's Epsilon, letting all of North America down. As punishment, they only get $US230,000 ($330,810). I blame myself.
Enemy (spelled all cleverly on their fancy shirts) were my favourite to win the whole shebang, which is to say that their mildly humiliating loss to a team consisting of a player many call the greatest of all-time (for a game that's been out what, three years?) is completely my fault.
No team I have ever rooted for has won an esports competition. Or a sports competition of any sort, for that matter. Those 14 straight division titles for the Atlanta Braves in the '90s with only a single World Series win? I stopped rooting for them in '95. Then started up again afterwards.
So don't blame Enemy for losing three games straight in the best of five third-person MOBA grand final. It wasn't their poor god picks, which were actively booed by the audience.
It wasn't the fact that Epsilon's Adapting is a god of the game walking among humans, descending on the Enemy team in a single mighty strike that led to the Deicide (all five opposing gods dead) that ended the final game.
It was all me. Or as my pal Chef Lu Bu put it, "Fahey single-handedly lost the world championship for North America." Note I was also rooting for North American favourites Cloud9 to be in the final. It's a fair cop.
And so Enemy only gets $US230,000 ($330,810), less than half of the $US500,000 ($719,153) Epsilon won. They will probably have to hitchhike home with all of the other losing teams, who only earned $US10,000 ($14,383) (Avant Garde, Isurus), $US25,000 ($35,958) (Fnatic, OG Reapers, OMG and Pain Gaming) or $US75,000 ($107,873) (Cloud9 and Paradigm).
Sorry about that, Enemy.
On the plus side, this means that for the first time in the Smite World Championship's two-year history we have a championship team from Europe. Congratulations, Epsilon. You played a damn fine game. Maybe next year I'll root for you guys.
Don't mind Adapting. He always glows like that.