In the world of Smite loyalty is highly valued. With rosters constantly changing and new players & organisations coming through the ranks, fans tend to attach themselves to a team rather than to a player. These Smite teams are generally owned by organisations that field rosters in other games as well so the fan is associated to the brand, but what happens when one of the biggest and most loved organisations goes missing? Well earlier this month we found out.
Team Enemy or NME for short was set up in 2012 by its co-founders Dan Clerke and Robert Stemmler in their college dorms as they set out to conquer the world of eSports. After 3 years they managed to break into the Smite competitive by acquiring Busters roster during the Smite Season 2 Spring Split. Now for those unfamiliar with this, by acquiring Buster the Buster players would play on as normal but under the Enemy brand and from there the journey of one of Smites most popular organisations began.
Enemy had lots of appeal from its name to its ethos and even to its incredibly awesome logo “The Minion”. The brand oozed appeal to the gaming community and breathed fresh life into the Smite Pro scene. Their performance was not quite as impressive on the forsaken Battleground of the Gods however, as they lost all 10 games in the Smite Season 2 Spring Split only managing to stay in the league by winning their relegation match 3-2 against Boogaloo.
The following Smite Splits would prove to be crucial in the development of the Enemy brand as they went on to swap players in and out of their team before acquiring Legion’s roster towards the end of Season 2. PaindeViande and co joined through this roster acquisition and would stay with the brand until the very end becoming fan favourites and gaining a strong following.
With the new roster and a new fan base Enemy finished fifth in the Fall Split of Season 2 meaning they would have to go into the Smite Super Regionals to qualify for the Season 3 SPL. The Super Regionals would be a huge turning point for the brand as a series of huge wins against top teams such as TSM and EnVyUs put them in in 2nd place qualifying for the Season 3 SPL Spring Split. Once qualified Enemy went on to strengthen their roster by recruiting ADC PandaCat, once of Legion, who would quickly become a fan favourite due to his aggressive playstyle. With the new players, Enemy defied all odds and topped the Spring Split, earning their place at the 2016 Dreamhack masters’ LAN event where they would make it to the semi-finals before falling to Soar G2A.
The Smite Fall Split would prove to be a disappointing one for Enemy but their previous success has been enough to make them one of the most popular Smite teams around, and despite finishing seventh in the online events they would still be around for the start of Season 4. Enemy qualified for the 2017 SPL by defending their place at relegations but Twitter was starting to spread word of the organisation disbanding and some fans were left questioning the team’s future in Smite.
Enemy went on the play in the first 2 weeks of the Spring SPL Split for Season 4 but after their second fixture against Team EGR it was announced on Twitter that it would be their last game under the Enemy brand.
It is bittersweet to say that this was the last game the Smite team will be playing under the Enemy brand. #NMEForever
— Enemy (@EnemyGG) February 26, 2017
Although quite surprising, the news was expected with fans predicting the move to eUnited in their replies to this announcement. However, the real goodbye from Enemy and its fans would come on March 1. Enemy posted a longer tweet onto their feed explaining the move to everyone. Although the message explained the reasons behind the move being about moving onto bigger and better things, with more investment and being part of a massive brand in eSports, it also served as a love letter to their fans as they asked them to follow them on their journey to eUnited.
How did the fans respond? From the consensus on Twitter there were plenty of fans that seemed upset about the move but not angry, some even ordering their new eUnited jerseys as soon as the announcement was made.
So, with the big news out in the open and a game to look forward to in Week 3 of the SPL, eUnited Smite was born and instantly gained the Enemy following. There was no time to waste in terms of soaking up the news as their first game under the brand was against Team Allegiance on March 2 coming up against some of the biggest names in Smite such as Weak3n. Their first game ended in a 2-0 loss but it was not just about the performance on Smite.
In a week that could have gone horrifically wrong for Enemy and eUnited, due a roster acquisition under a new brand sometimes result in fans turning on teams, the loyalty of the Enemy following really shone through even with a loss and with the team currently in third not all is lost this season. Time will only tell how good this move will prove to be but let’s not forget that Enemy acquired many a roster on their journey to the top and this is surely another step in the right direction for Dan Clerke and his crew.
Whatever happens we will be watching this space and we wish eUnited all the best in the SPL this season. #NMEwin #StandUnited