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Hi-Rez Studios is planning to officially release SMITE on March 25th, 2014. The arrival of the free-to-play MOBA game will be commemorated with a $100,000 tournament.
In SMITE, players take on the role of deities and compete in team-based battles. The characters are drawn from Chinese, Egyptian, Greek, Hindu, Roman, Mayan and Norse mythology. Each possesses their own distinct set of abilities. You can slice up foes as Ares or empower allies as Aphrodite. Or you can play as Kali and piss people off.
The official release of SMITE might not mean all that much to you. It's been in open beta since January. If you want to play the game, you already can. You probably already have too; Hi-Rez says that over 2.5 million players registered during the open testing.
If you're already playing the beta, the official launch shouldn't disrupt your routine. All of your progress in the test will carry over to the release build. You will get a Cacodemon skin for Ymir if you hit level 30 by launch, though.
The best of the best in the SMITE community will converge in Atlanta, Georgia for the launch tournament. On March 29th and 30th, the top four teams in Europe and North America will battle for $100,000 in prize money. The event will take place in front of a live audience and also be streamed over Twitch.tv.
Perhaps the biggest result of SMITE's official launch, though, is that Hi-Rez is one step closer to moving onto a different game. The company tends to prefer making new games rather than focusing on long-term support for their existing titles. They put Tribes: Ascend on the back-burner to focus on SMITE. Presumably they'll push SMITE off to the side in a few months to focus on Global Agenda 2. Enjoy your remaining time in the sunshine, SMITE players. Hope you don't invest too much money in the game.