Right before the United States was hit with the global COVID-19 pandemic, a team of six Latin American esports professionals arrived in Atlanta, GA to fulfill a long-standing dream: to compete in the SMITE Pro League. After several years of competing for Sanguine Esports at the semi-professional level, they had finally worked their way up to the uppermost echelon of SMITE esports.
Hailing from Peru, Uruguay, Guatemala, & Columbia, the Sanguine Esports team made SPL history as the first Latin American team to compete in the pro league circuit. Fans and analysts alike were doubtful at first, unsure if the Sanguine roster had “what it takes” to compete at this level.
With both a global crisis and a skeptical fanbase seemingly stacked against them as they entered their first year of pro league play, Sanguine Esports knew they had a long journey ahead of them — but they were ready to face the challenge. After committing 10-12 hours a day practicing, calling in outside experts as coaching consultants, and maintaining their team synergy both in and out of the game, Sanguine Esports did what no one thought would be possible in their SPL debut: they took over the top of the standings.
The team ended their first phase on June 7, 2020 as the number one team in the SMITE Pro League, beating out teams like reigning world champions the Pittsburgh Knights (previously SK Gaming), an organization that is owned and operated by the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Paladins Pro Circuit Powerhouse
During the spring, Sanguine acquired North American Paladins Pro Circuit roster “Triple Deeps.” The relatively unknown team beat veteran players that were slated to be top in the league. Through dedication and hard work, they ended the spring split 1st as the number team in the world.
Having the top two teams in the world for both of Hi-Rez Studio’s esports games, SMITE and Paladins, places Sanguine at an enviable spot. They are looking to maintain their lead going into the fall split of both titles. The culmination of which will be Hi-Rez Expo in January 2021.
With the success and growth of the competitive esports environment, Sanguine has captured a growing audience and secured sponsors outside the traditional esports sponsorships. Team owner, Blaine Bell is optimistic about the latter half of 2020 even with the present COVID-19 challenges and is working with several experts to help streamline awareness of esports into the business world. “In April alone,” Bell said, “the Sanguine team had over one million impressions on Twitter. Esports has been an emerging market that many brands have been jumping into supporting and now it makes sense to reach viewers who are staying inside more.”