Hi-Rez Studios Reveals Competitive Map Updates, New Characters For its Esports Titles
Georgia-based game developer Hi-Rez Studios revealed several major content updates for its three competitive esports titles Rogue Company, SMITE, and Paladins during a special showcase presentation on Thursday.
Rogue Company is the newest Hi-Rez title, having launched last year and amassing 15M players since its release. New content will be rolled out during 2021 across four seasons featuring new playable characters, maps, and events. While the hero shooter does not have an official esports structure on par with SMITE or Paladins yet, Hi-Rez is actively monitoring the game’s esports potential as players and organizers explore through various independent tournaments.
According to a release, Paladins has surpassed 45M players, and the game will be receiving significant content updates during 2021. Among these will be the release of Yagorath, a character that has been teased in the game’s lore for the last several years, as well as new limited-time events that drastically change up how the game is played. Additionally, several of Paladins’ competitive maps will receive updates aimed at addressing imbalances in character selection.
SMITE will see an even more substantial overhaul to its competitive map, which will align with the year’s theme, Dawn of Babylon. The campaign will introduce the Babylonian pantheon to the mythical-deity-themed MOBA and will be the first substantial change to the primary map used in esports competition in three years.
Both SMITE and Paladins will kick off their 2021 esports seasons later in the year, with the 2020 SMITE season concluding this weekend at the SMITE World Championship. Teams from throughout the world will be competing for a share of a $600K USD prize pool – one of the largest single-event prize pools awarded for a championship event in a year that saw many international championships either postponed or canceled.
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