Teams Mythic and Rival stir up SPL controversy before the season even starts

The latest drama to captivate the SMITE community involves two competitive organizations, Mythic and Rival. With how quickly everything unfolded, you could have looked away from reddit for a second and missed it, so here’s the lowdown. It’s also the first big drama to hit the SMITE scene this year, and Season 5 hasn’t even begun.

SMITE Pro League 2018 Logo

DM Brandon reads a DM

The controversy began when streamer DM Brandon read a leaked message that was allegedly from streamer Mattypocket to an EU professional player. The message indicated that Rival — who took second place in the 2018 SMITE World Championships just a week ago — would not be in the SMITE Pro League for Season 5. Instead, Team Mythic, a player-owned organization from the Counter Strike: Global Offensive scene, would be taking the spot. The message also indicated that Mattypocket would have some type of management or involvement with the Mythic SMITE team.

Well, that didn’t go over so well

The SMITE community on reddit and Twitter didn’t like this for a couple reasons. First of all, Rival just took second place at Worlds on top of being the #1 EU seed going into the tournament and, as far as the community has reason to believe, is a respectable organization that treats their players well.

Questions were brought up about how Hi-Rez decide what organizations will or will not be a part of the scene. Admittedly, it looked bad that Rival performed well, treated their players well and was kicked. Rival’s co-owner also said on Twitter that the team had only found out the day before Worlds that they had been rejected for Season 5, which also looks unprofessional on Hi-Rez’s part.

The situation looked even sketchier because from the view of the community, it seemed as though Mattypocket’s friendship with the Mythic org and status as a popular streamer — and possibly his relationship with Hi-Rez staff member thebesttaco — swayed things in favor of Mythic taking the SPL spot over Rival. Again, I’m not saying that’s what happened, but these are the accusations that were swung around at the time.

Mythic makes a reddit post

Of course, things couldn’t just end there, could they? LeX, one of the co-owners of Mythic, took to reddit to explain the org’s side of things. The post is lengthy, but here is the short version:

  1. Mythic said they had been in talks with Hi-Rez about joining the scene for a while
  2. Mythic said they did not know they had been chosen over another organization when they were accepted into the SPL
  3. Mythic said their involvement in the SMITE scene would grow brand awareness and Twitch and YouTube views
  4. Mythic thinks they would be great for the SMITE scene
  5. Mattypocket is not a part of Mythic

And then, here’s the kicker: Mythic ended their post by saying they had decided to withdraw from the SMITE Pro League Season 5 because of the controversy. 

That didn’t go over so well (again)

After Mythic’s post, the community was reeling all over again, saying that the SMITE community, as well as poor communication from Hi-Rez, had scared away an organization that could have been beneficial for the SMITE pro scene. At this moment, it appeared that SMITE had lost both Rival and Mythic.

However, Hi-Rez promised to make an official ruling on the Mythic and Rival situation, and they delivered the very next day.

Hi-Rez exposes Mythic

Rival Mythic SMITE Competitive Ruling

Hi-Rez released their official competitive ruling on Mythic and Rival, and boy did it ever deliver. According to Hi-Rez, Mythic had not withdrawn from the SMITE scene willingly as their post would indicate; they had been kicked.

Remember the leaked message from Mattypocket? As it turns out, sending that message in the first place was completely against SMITE Pro League rules because it was “made prior to the opening of the free agency period of January 8, 2018.”

So while Mythic tried to play the victim card with their reddit post, according to Hi-Rez, the org had broken SPL policy by trying to negotiate with players before the designated free agency period began.

Rival was also invited back into the SPL for Season 5, an offer which was accepted.

Aftermath

Different parties weighed in after the controversy. Mythic was slammed for their actions by SMITE pro players, content creators and community members, and remained silent after Hi-Rez’s official ruling despite their chattiness when it appeared as though the SMITE community had scared them off. Rival is happy to be back, and the community seems happy to have Rival back.

Get your popcorn ready because there’s only going to more excitement in Season 5.

Need to catch up on the other organizations already confirmed for Season 5? There’s a post for that!

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