Hi-Rez Studios to debut MOBA eSports on console

SMITE Xbox One Invitational will the first console tournament for the most popular eSports category

Hi-Rez Studios is partnering with Microsoft to introduce competitive MOBA eSports with the SMITE Xbox One Invitational.

In the context of the eSports scene as a whole, this really is the first, furtive step onto console for one of gaming's most exciting growth areas. That much is evident in both the number of competing teams and the size of the prize pool: four teams will compete for $150,000, versus a larger group of entrants and $1 million prize pool for SMITE's PC tournament, which will run concurrently.

Both tournaments, comprising the SMITE World Championships, will be held in Atlanta, Georgia from January 7 to 10, 2016.

In a statement released to the press, Hi-Rez CEO Todd Harris was eager to stress that this will, "mark the arrival of MOBA eSports on console." As he well he might, because MOBAs are by far the most popular focus for the rising eSports scene. League of Legends and DOTA 2 are entirely dominant in the field, though only on PC. At present, the console presents a patch of blue ocean amidst the red.

SMITE is in open beta on Xbox One at present, so it remains to be seen just how popular the MOBA can be on consoles. Certainly, the established upper limits are impressive, with tens of millions of daily players, and eSports tournaments with prize pools in excess of $15 million.

Related stories

Smite esports leagues will be exclusive to Microsoft's Mixer

Xbox streaming service to showcase both the Pro and Console series for Hi-Rez's fantasy MOBA

By James Batchelor

Facebook: "We're going all in with esports"

The leading social network explains why it is partnering with so many developers and their professional gaming leagues

By James Batchelor

Latest comments (1)

Paul Jace Merchandiser 2 years ago
I think I need to download the open beta so I can start making money....or get beaten badly, one of the two.
1Sign inorRegisterto rate and reply

Sign in to contribute

Need an account? Register now.