This week the first major esports event of 2016 – the SMITE World Championship. Running from January 7th to 10th in Atlanta at the Cobb Energy Centre. Over the course of four days the new world championship for Hi-Rez’ third person action MOBA will be decided, alongside an Xbox Invitational tournament for console players.

The main event at the SWC is definitely the competitive PC tournament, where ten teams compete for Thor’s Hammer and a share in a $1 million USD prize pool. This is the culmination of SMITE’s competitive second season, drawing teams from North American, European and Chinese leagues as well as regional tournament winners from Oceania, Brazil and Latin America. Below are the teams set to battle it out later this week:

Quarter finalists:

Paradigm – EU 1st seed
Cloud9 – NA 1st seed

Placement match contenders:

Epsilon – EU 2nd seed
Fnatic – EU wildcard
Enemy – NA 2nd seed
OMG B – China 1st seed
Qiao Gu Reapers – China 2nd seed
paiN Gaming – Brazil
Avant Garde – Oceania
Isurus Gaming – Latin AmericaScreen Shot 2016-01-06 at 12.52.44 pmParadigm and Cloud 9, EU and NA first seeds, are given direct entry to the quarter finals due to their placement in the 2015 season, while the other eight teams will fight for the remaining six spots in the quarter finals. January 7th will see these eight teams battle it out in best of one matches, with two losses in these matches seeing a team knocked out of the running. There are some quite strong teams here, be them second seeds or the first time Oceanic contenders Avant Garde, so these do or die matches should make for some pretty entertaining viewing.

The main event, running from Friday to Sunday, will be best of three for the quarter finals and best of five for the semis & grand final. All the action kicks off at 11am EST time each day (3am AEST from Friday Jan 8th) over at alongside the PC tournament is the SMITE Xbox Invitational tournament. Four teams, Aware Gaming, COG Gaming, Eager and a yet to be decided Open Bracket victor, are set to battle it out in two best of three semi finals. The winner of each match up will compete in the best of five grand finals, broadcast before the PC grand finals on Sunday. With a $175000 USD prize pool on the line, Hi-Rez and Xbox are doing a lot for their competitive console gaming scene with this tournament; it’ll be very interesting to see how it performs this year and progresses into the future.

Overall, the SMITE World Championship is set to be a pretty huge event for Hi-Rez and SMITE’s community. In the past it has been the stage for new announcements, alongside plenty of cosplay and community events. Rumours suggest we’ll see the reveal of the first goddess from the new Japanese pantheon, as well as news on developments for SMITE’s third competitive season.

For full schedules, team info and more SMITE news check out the SWC hub right here.