SMITE is a multiplayer online battle arena game created by Hi-Rez Studios, which is most commonly played on a PC under the name of the SMITE game client. The game has been available on Microsoft Windows and macOS since early 2014. SMITE takes place in a fantasy-themed map where players choose one of several deities, each with their own unique abilities and themed abilities, and are tasked with destroying their enemies. Players are able to choose their deities, heroes and items in three separate game modes: Conquest, Arena and Mythic.

SMITE is an incredibly successful MOBA that has received a lot of attention for its free-to-play model and unique approach to esports. And the community is very active—especially on Reddit, where people gather to discuss the game and the cultural aspects of its fandom. Unfortunately, this led to the tragic death of a popular caster, halts league events.

As tragic as the death of a star is, it was to be expected that it would have an impact on the SMITE community. The loss of former Hi-Rez esports caster, Jack, was a blow to many, and many would bemoan the fact that the SMITE community had all but lost a key figure.

word-image-16461 On Friday, Hi-Rez surprised the SMITE community by suddenly postponing all of the weekend’s sporting events, a move made all the stranger by the fact that the company didn’t say why. This has led to speculation about everything from a possible legal scandal to the bitcoin debacle. But today I am sad to report that the real reason is much worse: A member of the Hi-Rez team has died. Hi-Rez CEO Stuart Chisam informed the community this morning that employee John Finch passed away on Thursday. He was only 28 years old. Chisam says Finch was selected to host Hi-Rez’s esports casting team because of his epic performance during the studio’s 2017 talent competition, and he has since become a beloved member of the staff and community. The company is asking players to give their time and respect to Finch’s staff and family, and notes that Pro League SMITE and Challenger Circuit SMITE games have also been postponed for the remainder of the week. It’s a big loss for the esports family, he said, and promised some sort of memorial service in the future. We will let you know later when and how we will resume the SPL season. Our condolences go out to the staff and the Hi-Rez community. Here is John’s opening interview on Custer from 2017. https://t.co/C6vQEdkhFb – Stuart Chisam (@schisam) 23 May 2021 Our esports family is deeply saddened and shares this news with all of you. John Finch was one of our best. He will be sorely missed. pic.twitter.com/MOaSlJHUHL – SmitePro (@SmitePro) 23. May 2021 View

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